Published On: Wed, Jun 12th, 2024

Activist Raises Alarm Over Alleged Delta Police Extortion In Urhobo Community

Zik Gbemre

LAGS JUNE 12TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Allegation of corruption in the Nigeria Police, Delta State Command, is currently a matter of big concern to a grassroots-based civic group, Niger Delta Peace Coalition (NDPC).

In a recent media statememt the Coordinator of the group, Zik Gbemre, wants the police high command to tame the excesses of the law enforcement agents at the Otu-Jeremi Police Division in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta state.

According to the group, it is imperative for all the relevant authorities to call the police in the area to order, and put a stop to their alleged growing indulgence in extortion of members of the public.

“The police in Otu-Jeremi and its patrol teams are so blinded by the lure of extortion on motorists and commuters in Ughelli South to the point of compromising the protection of critical national assets, particularly oil and gas infrastructure in their sphere of operations.

“This public misconduct was displayed on Saturday, June 8, 2024 in an encounter with Amos Okpobe, a pipeline surveillance supervisor of Unuigho & Sons (owned by David Upaka) on OML 34 assets and military guards partnering on the security with men of the Otu-Jeremi Division.

“At about 8 am on that fateful day, the Otu-Jeremi Police Divisional patrol team checkpoint mounted at Iwhrekan Town near Otu-Jeremi Junction arrested Amos Okpobe and a driver carrying him and a tricycle truck’s driver carrying a small locally made wooden canoe.

“The small wooden canoe was being transported to the Otor-Edo waterside to be used by soldiers and surveillance guards to patrol the riverside of the Otor-Edo pipeline.

“The police arrested the surveillance supervisor, the canoe, and the driver conveying them and took them to the Otu-Jeremi station.

“The police insisted they must be paid N20,000, if not they will not release them with the small wooden canoe. It took the intervention of a DSS operative in Ughelli South before they were released at 4:30 pm”, Gbemre alleged.

The group is insisting that the authorities should call the police in Otu-Jeremi to order, pointing out that police extortion on motorists and tricyclists has increased in recent times in the area.

Adding, the NDPC chief said, “supposing the soldiers attached to Utorogu oil & gas assets in OML 34 reacted to the situation there would have been serious blood issues.

“The Nigeria Police especially men and officers at the Otu-Jeremi Police Division should work according to the law to safeguard the people and not by using their uniforms and guns to be extorting motorists and tricycle riders.

“The DPO should be warned to stay away from harassing motorists and law-abiding citizens. The wooden canoes seized by them are used by soldiers and surveillance guards to protect oil & gas facilities which generate revenue that they use to pay salaries of police officers”, the group said.

Meanwhile, a superior police officer in Asaba, the state capital, told our reporter that the Office of the Commissioner of Police will wade into the matter.

‘NDPC is however committed to fostering, promoting, propagating and projecting ‘sustainable peace’, law and order, equity, social justice in Nigeria, particularly in the polluted oil and gas region”. The statement said.

DayBreak

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