By Femi Bolaji
Following a report to the Leadership of Methodist Church by some clergymen that they were harassed by the police in Taraba state, the state Police command Saturday said it did not harass clergymen of the religious organization.
Spokesman of the Police Command, DSP David Misal, who spoke at a briefing, however, accused the clergymen of spying on the Police, which he said contravenes the secrecy act.
He explained that the command had earlier received a complaint letter from some persons about the clergymen, which he said led to the command extending an invitation to them.
According to him, “ the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB) sent an invitation letter to the clergymen for interrogation in which they voluntarily without threat or any form of coercion reported to the Police Headquarters.
“But it was unfortunate that on their arrival to the Police Headquarters, they secretly took photographs of the Police Headquarters gate, Criminal Investigation Department (CID), State Intelligence Bureau office (SIB) and other sensitive location within the Police Headquarters and attached it with a written complaint and forwarded it to United Methodist Church Council of Bishops alleging that the Police is been used and paid by Bishop John Wesley Yohana to harass and tortured them.
“It should be noted that the Spying of the Police vicinity contravenes the provision of the official secret act which states that, any person who, for any purpose prejudicial to the security of Nigeria: enters or is in the vicinity of or inspects a protected place; or photographs, sketches or in any other mannerwhatsoever makes a record of the description of, or of anything situated in a protected place commits an offense and liable to punishment.
“The Command considers the complaints of the clergymen as false, misleading, and a deliberate attempt to portray the image of the Police in a bad light, as Police were professional, courteous and civil in handling the case.
“it is pertinent to note that, Bishop John Wesley Yohana did not report any case to the Police neither uses his position to influence the action of the Police against the accused persons as alleged.“