Petroleum tanker drivers and some indigenes of Omadino Community, Warri South local government area of Delta state have raised alarm over what they called intimidation, extortion and corrupt practices by the Delta state commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, (NSCDC), Beatrice Irabo.
Narrating their ordeal in the hands of the commandant and her men to 247ureports.com, a tanker driver who simply identified himself as Hassan, said it has become a routine extortion for the armed officials of the Delta state NSCDC command to impound trunks and collect between N150, 000 and N200, 000 per a trunk as the case may be.
“We normally load petroleum products from Warri and Bayelsa to Asaba, Delta and Anambra states and its environs. But whenever we approach Ogwashi-Uku, Ibusa and Asaba, members of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in Delta state command will chase us with their van and impound our trunks with intimidation and accusations of illegal bunkering. After much argument and explanations, they will thereafter carry us on their vehicle straight to their office where we will meet with the woman commandant.
“After much argument and explanations again, the commandant will instruct her men not to release our trunks until after the payment of N150, 000 each and at times N200, 000 before we will be released to go. Those who refused to bribe are taken with their trunks to the command detention facilities at Ezenei Avenue in Asaba where they will be luck up pending when they will pay and release. They are not interested in charging anyone to court but enjoy collecting bribes”, Hassan alleged.
Also speaking with our reporter, another trunk driver who simply identified himself as Musa, disclosed that there is no week armed men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in Delta state command will not impound up to five to six trunks in Asaba and each trunk is made to pay N150, 000 or N200, 000 before its released.
“If you do use the Igbusa/Asaba road very well, anytime you are passing, you will notice that over four tankers are impounded along this road mostly in the morning between the hours of 11am and 4pm. Once your trunk is impounded you must pay N150, 000 to bail it. There was a day one of our colleagues was made to pay N250, 000 after spending over three hours reason that he was disturb to comply. The intimidation, extortion and corruption is on the high increase in that very command”, Musa lamented.
The trunk drivers however called on the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu, to as a matter of urgency, checkmate the extortion and corrupt practices of the Delta state commandant of the NSCDC, Beatrice Irabo and her men and redeploy her immediately.
Meanwhile, some indigenes of Omadino community, Warri South local government area of Delta state also accused the Delta state commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, (NSCDC), Beatrice Irabo of extortion and corruption.
Speaking with our reporter on behalf of other indigenes of Omadino, an indigene who identified herself as Toju, accused the Delta state commandant of the NSCDC of extortion and corruption. She alleged that the commandant was demanding a bribe of N250, 000 before releasing on bail seven of their kinsmen illegally arrested over three weeks ago by the command over alleged oil bunkering.
“All effort by our lawyers led by the chairman of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Asaba branch to release our brothers on bail is was frustrated by the command that we must give them bribe and till now they have refused to release them unless we yield to the command bribe demand”, Toju stated.
“For the past three weeks this persons were arrested and kept in their cell, they refused to charge them to court or grant them bail. As we talk we have meant all the bail conditions and the form signed but the last officers to sign, who may be acting a script has vehemently refused to sign unless we grease his palms. He told us we must grease his palms as we greased the palms of his colleagues who have signed the bail form. What a corrupt place”, a source told our reporter.
All efforts to speak with the Delta state commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, (NSCDC), Beatrice Irabo in her office on the issue proved abortive as she continue to rebuff all attempt made, instructing her aide during the several attempts to inform our correspondent that she is a busy woman and does not have anything to discuss with any Journalist.
As at the time filing this story those arrested have been granted bail.