The people of Ogbe-Osadi community in Okpanam, Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State, have raised the alarm over alleged destruction of their properties by operatives of the Inspector General of Police (IGP’s) Special Tactical Squad (STS).
Besides, they alleged that operatives of the STS were constantly intimidating and harassing residents of the area as a result of disagreement over membership of the community’s land committee.
In a petition by O.O. Noren, Esq., of Madubueze Partners (Attorneys and Solicitors), and on behalf of Friday Okolo and Onochie Nwanze, urged the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar to call men of the STS led by Kolo Yusuf and Sunday Aliyu to order.
The petition alleged that the operatives allegedly went out of their way in violation of a court order to arrest and dump Okolo and Nwanze in the police cell at A Division in Asaba, in a bid to act a script written by their sponsors.
It explained that in 2009, Okolo and Nwanze and other prominent community indigenes were appointed members of Ogbe-Osadi land committee, adding however that in 2013, some disgruntled elements made baseless allegations against the committee, resulting in the adoption of a consent judgement to placate all the parties.
It stated that the said mutual agreement was allegedly violated as one Mora was appointed as land recovery contractor which was not initially provided for in the terms of agreement.
According to the petition, there was a counter position, but the said Mora is allegedly engaging the STS “to damage and destroy properties of legitimate land owners in Ogbe-Osadi community. ”
As a result, the petitioners added that as law abiding citizens, they approached the court which directed that all parties should maintain status quo pending the hearing of the matter on November 13, 2019.
But the court order, it insisted, was also violated as operatives of the STS allegedly went about harassing, intimidating and arresting those opposed to the acts of demolition of properties in the area.
It stated that the arrest assumed a frightening dimension on November 1 when the operatives stormed the houses of their clients, “arrest them, and dumped them at A Division Police cell, Asaba for over a week without telling them, either the offense they committed or charging them to court.”
While urging the IGP to use his good offices to stop operatives of the STS from the alleged unlawful actions, it maintained that such acts were tarnishing the image of the police force.