Monday, 21 April 2014

Open Letter: Request For Removal Of The DPO Of Egbema Police Station In Imo State

The Inspector General of Police,
The Nigerian Police,
Force Headquarters
Louis Edet House
A  Call For The Removal Of The DPO Of Egbema Police Station In Imo State
The Youths Against Human Rights And Corrupt Practices (YAHVCP ) is demanding for the removal of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the Egbema Police Station  CSP   Egbo from Egbema.  Egbema is in  Ohaji/Egbema LGA  in Imo State of  Nigeria.  Egbo is notorious for raiding junctions, streets, compounds, shops, businesses and markets in Egbema for  indiscriminate arrest and illegal detention of Egbema youths in order to forcefully extort money from them. At least 50 youths are arrested daily in Egbema by the DPO and his men and detained in the station in the community. Any of the captives whose parents or friends are able to pay some outrageous amount of money, in most cases as high as N30,000, are released, while those that cannot bail themselves out usually find their way to prison on false criminal charges.
The residents of the community  have petitioned the police authorities in the community and at Owerri State command for an immediate end to illegal police raids and extortions several times, to no avail. YAHVCP  members have campaigned  against this police brutality in Egbema to no avail. Since Egbo came in  as Egbema police boss the serene atmosphere in the 13 communities in  Egbema   has been shattered with an upsurge in cult related killings that have turned the once lovely communities  into a theatre of war. According to our exclusive investigation the cultists spreading across different types now kill, maim and destroy at will. Over 30  young men have been cut down in their prime including a young man known as Mento from Umuorji-Egbema.Deaths have been reported in Abacheke, Obiakpu, Mgbara, Etekwuru and Umuorji.
The brazen extortion of motorists and okada riders by the police under Egbo  at check points near  Mmahu   is a daily fact. The National Cordinator of YAHVCP Mr Kenneth Uwadi  was once humiliated when he was stopped at one of the check points and was asked to pay 5000 as bribe for his driving license which expired just for a day and when he refused  one of the  policemen barked  at him  and threatened  to hit him, shouting ” You may report us  to the commissioner of police or to  Governor  Okorocha, we  don’t care… get out! Stupid -man. I can shoot you now”.
There is widespread public resentment  and loss of trust  in Egbo .  YAHVCP  is also  not happy with the harassment ,intimidation ,false and malicious prosecution of the Ezeali of Enyi village Chief Vitus U . Nwokeukwu  by  CSP Egbo.  Chief Nwokeukwu ,79 years old, was falsely accused by his kinsman Mr Celestine Aligbua who reported that  Nwokeukwu called him on phone threatening his life. CSP Egbo did not investigate the matter but detained the  79 years old chief  without food nor water in a dark police cell for 18 hours. He  was not allow to call his  wife. His  phone was confiscated, his  pairs of leather slippers were confiscated and his recommended glasses. After detaining  him for eighteen hours and asking for a bail fee of 30,000  which the Chief could only afford  5000 naira .He was charged to court without police investigation of even MTN call log.
Chief Nwokeukwu thought the 30,000 naira bail fee was a rude joke. Those who came to bail him went and complained to the DPO  CSP  Egbo but to their  chagrin, the DPO told them that ‘bail is not free’ . Since Chief Nwokeukwu  could not afford  30,000 naira bail money  a corporal at the counter ordered him to take off his  shirt , Incredible! He shouted. He was woken up from his  slumber when a junior officer shoved him  and marched him  into the dark cell, laughing at his  skinny chest and taunting him  that he  do not even have a potbelly with his  status as a Chief/Ezeali. Saying,” Even Joseph went to the prison too,” and telling him  to take heart .
YAHVCP is shock at the level of corruption and abuse of citizens’ rights by a senior officer of the level of a DPO. We are saying that CSP Egbo  is definitely the bad influence on other junior personnel under him. That a DPO could say openly that ‘bail is not free’ and descends to the level of assaulting and denying an innocent suspect bail because his relatives refused to offer bribe tells so much of the character of the officer. He is definitely one of the officers in the police that constitute a bad example to the rank and file and who gives the police a bad image. There is no doubt that such a DPO does not deserve to spend one more day in Egbema.YAHVCP is calling for his removal as DPO of Egbema police station.
Kenneth Uwadi
National Coordinator

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