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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Police Turns Old Aba – Umuahia Highway To Toll Collection Centre



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Contrary to the directive of the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar dismantling all checkpoints, policemen from the Eastern Division, Federal Highway Police and Zone 9 Umuahia have converted the old Aba – Umuahia highway to a place where they extort money from motorists, most times at gunpoint.

A visit to the road revealed that there are more than 10 police roadblocks between Osusu Amaukwa village and Amuzu Ohanze, a distance of one kilometre.

According to a motorist who plies the road to Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom state because of the dilapidated nature of the Aba- Ikot Ekpene highway lamented that it has now become compulsory for bus drivers to stop at the police checkpoints and pay N100.

“We are tired of these extortions by policemen. From Osusu to Umuobiakwa, you have up to 11 checkpoints, the money we are paying is affecting us badly. Even if your vehicle papers are okay, you must pay N100 on each trip. The regular police from Eastern Ngwa collects N50 while the Federal Highway Police and Zone 9 police collects N100. Then when you get to the Anti-Terrorist Police at Eastern Ngwa, you also pay another N100. Any bus driver that fails to pay would be delayed. If you want to resist them, your passengers will start shouting at you to pay and save their time. We are calling on the IG to do something about this because the police has taken this a right.”

247ureports.com investigations further revealed that the most notorious among the police teams are men of the zone 9 who uses a Prado jeep with Registration number NPF 8008 C.

A resident of Osusu area who pleaded anonymity told our reporters that they usually station to the Prado jeep to give a hot chase to any driver who refuses to stop and pay the N100 fee. He recalled a particular incident of a bus driver who pleaded with the Zone 9 police team to allow him get to the motor park and drop passengers but was given a hot chase which nearly led to loss of lives of passengers and other road users as the driver lost control and swerved into the bus.

“Instead of the driver of the police jeep to show sympathy when he caught up with bus driver and the passengers shouting on top of their voices, he pretended as if he was not the cause of the accident and ordered the bus driver to reverse his vehicle to the checkpoint. God has been saving people on this road with the way they chase bus drivers with the jeep,” he said.

A civil servant with Ministry of Sports, Umuahia who gave his name as Emma and plies the road to work daily lamented the attitude of the policemen on the old Aba-Umuahia highway who blocked the road in defiance of the IGP’s order.

“I don’t think this is the way police work is done in other countries. How can a policeman risk his life stand at the middle of the highway? What if he gets knock down by a vehicle? Their only interest is to block the road to collect money from motorists, it is unfair. There are better method methods of checking crime than this blocking of roads in the name of policing.”

Efforts by our reporter to get the reaction of the reaction of the Abia state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Geoffrey Ogbonna proved abortive as his mobile number kept ringing without response as at the time of filing this report.

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