By David Odama – Lafia
Three suspects held by the Nasarawa State Police Command on allegation of kidnapping have accused the command of demanding N35 million to secure their released and freedom
This is even as the Nasarawa police command has said it will not succumb to intimadation from any quarters as it has remained resolute to stamp out crimes and criminality in Nasarawa.
The three suspects, Alhaji Bawa Adamu, Abdullahi Adamu, and Ibrahim Bawa who said they were arrested on April 15, 2021, by the police following information by two police informants, Kire Iki and Dere Dono, that they were involved in kidnapping activities alleged that the police have been forcing them to admit to the crime besides payment of N35 million for their release.
In a petition dated June 9, 2021, to both President Muhammadu Buhari and the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali, the two brothers being detained by the state police command, denied involvement in the crime just as they appealed for transfer of the case out of Nasarawa for a thorough investigation.
But in a swift response to the allegation,the state police commissioner, Bola Longe dismissed the allegation, saying the command cannot be associated with the allegation given its disposition to zero tolerance for corruption.
Claiming that they were innocent of the crime they were being detained for, the trio who said a total of 17 persons were picked up by the police in connection with the allegation alongside them, alleged that the police have made several attempts to make them admit to the crime and pay the sum N35m for their freedom.
According to the petition signed by their counsel, Oghenovo O. Otemu, Head of Oghenovo O. Otemu Chambers, the petitioners said out of 17 persons arrested, 12 were released upon payment for their bail while the police refused to release them, and two others insisting that N35 million must be paid.
“It is our brief that Alhaji Bawa Adamu, Abdullahi Adamu and 17 others were arrested by the Police Anti-kidnapping Team in Nasarawa State about the 15th of April,2021 on the instigation of Kire Iki and Dere Dono.
“After their arrest, several financial requests were made by the police. While 14 of the arrested persons were released upon paying for their bail, the police refused to release our client and two others, insisting that our client must pay the sum of N35 million or buy a gun which they will submit to the Anti-kidnapping Unit,” the petition read.
Noting that, “it is worthy of mention that Kire Iki and Dere Dono have been conniving with the police you extort monies from our clients at different times before”,the petitioners claimed that:”This current arrest on Alhaji Bawa Adamu was done when he went to secure the release of Abdullahi Adamu,his brother.”
“After their arrest,the police in connivance with Kire Iki and Dere Dono have trumped up charges against our client in a bid to extort the sum of N35 million from them,”the petition read.
To this end, the petitioners did not only demand transfer of the case from the Nasarawa State Police Command but also a thorough and unbiased investigation on the case.
It claimed that a petition earlier written to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali, was approved by the former and the case assigned to the Force Criminal Investigation Department, FCID, “but when officers of the FCID went to Nasarawa State Police Command to collect the file and the suspects, the Commissioner of Police refused to direct a release of the case file and the suspects, thereby insisting of holding on to the case file.”
“The IPO has consistently boasted that nobody, not even the Inspector General of Police can take the case from them and that if the money they are requesting for is not paid,our client will be implicated and subsequently die in prison,” they alleged in the petition.
According to the petitioners, “In actualizing their threat, our clients’ brother who has been interfacing with the police by trying to secure their bail, who also has on behalf of our clients instructed lawyers to petition the Inspector General of Police to call for justice for his brothers by trying to expose the activities of the police and the humongous request they are making, was also arrested on the 6th of June, 2021, in order to permanently silence our clients and keep them in perpetual detention until the N35 million is paid.”
“Our clients are seriously sick and are not being cared for. The police in Nasarawa State have also refused to thoroughly and unbiasedly investigate the case as they are working with Kire Iki and Dere Dono to undermine your authority and further our clients by keeping them in detention under harsh condition in perpetuity with a bid to coarse them to succumbing to paying the N35 million.
“Consequently, we therefore, humbly appeal to you to use your good offices to direct the Inspector General of Police to cause a transfer of this case from the Nasarawa State Police Command to an unbiased team of investigators here in Abuja for a thorough investigation into this matter to see that justice prevails,”the petition further read.
Reacting to the allegations, the Nasarawa State Police Command denied its involvement in the alleged bribery leveled against it.
Commissioner of Police in the State, CP Bola Longe gave the denial while reacting to a petition purportedly written against the command, alleging that it was demanding the sum of N35 million for the release of one Alhaji Bawa Adamu and two of his brothers being detained over alleged involvement in the kidnapping.
CP Longe said as soon as the suspects were arrested,pressure has been mounting from different quarters for their release, but added quickly that his command remained resolute in its determination to fight crimes to the barest minimum.
While vowing that in spite of the pressure,there must be a thorough and unbiased investigation into the case involving the suspects, he said his insistence that the law must take its course “prompted the petitioners to go to the highest command to seek the release of the suspects.”
” We are firmed,the command would not be intimidated by the petitions flying from every corners,” he insisted saying that Nasarawa has zero tolerance in corruption, so cannot be associated with the allegation by the petitioners.
He advised that the command must be allowed to carry out its statutory responsibility of protecting and preserving the lives and property of citizens of the state.