*Ensure Roadblock & Extortion-free Xmas: Intersociety to Anambra CP

| December 22, 2012 | 0 Comments

*Ensure Roadblock Extortion-free Xmas: Intersociety to Anambra CP
[ Refer to Intersociety letter to Anambra CP below ] –

Mr. Balla Nassarawa
Commissioner of Police, Anambra State Command
State Command Headquarters
Awka, Anambra State


Re-emergence Of Roadblocks Extortions In Your State Command: A Call For Roadblock Extortion-free Christmas Holiday

1. (Onitsha-Nigeria, 19th day of December 2012)-The leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties the Rule of Law wishes to report that on 30thday of January 2012, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed D. Abubakar, ordered the removal of roughly 3,500 police roadblocks extortion points from Nigerian roads. In the alternative, the IGP directed for the use of motorized patrols and surveillance of the country’s crime–prone spots. The major reason for the removal of the said roadblocks was because of their utter conversion to official criminal activities particularly extortions and extra judicial murders. The ban, which includes that of unapproved checkpoints has not only remained in force throughout the country since end of January 2012, with the exception of designated crime-prone spots manned by officers of the Federal High Patrol teams, but also its effective implementation and sustenance has endeared the IGP to the heart of most Nigerians. Most Nigerians see this feat recorded by IGP Abubakar as the first of its kind in the history of Nigeria Police top headship.

2. But our recent field investigations of Your Command particularly the Onitsha and its environs under the Onitsha Area Command clearly indicate that criminal roadblocks particularly on inter-city roads are back with utter alacrity. What this simply means is that the IGP’s directive is observed in total breach by your Divisional Police Officers criminally working with their subordinates or sometimes in collaboration with their Area Commanders such as in Onitsha and its environs. In other words, the IGP’s order is flouted recklessly and with impunity.

3. Our investigations further indicate that the resurgence of criminal roadblocks or criminal police tollgates in the areas under reference have been on for past months or since August 2012. It has grown from partial to permanent. For instance, we went to those areas in July, August, September, October, November and early December 2012. Partial criminal roadblocks were met in August and September 2012. But between October and early December 2012, the official criminal activities were in full force especially in Onitsha and its environs.

4. Statistics: Under the Fegge Divisional Command, roadblocks were mounted on Niger Street by Creek Road, Niger Street by Zik’s Avenue and Niger Street by Ose-Ogbe Ijaw Market (three places). Our visiting date was Saturday, 15th day of December 2012 at about 10:21am to 10:25am. Still under the Fegge Division of the NPF, roadblocks with associated extortionist activities were mounted on Creek Road Roundabout (10:32am), Port Harcourt Road by Miss Elems Street Junction (10:47am), Port Harcourt Road by Fegge Housing Estate (10:43am) and Port Harcourt Road by St Jude Cath. Parish Junction. Date was 15-12-2012. On 18thDecember 2012, our field team saw officers of the Fegge Division at Agofere Motor Park /Onitsha-Asaba Dual Carriage Way by Fegge Housing Estate and under the Onitsha Upper Iweka Flyover.

5. Under Okpoko Divisional Command: Our field team saw the extortionist police officers at Aba Park/Obodoukwu Road by Zenith Bank at Onitsha Upper Iweka, Upper Iweka Flyover(top) at Onitsha Upper Iweka, Obodoukwu Road by Nwaobi Hospital, Obodoukwu Road by Onitsha Holiday Resort Hotel Bypass, Ede Road by St. Luanga Cath. Church, Okpoko Police Station frontage, Obodoukwu Road by Ede Road Junction, Ogbuagu Road by Obodoukwu(usually in mufti looking for those carrying wares and foodstuffs) and former Mic-Mera Park by Ogbaru Relief Market (usually uniformed and plain clothed). Dates were 12-12-2012 and 17-12-2012. It has also been reported to us that the SARS operatives attached to Okpoko Police Station carry out evening and early morning mass raids at Moubike Street, Okpoko and its environs whereby those arrested are made to cough out sums ranging from N5, 000 to N20, 000 as bail fees.

6. Under Awada Police Station: Our field team sighted extortionist officers of same at Oraifite Street by Mgbemene Street, Oraifite Street by Burial Ground or Old Awada Cemetery and Oraifite Street by Ezeiweka Road. Dates were 15-12-2012 and 18-12-2012.

7. Under Onitsha Area Command, Inland Town Police Station Central Police Station: Our team saw their extortionist officers at Ridge Road by the PHCN Office Junction, Old Enugu Road by Onitsha Library Junction and Nkisi Road by “33” Nsugbe Road. Date was 18-12-2012. The extortionist activities under reference are not restricted to the areas complained of. Cases of such have also been reported to us from other parts of the State, but they are worse in Onitsha and environs.

Criminal Activities Of The Officers: Their activities at the said roadblocks are solely extortionist: demand and collection of illegal tolls mostly from Okada riders, tricycle drivers and ware-truck drivers conveying wares and passengers. Where the wares’ couriers delayed or refused to be extorted, their wares are instantly impounded and dumped at Police Stations from where their owners alongside their wares are summarily detained and made to bail themselves and their wares. The motorized and surveillance patrols ordered by the IGP are not in any way being complied with particularly in the areas aforementioned.


We urge you to wire as a matter of uttermost urgency all your Area Commanders, Divisional Police Officers and District Officers in the State Command with a view to compelling them to stick to the IGP’s directive inexcusably especially during this crucial Christmas holiday. We also urge you to ensure roadblock and extortion-free as well as street-crime free Christmas holiday in Anambra State. Undue harassment and molestation of the Christmas returnees by way of “wey your papers” or“wetin you carry”, or “from where to where”, designed criminally to extort or criminalize the hitch-free Christmas journey of the Xmas returnees, should be totally banned by your Command.

Sir, failure on your part to put an end to this hydra-headed monster so exposed with its related sharp practices expressly means that “the IGP, the President and the world must hear it” , which also means that feathers will be ruffled.

For: Intersociety-Nigeria
Emeka Umeagbalasi
Chairman, Board of Trustees
Phone: +234(0) 8033601078, +234(0) 8180103912
Email: info@intersociety-ng.org

Comrade Justus Ijeoma
Head, Publicity Desk
Phone: +234(0) 8037114869


Onitsha Area Commander, Onitsha Area Command
Divisional Police Officer, Fegge Police Station
Divisional Police Officer, Central Police Station, Onitsha
Divisional Police Officer, Okpoko Police Station
Divisional Police Officer, Awada Police Station

Photo Above: Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Intersociety, 41, Miss Elems Street, Fegge, Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria.

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