Mixed reactions have continued to trail efforts put in place by the leadership of Imo State Police Command towards stamping out all forms of corruption, especially extortion by its operatives against the citizens and residents. The most recent mixed reactions were sequel to a recent development where the Imo State Police Command announced to the public that it had demoted a cop found in a viral video extorting motorists.

A press statement by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Command had partly read: “The Imo State Police Command is issuing this statement in response to a viral video making the rounds on social media where a Police officer was seen extorting money from motorists along Owerri-Onitsha express road. The erring officer, identified as Inspector Isong Osudueh, attached to the Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), Owerri, has been recommended for a reduction in rank after the necessary orderly room proceedings, for exhibiting such a shameful and unprofessional act, while the supervisory officer has been issued an official query for lack of supervision.

Also eliciting the reactions was an earlier report about Mrs Fustina Amaefule, a poor Akara seller who was arrested by operatives of Imo State Police Command and granted bail only after payment of N50,000, after her son’s teeth was blown off by a boy who wanted him to join his Cult group in Ogbaku, Mbaitoli LGA. Part of a release by the Command’s PPRO had it that the man who arrested the poor woman, Mr Obioma Nlem bragged that he has contacts in the police and in the political circles, but when the matter was brought to the attention of the Commissioner of Police, the N50, 000 bailout money was refunded to her, the CP also ordered that all her expenses, including transport fair be refunded to her,  immediately, while ordering that the matter be charged to court and that the suspect, Obioma Nlem be apprehended.

A section of Imolites, including Journalists who are known as members of the Fourth Estate of the realm, as well as the Watch Dog of the Society have continued to praise and applaud the efforts of the present Commissioner of Police (CP) Aboki Danjuma, for always taking decisive actions whenever such infractions by men of the Command are reported to him or come to his knowledge through viral videos on social media or reports by concerned Imolites. Some of the reactions praising the C.P. read thus: “Imo C.P. Aboki Danjuma is a polished Police Officer. C.P. you are doing well”. “Great man, keep up the good work, our C.P. God sent you to Imo State at the right time when the poor needed a voice for them. You are the voice for everyone in the society” “Keep up the good work C.P”. “Commendable action indeed”. “Thanks, my C.P. God bless your handiwork and more grace, wisdom”. “This C.P. is quite exceptional”

However, there exist another section of Imo populace of different backgrounds and professions who view his efforts as not assertive enough to eradicate the malaise or even reduce it to the barest minimum. The group view the idea of the Commissioner acting only when these heinous crimes of his men go viral on the social media or reported to him by privileged individuals or group, as nothing but playing to the gallery.

They opine that there are thousands of Police officers across all nooks and crannies of the state, making life very difficult for Imolites, especially youths on daily basis, brazenly robbing them of their hard-earned money, labelling them internet fraudster. To this group, the police practice of extorting money ranging from N100 to N1000 from motorists along the highway is no longer a serious crime, because it has come to become a norm, having been as old as Nigeria, as an independent country, despite all vague promises to Nigerians and what has been proven to be empty threat against Police officers caught in the act of extortion by successive Inspectors General of Police, and other rank and file of the leadership of the Nigerian Police.

They reason that a situation where other Officers and Men of other security agencies, without any exception have now joined the trend means it has been indirectly made a norm for Nigerian motorists, especially in the South East and South-South region to bribe their way pass tens and hundreds of security checkpoints indiscriminately mounted on roads and highways in the two regions and other parts of the country.

Some of the reactions captured from this side included: “My people, any punishment on that man is unjust and an eye service. From what we know in this state, that man who is gently collecting his Roger and giving change is a far lesser offender than thousands of mafia Police Officers who extort thousands and millions of Naira and even dollars from Imo people, especially youths, brazenly and with the highest level of impunity, showing that nothing is actually happening. Another read; “This is good, but sir oooo, wait, he was not the only one on duty on that day, others nko. I believe others were collecting as well. Punishing only him to me is injustice, knowing fully well that he was not alone, just that he was the only one captured by the video”.

Written by

Uzoma Ogoke


About Our Founder
Fr. Godswill Agbagwa

Godswill Uchenna Agbagwa is a Catholic priest and a social ethicist. He was born in Umueze Amaimo, a small village in Ikeduru LGA of Imo State to Mr. Charlyman Chikamnele Agbagwa and Mrs. Evelyn Chinyere Agbagwa of blessed memory.