CDHR raises the alarm over Police extortion in Delta

Ben Dunno, Warri

 

Members of the Committee for Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) Udu unit, in Udu Local Government Area of Delta state, have decried the growing rate of police extortion within the locality and called on the state’s Police Commissioner, CP Anthony Ogbizi, to come to their rescue in tackling the situation.

 

Specifically, the body expressed concern over the activities of the Special Operations Squad (SOS) who, it accused of flagrant abuse of human rights, unlawfully arrest and detention as well as extortion from members of the public in the course f carrying out its duties.

 

The body, in a statement signed by its Coordinator, Comrade Derrick Agberen, urged the police commissioner to educate his men more on how to relate with the civil populace, especially when it has to do with complying with the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJA) that guarantied the rights of suspects.

 

According to the statement, “We the members of the above mentioned body wishes to draw your attention to alarming increase in the cases of abuses in police operations, especially as it has to do with the ill mannered and unprofessional attitudes of men operating within and outside this jurisdiction.

 

“We wish to draw your attention the increasing rate of extortion among the junior and senior Police officers, illegal arrest/huge money demands for bail, violation of human rights/assaults by the men of the Nigeria Police on the lives and properties they’re supposed to protect.

 

“The issue of over detention and collection of money while bail is free, depriving suspects to make contacts with their attorneys or family members, brutalising and compelling them to write incriminating/false statements, denying them access to phone call and their lawyer while in detention in violation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.

 

“We want to urge the commissioner of police to kindly tighten the mode of operations by the men of the Nigeria Police Force and also readdress these issues before it gets out of hands”, CDHR stated.

 

‘The newly-constituted SOS team by the Commissioner of Police has made extortion their primary aims of operations. Other units of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) like the SARS, SAKCC, Quick Response Squads that troop in and outside Udu basically for extortion and violation of human rights are not left out.

 

“I also want to urge all various units commanders to regularly embark on the re-orientation of police officers under their supervision in order to ensure they desist from these acts and operates under the ambit of the laws of the Administrative Criminal Justice Act of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

 

“It is in this regard I call on the attention of the Chief Justice of Delta State; Hon. Justice Marshall Umukoro to designate Chief Magistrates/Magistrate the orders to conduct an inspection of the police stations and other places of detention every months as enshrined by the Administrative Criminal Justice Act.”

 

It noted that this monthly routine of going round police stations by Magistrates would go a long way in curbing police brutality and every other unprofessional attitudes of men and officers attached to these police stations across the state.