Just like what would be likened to an armed robbery or kidnap operation, seven police officers swope on a citizen while driving his Toyota Camry car in Benin City on the 17th of April, 2019 in a commando style looking fierce and brandishing their guns, they took him behind the state police headquarters wherein they severely tortured him to extract information from him and to also get access to his account details.
They discovered the sum of N337, 000 in his account and demanded to take half of it or he risked being killed. They succeeded in withdrawing the sum of N210, 000 through a POS three times before releasing him.
A private investigator (name withheld) based in Benin through a petition with attached evidence contacted Edo Civil Society Organisations for intervention and to ensure that justice prevails and the culprits brought to book.
This is one among the many worrisome cases we have been receiving from members of the public of the extortionist activities of some police officers in Edo state. It has become a daily occurence as some of these officers no longer bother themselves over their core responsibilities which among others is the protection of lives and property but rather chase after Internet fraudsters or any well dressed young man in town just for the sole purpose of extortion.
Since the report of this operation came to our notice, the policemen involved have been pleading with the suspect and the private investigator for a full refund of the money collected from the suspect so that the case against them can be forgotten. They have equally be using other persons to wade into the matter. They should be advised to go face the investigation and stop running from pillar to post.
It should sounded loud and clearer now that, the civil society have been warning police officers in Edo state to desist from such activities but they have paid deaf ears to the several warnings. As it stands henceforth, any police officers reported to have been involved in the extortion of suspects will be made to face the music without consideration whether they refund the money collected or not.
It has been observed that the level of insecurity in the state is all time high due to the non challant attitude of police officers in responding to calls from members of the public when faced with threat to their lives or property. A new communication channel will be opened between EDOCSO and the Commissioner of Police soon to ensure that any officer caught in the act will be reported to the Commissioner directly which shall further order disciplinary measures of such erring officer.
The seven officers affected in this shall be the first to be told that a new sherrif is in town. Edo state will become uncomfortable for any police officer that thinks the job of policing is to make money. If you know you are not ready for the job you signed into in Edo state, you are gracefully advised to apply for a transfer now. We have had it enough.
Leftist Osazee Edigin
Public Relations Officer
Edo Civil Society Organisations
No. 1, Sokponba Road, (ACB Building)