Felix Ikem, Nsukka
The Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Mr Ahmed Abdurahman, has said that the era of police bribing and extorting money from the public is over in the state.
Abdurahman said this on Monday in Nsukka while addressing men and officers of the Nsukka Police Area Command during his familiarisation visit to the Command, warning that his administration would not spare any police officer found guilty of bribery and extortion.
He said he had taken over the Command in the midst of a crime wave of kidnappings, killings and armed robberies, adding that he was determined to first reduce overall crime in the state before embarking on his familiarisation tour.
According to him, “as far as I remain the Commissioner of Police in Enugu State, the era of policemen extorting money from the members of public is over.
“When police extorts money from members of the public, most of them will tell you that the want to take it to their Divisional Police Officer, and the Day DPO will say he wants to take it to the Area Commander down to the Commissioner of Police; those things are not true.
“I don’t demand for money, I never done that and I will not expect anybody to bring envelope for me among my subordinates.
“I am not an ungodly person; such money is unblessed and poisonous. If somebody appreciates you willingly because of excellent way you are doing your work, I am not against it,” he, however, stated.
The Commissioner, who arrived Nsukka Police Area Command at about 6:38 pm, tendered an unreserved apology, saying he first visited Udenu Police Area Command as well as paid a courtesy visit to the Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria Nsukka, Prof. Charles Igwe.
Speaking further on extortion, the Commissioner warned that it “is not part of police job; therefore, I will not tolerate anything that will tarnish my image and the corporate image of the Police Force.”
He called on the civil society organisations to support his campaign to sanitise the police in the state by reporting any policeman seen anywhere extorting money from member of the public.
He expressed appreciation to sister security agencies who have assisted him in bringing to halt the high rate of kidnapping and armed robbery in Enugu State when he assumed office.
In his remark, the Chairman of Police Community Relation Committee (PCRC) in the state, Mr Dom Ezema, said that the successes recorded within the six weeks the Commissioner has been in office has been tremendous.
Ezema, however, urged the Abdurahman to deploy more policemen to Nsukka to protect the area.
Earlier in his remark, the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of the Nsukka Command, Mr Umoru Ozigi, thanked the Commissioner for his visit despite his tight schedules, adding that the Command had been compliant with the Commissioner zero-tolerance policy against bribery and extortion.
Ozigi told the Commissioner that the ban oon motorcycles in Nsukka town from 8 pm to 6 am was to stop criminals who use motorcycles to commit crimes at night.
The occassion of Commissioner Abdurahman’s visit had in attendance traditional rulers, neighbourhood watch members, members of the area PCRC, and other security agents.