Nigerian Police in Plateau State Arrest Officers Accused of Extorting Journalists
The Plateau State command of the Nigeria Police Force has taken action following allegations of extortion involving some of its officers and journalists in Jos, the state capital.
The state Police Commissioner, CP Okoro Julius, confirmed on Tuesday that the arrested officers are part of the anti-kidnapping unit within the state’s police command.
Complainants Accuse Officers of Extorting N500,000
The complainants had reported that the officers extorted a total of N500,000 from them on October 15, 2023.
The police commissioner, CP Julius, intervened in the matter and initiated an investigation. During this process, it was discovered that the officers had actually collected N100,000 from the complainants, which is significantly less than the N500,000 initially reported by some media outlets.
Recovered Money Returned to Complainants
The N100,000, which was extorted, has been successfully recovered and returned to the complainants.
The state command’s spokesperson, DSP Alabo Alfred, released a statement addressing the situation. He mentioned that the Plateau State Command identified the officers responsible for the extortion, recovered relevant exhibits, and subsequently handed the officers over to the complainants.
Meeting with Complainants and Correcting Misrepresentation
As part of their commitment to resolving the issue promptly, the Plateau State Commissioner of Police, CP Okoro J. Alawari, invited the complainants, Audu Michael and Bitrus Zakka, to his office on October 16, 2023.
During this meeting, the erring officers were paraded and interviewed in front of the complainants. It was also revealed that one of the complainants, Audu Michael, voluntarily disclosed that the Punch newspaper reporter, Victor Ayeni, had misrepresented and exaggerated the facts in his report.
The correct amount extorted was N100,000, not N500,000 as initially reported.
Police Commissioner Takes Firm Action
CP Okoro Julius expressed his disapproval of the unprofessional conduct of the officers involved in this incident.
He emphasized his administration’s commitment to upholding the standards of the police force and assured Plateau residents that they would not tolerate misconduct within his command.
Consequently, the Commissioner instructed the Officer in Charge of Provost to commence the orderly room trial of the implicated officers immediately.
Public Urged to Report Unethical Conduct
Alfred added that the police commissioner encourages the general public to report any unethical conduct by the police to the Police Public Relations Department and the Complaints Response Unit (CRU) of the command for prompt attention.
This commitment to addressing misconduct underscores the dedication to maintaining professionalism and integrity within the police force.