By Eric Ugbor
ABAâ€”In a determined effort to stamp out corruption among policemen at check points in Abia state, theÂ monitoring team set up by the new state Commissioner of Police, Mr J. Johnson, weekend arrested some mobile policemen for extorting money from motorists.
Due to upsurge in violent crime in Aba, particularly kidnapping, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ogbonna Onovo, at the request of the state government, drafted more mobile policemen to beef up security in the city.
This has instead increased the hardship and pains the commuting public go through in the area owing to equally increased activities of policemen at the checkpoint, who now demand more money from the motorists.
As a result of the development, transport fares in the affected areas have been hiked. Commercial bus drivers now charge N50 against N30 on the Water-Side/Opobo Junction route.
Some drivers who spoke on the development , said the increment was to beef up their returns, which they claimed had been adversely affected by police extortion. They also claimed that the police forcefully collect N160 from a 14- seater bus per trip for a distance of less than one kilometer.
However, to checkmate the excesses of his men, the state police boss inaugurated a monitoring team, who weekend swooped on policemen at one of the checkpoints, close to Grail Centre on Opobo road, Ogbor hill.
During a search on them, several N20 notes suspected to have been extorted from motorists, were found on them. They were arrested.
Some residents who spoke on police extortion in the city, expressed displeasure over what they said has now become a culture.
A resident who, who pleaded anonymity said, â€œmobile policemen manning the roads now place much emphasis on collecting N20 from motorists rather than live up to their responsibly of providing security to the peopleâ€.