Police Stakehokders Partnership Forum (PSPF) has commended the Anambra state Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr John Abang for standing up against Intimidation corruption.
An Onitsha- based legal practitioner and member of the PSPF, Okite had reported to the PSPF via its WhatsApp platform how some SARS operatives attached to Divisional Police Headquarters Ogidi in Idemili North LGA of Anambra State illegally arrested his nephews and collected N20,000 from their father.
The legal practitioner pleaded that the SARS operatives be made to refund the N20,000
The Anambra State Police PRO Mr Haruna Muhammad represents the CP Anambra State Command in the WhatsApp platform.
According to Okite:
“Today 14/5/2020, men of SARS attached to Divisional Police Headquarters Ogidi in Idemili North LGA of Anambra State were allegedly pursuing a suspect, and according to them the suspect ran through my family compound in Ogidi (my family compound has no wall fence), when they couldn’t catch their alleged target, the men of SARS then arrested my two (2) nephews; Kosisochukwu Okite and Chukwunonso Okite insisting they must produce the alleged suspect who they claimed ran through my family compound. The men of SARS hand-cuffed my two nephews and took them to Ogidi Police Station despite protestations by their parents. They also scattered their father’s shop, beat up my niece, Chisom Okite and tore her clothes leaving her naked simply because she was disuading them from taking away her brothers who are innocent.”
“On getting to the station those SARS men demanded 100,000 Naira as bail money from the boys’ father, Mr. Augustine Okite; apprehensive for the safety of his sons, he was literally forced to pay 20,000 Naira for their freedom. The boys are home with their parents now after payment of 20,000 Naira.’
‘Meanwhile the cost of the damage the SARS men did to my elder brother’s shop is worth about 50,000 Naira.’
IVOTESNG gathered that the PPRO, Anambra Command, upon reading the complaint, informed the CP who promptly directed that the OC SARS Awkuzu be contacted and directed to identify the officers responsible and ensure they refund the money collected.
On Friday morning, the Officer in Charge (O/C), Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) Awkuzu, Anambra State, put a call to the Executive Director, Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC) requesting him to ask the aggrieved party in a case of unlawful arrest and extortion to meet him in his office at Awkuzu for a refund of the sum extorted from them by some officials of SARS. This was in compliance with the directives of the Commissioner of Police, Anambra State, CP John Abang.
The family eventually went and got a refund of the money. The victims also had audience with the CP after they went to the O/C SARS and got refunded. They reported that the CP ‘exhibited utmost civility and leadership; apologised to them on behalf of the Command for the excesses of the SARS men and made a commitment that disciplinary actions against the erring men will follow’.
PSPF in a statement jointly signed by its coordinator, Prince Chris Azor and secretary Chisom Chude, said the Commissioner of Police, Anambra State, CP John Abang deserves commendation for his prompt response to public complaints and for standing up against corruption and human rights violations.
PSPF urged the CP to remain steadfast and be assured of the support of Anambra citizens and residents represented by PSPF.
PSPF also commended the PPRO for his cooperation with the Forum and for his competence, diligence and effectiveness in communication and public relations.