From Ben Dunno, Warri
Foremost Rights group, Committee for Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), has called on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Alkali Baba Usman, to order the immediate arrest and prosecution of Police Superintendent Esther Jacob Peter, currently serving under Rivers state Police Command, for allegedly defrauding a business woman of the sum of Thirteen Million naira (13m) for a property.
Making the call in a petition addressed to the IGP, dated Thursday, May 19, 2022 and signed by its national President, Comrade (Dr.) Kehinde Taiga, a copy of which was made available to newsmen in Warri, the body expressed concern over the inability of the Rivers state Police Commissioner, CP Friday Eboka, to act on the matter when it was reported to him early this year.
But in a swift reaction to the allegation, the Rivers state Police Commissioner, CP Eboka, confirmed that he had conducted a thorough investigation into the matter when it was brought before him and a case of fraud had been established against the serving officer, Supol Esther Peter, to which he had written his report and sent to Force Headquarters in Abuja for further action.
In the petition titled; ‘Call For Investigation And Immediate Arrest Of Supol Esther Jacob Peter, On A Case of Fraud, Threat To Life And Conduct Likely To Cause Breach Of Public Peace’, the rights group, expressed concern over the safety of the victim, Mrs. Maureen Ovie, a business woman, resident in Port Harcourt, who had been constantly threatened by the officer for demanding refund of her money.
According to the petition; “On the February 5, 2021, the victim, Mrs. Maureen Ovie received a call from one Mr. Aladije Oladipo, an Estate agent who informed her of the availability of a 3-bedroom flat bungalow located within the premises of Federal Housing Estate at the cost of Thirty Eight Million naira (N38m), claiming that the property is owned by Supol Esther Jacob Peter, serving with the Rivers state Police Command”.
Continuing; “Mrs. Maureen Ovie, being a business woman developed interest in buying the said property and committed the sum of Thirteen Million naira (N13m) with the agreement to balance the remaining Twenty Five Million naira (25M) within a shortest possible time.”
“It was after making the initial commitment to Supol Esther, that the victim applied to the Federal Ministry of Land and Survey for the search on the true ownership of the said property and the response from the Ministry showed that the police officer is not the owner of the said property and not in any way related to the owner”.
“The search carried out by the ministry of land and survey officials contacted by the victim also revealed that the litigation over the real ownership of the same property is still pending before the Appeal court in Rivers state”.
“Having realised all these, the victim approached Supol Esther for the refund of her N13m initial deposit but rather than refunding the cash, the serving police officer had issued series of threats to the victim inorder to intimidate her to forget the money.
“The above case of fraud was reported to the Commissioner of Police Rivers state Command, CP Friday Eboka, but no action was taken by him rather the said Supol Esther kept threatening the victim with her connection and position as police officer”.
We felt that the Commissioner of Police has been bought over by the said Supol Esther having refused to investigate such criminal offence committed by a serving police officer under his Command”, the petition alleged.
However responding in a telephone conversations today, CP Eboka, described the allegations as false, baseless and reckless on the part of the CDHR, insisting that the matter had been thoroughly investigated when the case was brought before him and the serving police officer, Supol Esther was found wanting.
According to him; “I have written my report concerning ths case and sent a copy to the Force headquarters, Abuja, for the erring officer to be suspended so she can be charged to court”.
“We are talking about a serving senior police officer here and there are procedures that must be followed before she can be taking to court”.
“If it were to be a police sergeant or Inspector, I could have enforced disciplinary action but since we are talking about a Superintendent, then it must be referred to Abuja for next line of action and once Abuja suspended her, then she can be charged to court over the matter”, he stated.