The Committee for Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) has raised fresh alarm over the alarming increase in cases of police extortions in Delta state and called for an urgent measure in bringing the situation under control before it escalates to another #EndSARS protest.
Lamenting upsurge in cases of police extortions and brutality in parts of Delta state, particularly in Abraka, Ebrumede, Udu, Sapele as well as Warri and environs, CDHR Ag. national president, Comrade Prince Kehinde Taiga, urged Delta state government to immediately lift the COVID-19 curfew, as it had become an avenue for police extortion in the state.
He recounted the ordeal of seven victims arrested by policemen attached to Abraka Division, Ethiope West council area, last Friday over late hour movement and made to cough out the sum of two hundred thousand naira (N200,000) for driving within the university community.
According to him: “The policemen in the state seem to have forgotten in a hurry the sad experience of the last EndSARS protest which almost crippled the nation’s economy started from Ughelli in Delta state and they have started again with some of the atrocities that led to the protest.
“How does one explain a situation where a police division operating in a very sensitive university environment like Abraka claimed they arrested suspects, mostly students for late hours movement and extorted N200,000 from them after they had beaten and locked them up in cell throughout the night.
This is not the first time we are getting negative cases of extortions and rights abuses from Abraka division and we have made several reports to the DPO and police commissioner, CP Ari Muhammed Ali, on these issues personally and officially but nothing has been done to correct this abuses and violations by the police.
“Apart from Abraka, we have also noted the atrocities being perpetrated by policemen at Ebrumede division, Udu, Sapele and within Warri metropolis and its environs, and we are still appealing to the Delta state police commissioner to call his men in these places to order before the situation goes out of control regarding police extortions.
“We also wish to use this medium to appeal to the judiciary, especially the magistrates in the various local government area customary courts in the state to live up to their billings in the administration of criminal justice system as we have it on good authority that the cells of some police stations, particularly Abraka are filled with innocent people who are being detained for no just cause or charged to court”.
If they have been doing this, the situation would not have degenerated to this level. It would have checked the growing cases of police extortions, indiscrimate arrest and detention in the society.”