TRACKING>> The Abia State Police Command has detained 15 policemen for allegedly extorting money from the public.
The police officers, it was learnt, are standing orderly room trial at the command’s Headquarters in Umuahia, the state capital.
Commissioner of Police Ene Okon said the command would not shield any corrupt person within its workforce.
Okon, who was reacting to calls by some traditional rulers for him to call some of his extortionist officers to order, promised that the police does not shield anyone with criminal behaviour.
He vowed that the command is determined to get rid of bad eggs among its personnel, stressing that it was why it declared Sgt. Collins Akpugo wanted for killing Christian Onuoha in Umuahia.
The police boss hinted that N500,000 reward will be given to whoever has information on his whereabouts.
Okon, who maintained that bail is free, urged the public to resist the urge of giving money to any officer who tried to extort them, saying that every citizen ought to know his right and stand on it.
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He said: “We are the only organisation that punishes when you err. All of you must have heard about a policeman who killed somebody on June 4 in Afara Umuahia. After killing the man, he disappeared. We have declared him wanted and placed a N500,000 bounty on his head. Anybody that will give us information that will lead to his arrest gets the N500,000 cash from me.”
On bribery and extortion by policemen, Okon said: “It takes two to tango. If you don’t give, the police will not take. It starts from you. If you know that you’ve not done anything wrong, if you know that you’re operating your joint according to rules, if a policeman comes, you prove to him you know your rights.
“I don’t know that policeman who will not be afraid to tell you to bring something knowing that you know your right. Insist that you know your right.
“I don’t support police collecting money from people. As I speak now, I have 15 policemen in my cell. Seven were arrested here at Opobo Junction when I heard that they were collecting money. I sent out my monitoring unit to arrest them in the act. I subjected them to investigation and now they are undergoing ‘orderly room trials’. Let God be with them if they’ll escape. At the end of the day, they’ll turn to civilians and be giving money too and see how painful it is.”