The Nigeria Police is set to deploy 16 gun boats and 6000 armed police personnel to Bayelsa state waterways and creeks in the bid to tackle sea piracy and criminality in the State.
The Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, Asuquo Amba, who made this known during a call on him by the members of the State Chapter of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) led by the Chairman, Chief Alabo Nengi James, said the policemen have been deployed and undergoing marine training.
According to him, intelligence gathered by the police showed that the Delta and Rivers waterways have recorded relative calm due to a recognised chain of command that has been arrested and their activities stopped.
He disclosed that out of the 16 gun boats being deployed, 14 are expected to be repaired by the state government and three donated by the zonal command of the police.
“The suspected sea pirates in Bayelsa waters are criminals and the police are ready to deal with them. The governor has directed that 14 gun boats be repaired for the operation and three donated by the police high command. And the 6,000 personnel needed are being trained” he said.
On the recent escape of some detainees from the Office of the State Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and the issue of prison congestion, Amba blamed the deplorable state of police detention and the slow judicial processes for the congestion and desperation by detainees to escape.
While noting that the proposal for the construction of a new and secured SARS detention facility and the amendment to improve the judicial process has been submitted, he admitted that the conditions of the detention cells are not too good.
“Most police jails are no good in Bayelsa. And the slow process of the Bayelsa judiciary is not helping matters. It does not allow a prisoner to be brought to court. Out of all the states of the South- south, Bayelsa court process is the slowest. All cases depend on DPP clearance and when the case is cleared, it does not move forward. I have met with the Chief Judge on the matter. I have met with state governor. When police custody is congested, the prisoners become agitated.”
The State Chairman of CLO, Chief Alabo Nengi James in his address commended the Bayelsa Police Command over the recent success recorded in the state.
He noted that though few personnel of the command are doing well,” some few have continually engaged in alleged extortion with demand for bribe before granting bail.