A civil rights activist and president, Association for Good Governance, Justice Uhuegbu has called on the Federal Government to quickly intervene in an alleged unbridled criminal activities of the officials of the Nigeria Police Force and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Imo State.
Speaking during a press conference in Owerri on Sunday, Uhuegbu accused the officials of the two agencies of turning the state into their cash cow where they milk residents through intimidation and armed harassment of innocent citizens in their criminal bid to make quick money.
He noted that inspite the orders of Mr. President and the police hierarchy that police officers should stop searching people’s phones; the policemen in Imo State have been harassing and intimidating innocent citizens into parting with huge sums.
“I have handled a number of cases against the police and currently I have three cases I’m handling in the court which involves police intimidation and extortion. Their mode of operation is to stop and arrest innocent citizens with trumped up charges.
They even compel people to go to banks to withdraw money via ATM to buy their freedom. And this is done at gunpoint”, he said. He expressed sadness that the police in the state had taken over the job of the courts, whereby they usually pronounce suspects guilty without charging them to court.
“Their sole objective of doing this is to extort huge sums of money from them”, he said. Uhuegbu also condemned the activities of the officials of the EFCC in the state, saying that since they started arresting suspected internet fraudsters, the anti-graft agency had never prosecuted any of the suspects.
He described their invasion of the state as merely a shakedown.
“Rather, what they do is to collect money from those boys they tag ‘Yahoo Boys’ and release the boys into the society. So, it happens that on weekly basis, they come to Owerri to raid students hostels and arrest innocent citizens who they also make to pay huge sums of money before they’re released.
“So, the EFCC has literally opened offices in students’ hostels in Owerri where they collect huge sums of money by simply intimidating and arresting people”