BY CHIDI NKWOPARA
OWERRI—IMO State Police Command has arrested its personnel for extorting money from motorists on the highway.
The Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr. Andrew Enwerem, came on the heels of raging complaints from motorists over the level of extortion being experienced in the state since the command reintroduced stop and search operation.
“The command has received a number of complaints from motorists that the stop and search operation had turned to extortion centres. I must also confirm that the special team set up by the Commissioner of Police to monitor what our men do on the road, arrested some policemen for varying offences,” Enwerem said.
While noting that those picked up by the CP’s special team were currently explaining their acts to the Command, the PPRO also appealed to motorists to report all acts of extortion to his office for commensurate action.
“The rules governing stop and search operations are very clear and any policeman who goes out to do what he likes on the road is definitely on his own,” Enwerem warned.
Some motorists who spoke to Vanguard in Owerri, expressed serious concern that most of the policemen on the roads were no longer interested in truly finding out the identities of the passengers or the goods being ferried by vehicles.
Their anger boiled over as soldiers who station themselves close to Capitol Hotel, along Owerri-Okigwe highway, have joined the team of extortionists on Imo roads.
Vanguard investigations also revealed that at the World Bank Housing Estate, Owerri, the policemen extort money from motorists who avoid the bad spots close to Ideal Hotel roundabout.