The Inspector General of Police,
Loius Edet House,
RE-DEPLOYMENT OF EDO STATE COMMISSIONER
We write to inform you of the need to re-deploy the state commissioner of police over several activities that have been going on in the command since his assumption of office.
Edo Civil Society Organisations is the umbrella body of all civil society groups in Edo state with three cardinal points of operation which are Good Governance, Social Justice and Human Rights. It has become a burden on us to ensure that no single individual is oppressed, intimidated, harassed, extorted or exploited whether by government, agents of government, big businesses or any seemly powerful individual in the society.
We shall attempt to bring to your notice the activities of the command under the watchful eyes of the commissioner.
It will interest you to know that, these two units among others collect as high as N2, 000, 000 (2 million naira) from bail daily from suspects. We have continually engaged these units and the commissioner on why should freedom be paid for, but it appears it is something that is legal and has somewhat federal backing. The method and approach of operations fall short of professionalism, it is aimed at extorting and exploiting Edo people, a situation whereby a raid is carried out and young persons are arrested and detained over suspected cultism, it occurs that, those that are screened to be free from cultism are demanded to meet bail condition that ranges from N50, 000 to N200, 000 and those that are found culpable are made to vomit as high as a million naira without prosecution in the court of law.
This has become worrisome as the seemly fight against cultism and other vices seems to be for monitory gains and the issue of insecurity still remains with the people. It is on note that, even the known cultists in the society walk free without being prosecuted, having parted with large sum for bail. More disturbing is the fact that, whether a suspect is found culpable or not, he/she must part with money to secure bail. The records of victims are there.
Edo Civil Society Organisations have been at the forefront for the fight against the fraudulent and extortive activities in the power sector. The Edo state governor, Edo State House of Assembly, The Oba of Benin and the National Assembly acting on our petitions have condemned the activities of the players in the power sector. For purpose of legal clarifications, we approach the court through our lawyer, Barrister Toluwani Adebiyi who got an injunction to restrain the 11 DISCOs and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) from increasing tariff until the substantive suit is determined.
It became a surprise to us that, the 11 DISCOs and NERC disobeyed the court order and went ahead to increase tariff on the 1st of February, 2016 against the court order. In recent times, the management of BEDC has resorted to be using police officers to harass, intimidate, oppress and arrest Nigerians that have refused to pay the illegal tariff imposed by BEDC and NERC. We have sent a copy of the court injunction to the commissioner of police to withdraw his men from such operations but it appears the commissioner of police is colluding with BEDC to oppress, intimidate, harass and arrest Edo people thereby forcing them to pay the illegal tariff. It is also on record that, some persons have been charged to court by the police for refusal to pay the illegal tariff.
We will not fold our arms and watch the court denigrated by a private entity using the police. When the court can no longer address disputes among parties, anarchy looms in the land.
We have seen and engaged several commissioners of police in Edo state, we can categorically say that, Chris Ezike administration is more of merchandise than crime curbing in the state.
We are saying, Chris Ezike should be re-deployed from Edo state so as not to create animosity between the civil society community and the police authority in Edo state.
Thanks for your understanding and cooperation.
Comrade Omobude Agho
Edo Civil Society Organizations (EDOCSO)
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