Three policemen, working with the Enugu State Police Command, who allegedly arrested a passenger, Nnanemere Valentine Chidi, for being in possession of a laptop and then demanded N500,000, are going to face Orderly Room Trial and likely get dismissed from the force.
The Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Urban Patrol, Enugu Police Command, Mr. Oko Emmanuel, disclosed this yesterday.
Emmanuel had on Monday expressed shock over the behaviour of the three policemen and had compelled them to refund the money collected from Nnanemere.
The OC had also promised to handle the matter professionally. The first part of the handling was the arrest of the policemen and refund of the money. The policemen were fished out by Emmanuel.
The policemen refunded Nnanemere’s money and added an additional N10,000 to make the total money sent to him N40,000.
The second part of Emmanuel’s promise was to ensure that the policemen go through an Orderly Room Trial.
The problem right now is that Nnanemere appears to be backing out of the fight, stating that he was too busy to come to Enugu State from Abuja, to give evidence against the policemen.
The acting Programme Director of Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC), a non-profit human rights advocacy organisation, Peter Nkanga, said: “The OC promised to try the erring officers in departmental Orderly Room Trial. He called and asked the victim when he could come to Enugu State to appear as witness at the Orderly Room Trial. The victim said he would be unable to come to Enugu for the trial.
“I called the victim and he confirmed what the OC said. He said that his work schedule would not permit him to travel so soon after he returned to Abuja. Moreover, he seems satisfied being refunded. The OC assured me of his determination to try the officers; the penalty being dismissal. He, however, said that it would be effort in futility proceeding if the victim couldn’t attend to give evidence.”
Emmanuel, however, vowed to take steps to ensure that such criminal and predatory practices by police officers under him wouldn’t continue.
“I think the OC, having fulfilled his first commitment, to recover the bribe extorted, and having demonstrated determination to fulfil the second, but for the victim’s unavailability, deserve our commendation,” said Nkanga.
Nnanemere was travelling in a Toyota Sienna from Anambra State, along with other passengers, heading to Abuja, when the three policemen flagged down their vehicle. When they saw that Nnanemere had a laptop with him, they accused him of being a cyber-fraudster. They took him to their station and demanded N500,000 in order to allow him go. After negotiation, they accepted N30,000. They marched him to a UBA bank, where he collected the money and handed it over to them.
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