Imo : Police Parades Joint Security Surveillance Team Involved In Armed Robbery



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By Joshua Chibuzo Andrew, Owerri

The Police Commissioner, Imo State, Ahmed Muhammed Barde has said that officers involved in extorting members of the public are not different from armed robbers and should be “severely” dealt with according to the stipulations of the law.

This was as he reiterated his commitment to rid the command of bad eggs among them in line with the directives of the Acting Inspector-General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun.

Imo CP stated this while parading a 6-man team of ‘Search and Flush’, a security surveillance team arrested over allegations of extortion on Tuesday at Command’s headquarters, Owerri.

According to him, “when officers who are equipped with ammunition to protect the lives of the people now turn around to use same to harass, intimidate and extort from them, they are not different from armed robbers.”

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He disclosed that the arrested security personnel comprised an Inspector of Police, two Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC officials and three Nigeria Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, NDLEA.

Barde further availed that the alleged culprits were arrested following a petition sent to his office that the team extorted the sum of N360,000 from a member of the public.

The Imo CP said with the arrest of the men, “the Police would commence an investigation into the matter and subject those found guilty to orderly room trial.”

The Police boss regretted that incidences of extortion by ‘Stop and Search’s teams has persisted in the state despite stern warnings.

CP Barde urged Imo residents to promptly report incidences of extortion or any officer acting contrary to the professional ethics of the Force via the Command’s emergency number, 08034773600 or 08098880197 for necessary action.

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Speaking to newsmen shortly after the parade, one of the petitioners, Mr Obiji Chidera said his junior brothers handset was searched by the 6-man team who on finding Bitcoins in his account traded it and transferred the sum of N360,000 to themselves through a POS operator.

Also, another victim who pleaded anonymity alleged he was extorted of the sum of over N900,000 after his phone was search and N2 million found in his account.

Other victims who were present at the Police Command narrated that the surveillance team subjected them to intimidation, beatings and threats once they discover large sums of money in their individusl bank account while searching their phones.

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