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Raphael Ede, Enugu

Residents of Enugu State metropolis on Thursday accused men of the Nigerian police of extortion and intimidation in the guise of enforcing the government’s order on lockdown.

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi had on March 31 banned all forms of social gathering and close down markets across the 17 Local Government Areas of the state.

The measures were introduced to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the state, which has recorded two confirmed cases so far.

Many residents of the state now live in fear of police officers who are accused of incessant raids on shops, and artisan workshops like mechanic and welding workshops.

Some residents who were victims of such raids and arrests alleged that they paid various amounts of money ranging from N5, 000 to N10, 000 to bail themselves.

Sometimes the negotiated payments are done before reaching the police stations while other times they were taken to the police stations where they had to bail themselves.

Specifically, on Saturday April 4, 2020, police officers from the Ogui Road Police Station raided some shops at Nwosu Terrace, P&T Quarters, Enugu and arrested some shop owners and their sales girls and boys.

During the raid, one Mr. Uche, popularly known as Ndudinegwu and his sales girl, as well as his neighbor who is a printer was arrested alongside other people.

Uche told our correspondent that they were taken to Ogui Road Police Station where he paid N8,000 to bail himself and his salesgirl.

Again, on Wednesday, April 8, 2020, men of the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) Enugu, raided the same street and arrested six boys between the ages of 18 and 26.

The six boys were arrested in a salon when they came to cut their hair.

One of the boys, Obinna who gave the names of his co-victims as J-boy, Nnaemeka (operator of the salon), Victor, Collins and David, told The PUNCH that they were taken to the SARS office at Gulf Estate Enugu, where their neighbor came to bail them at N5,000 each.

A resident of the area, who spoke on condition of anonymity, regretted that whereas some youths and families in other parts of the country were being paid social intervention and palliative allowances, those in Enugu who were trying to survive the effect of the lockdown were being exploited by law enforcement officers.

He called on Governor Ugwuanyi and the commissioner of police to come to their rescue since only markets, beer parlor joints, as well as social and political gatherings were banned.

Efforts to get the reaction of the state Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Abdulrahaman, or the Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Daniel Ndukwe, proved abortive as they did not pick calls placed to their mobile phones.

By admin

3 thoughts on “Enugu police on lockdown duty extorting money from us –Residents”
  1. I think the present police force system needs to be flushed out because this is not getting funny anymore.. Why would policemen be doing this at this time..
    The police force needs to be reset & re-orientated to adhere strictly to the oath they took to protect citizens & not to burden & endanger their life

  2. If you people have listen to the instruction in this first instance, will they come to your house and be extorting money from you, and the lockdown is for everyone sake

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