Residents of Aba, Abia State have accused some policemen said to have been sacked by police authorities for various offences of extortion.
Some of the residents who spoke under anonymity alleged that before the COVID-19 pandemic, the dismissed policemen were operating in areas like Omuma, Uratta, Amaukwu roads and Ogbor-Hill suburbs where motorcyclist still ply for commercial purposes.
“However, the Coronavirus lockdown of the state provided huge swindling opportunities for these people as they move out in rented vehicles, pretending to be police officers working in collaboration with Abia Covid-19 Task Force.
“They were even impounding vehicles recklessly without genuine course and extorting from the owners, claiming to be members of Abia State COVID-19 Task Force team,” said a victim who wouldn’t want his name in print.
Investigations revealed that over six of the dismissed policemen
operate from the Aba area command headquarters and the Central Police Station (CPS) Aba where they are alleged to be occupying their official quarters still.
Police inside source revealed that some of the policemen who engage in the nefarious activities were dismissed from the police about three or five years ago.
Further investigation reveal that the dismissed policemen normally receive the support of some senior officers who provide them with work tools such as handcuffs, combats, police T-shirts and teargas to carry out their illegal duties and at the end of the day, they return to settle the officers.
“What these dismissed policemen and their collaborating officers are doing, is causing serious harm to police image in Abia,” a source said.
When contacted by journalists, Abia Commissioner of Police, Janet Agbede said she was new in the state and not aware of the development.