From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, Ben Okolo has issued a strong warning to Police Officers of the Bayelsa State Command against any form of extortion in the state.
CP Okolo’s warning stems from several complaints of alleged extortion by Policemen during stop and search operations in the state.
Findings indicated that some Policemen allegedly capitalizing on a purported directive that tricycle operators should cease operations by 10.30pm have turned stop and search operation into a money making venture fleecing tricycle operators of thousands of naira.
The publisher of Niger Delta Herald, Mr Francis Dudfa complained in a of being a victim of Police extortion as the driver of the tricycle he hired had to cough out N5000 to Policemen at Ekeki Police Station.
Dugfa asked the Bayelsa State Command to clarify the issue of the said directive of the Commissioner of Police because “some unscrupulous Police officers have capitalised on the said directive to apprehend, impound, intimidate, and harass peaceful law- abiding citizens in the state as a guise to extort money from innocent citizens”
The Police Public Relations Officer(PPRO), Mr Asinim Butwats in a reply to enquires on a purported directive that tricycle operators should cease operations by 10.30pm said the Commissioner of Police has warned against such unprofessional acts.
Butswat who clarified that CP Ben Okolo did not issue such directive asked the people to report any erring officer to the Command.
“The Commissioner of Police has issued a strong warning to Police Officers to desist from such unprofessional conduct. Kindly report the conduct of any erring officer next time,” he said.