Ben Dunno, Warri
The Committee For Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) Delta state branch has demanded the immediate removal of the Commissioner of Police, CP Anthony Mike Ogbizi, over alleged operational ineptitude and gross violation of human rights in handling cases.
This demand by the members of Delta CDHR was parts of the resolution reached at its general meeting held in Warri during the weekend after a thorough appraisal of human rights violation reports by the police from its field agents and coordinators across the state.
The body has urged the Ag. Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu, and Police Service Commission (PSC) to act promptly on their request to redeploy CP Ogbizi, before the present situation of right abuses degenerates further in the state.
However, in a swift reaction to the allegations, the Commissioner of Police, Delta State Command, CP Anthony Mike Ogbizi, has dismissed the CDHR allegations as false and baseless, stating that no amount of wrong accusations can deter him from carrying out his duties to protect law and order.
Delta CDHR Chairman, Comrade (Dr) Prince Kehinde Taiga, who read the Communiqué issued to newsmen, noted that the call for CP Ogbizi removal had become inevitable after series of failed attempts to call him to order in the way and manner citizens rights have been abused across the state.
According to the statement:
“Since the appointment of the CP, Delta State has witness astronomical increase in illegal arrest of innocent people, over detention in cell, disrespect to the rule of law and bribery within the police command”.
“The CP with the view of fighting crimes in the state had introduced Special Operation Squad (SOS) but our investigations has revealed that rather than fighting crimes, the CP is using this special squad to harass, intimidate and arrest many innocent young Nigerians who drives good cars in some major towns and cities in the state.”
“It is now a common knowledge that the modus operandi of the members of the SOS unit usually led by a Police Superintendent appointed by the CP, is to patrol major roads in search of these young men in flashy cars and once they are able to get them, they threatened them with detention till they would cough out huge amount of money to bail themselve.”
Citing cases of the extortions in Udu, Ughelli, Enerhen, Ekpan and Okumagba Avenue areas, where suspects were forced to part ways with monies by members of the SOS unit directly under the control of the CP, CDHR noted that they have payment transaction evidence to prove their cases of extortion.
On the allegation of operational incompetence, CDHR alleged that CP Ogbizi has changed 55 percent of DPOs who were in the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) to Superintendents, an action that positions his loyal officers to handle sensitive areas within the Command in order to protect his interests.
But in his response to the issues raised against him, CP Anthony Mike Ogbizi stated that he remains unruffled by the CDHR allegations as he would not compromise his professionalism in effective policing to wrong accusations by individuals or groups seeking undue relevance.
CDHR made its appeal to the Ag. IGP Mohammed Adamu and Police Service Commission (PSC) to act on its request within 7 days, threatening to embark on a mass protest in the state if the request to redeploy CP Ogbizi was not addressed within the next one week.