A coalition of human rights groups in Anambra has urged the state Commissioner of Police, Mr John Abang, to fish out and sanction corrupt officers and men in the command to shower up the image of force.
Mr Dede Uzor, Chairman of the group, Human Right, Liberty Access and Peace Defenders Foundation (HURIDE), made the call at a news conference in Awka on Saturday.
Uzor alleged that some policemen across the major cities of the state and the hinterland were engaged in extorting money from motorists and tricycle operators.
“Policemen contribute greater percentage to the daily traffic gridlock in the state; for instance, along Enugu-Onitsha expressway, Onitsha Bridgehead, Zik’s Roundabout and Niger Street via Main Market.
“Other areas includes Upper Iweka flyover, Onitsha-Owerri road by Methological Institute, Owerri road by Aba Park opposite New Tarzan Motors, Oba old road near Igwe’s palace and Onitsha- Obosi bypass, among others.
“This is done conspicuously because they are bent on extorting money from motorists and tricycle operators,” he said
Uzor urged the police commissioner to do something drastic as he did in arresting those who were extorting money under the Niger Bridge.
He said this would serve as a deterrent to other corrupt officers and save the “battered image” of the police.
The group appealed to the commissioner to also streamline the uniforms worn by his men at various check points, saying that there were about seven different uniforms policemen wore in the state.
“This does not portray a good image of the police and we want to have a police we can all be proud of,” he said .
HURIDE chairman also commended the Inspector-General of Police (IG), the commissioner and the Anambra Government for organising the Police Public Relations Officers’ Conference in the state.
Uzor lauded the IG for his commitment to redeeming the image of the Nigerian police force through community policing.
Reacting, the state Police Public Relation Officer, Mr Haruna Mohammed, said that any policeman caught in any sharp practice would be sanctioned in accordance with police regulations and public service rules .