Imo State Police Command has sacked seven officers for acts ranging from extortion, corruption to attitude inimical to the image of the Force.
Spokesperson for the Command, Michael Abattam, in a statement on behalf of the Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Barde, said the culprits would be charged to court for prosecution.
He said: “Sequel to the inundation of the office of the Commissioner of Police with series of reports/complaints by members of the public on police brutality, harassments, extortion, illegal checking of phones and flagrant disobedience to the Inspector-General of Police directives on extortion and incivility to members of the public, the Command has dismissed and charged to court the following ex-policemen : F/No. 462315 Sgt. Ohakim Chibuzo, F/No. 505455 Sgt. Irome Finian, F/No. 505592 Sgt. George Osueke, F/No. 511966 Cpl. Kelechi Onuegbu, F/No. 512320 Cpl. Nwagoro Isdore, F/No. 528165 PC Nwadike Stephen and F/No. 528156 PC Ihemtuge Plastidus for the offence of Discreditable Conduct, Corrupt Practices and Leaving Beat.
“It will be recalled that the ex-policemen were arrested on November 8, 2022 at about 1300hrs, in a bank at Umuahia, Abia State, in the course of performing illegal duty outside their jurisdiction and conspiracy to extort money from an innocent victim.
“They were tried and found guilty of the charges leveled against them, thus were summarily dismissed and charged to Magistrate Court, Owerri with Charge Sheet Number: No. OW/746C/2022.”
The Imo CP, directed all the heads of department to ensure strict adherence to the directives, stressing: “Consequently, the Commissioner of Police, has directed all Area Commanders, Heads of Departments (HODs), Divisional Police Officers (DPO) and Tactical Teams Commanders of the various units in the Command to ensure their subordinates are warned against indulging in these sharp practices as any Police Officer found complicit will be made to face disciplinary actions.
“Furthermore, he directed the officers in charge of the Inspector-General of Police X-Squad Unit and the Commissioner of Police Monitoring Unit to commence high level monitoring of the police officers within and outside the metropolis to forestall any unprofessional conduct by police officers. He further warned officers and men to be professional and uphold international best practices in the discharge of their duty.
“Finally, he appealed to members of the public to ensure proper conduct at all time in their encounters with police officers to avoid infractions which may be subject to prosecution and advised they use the Command’s emergency control room numbers, in time of distress or whenever they are being harassed by any member of the Force for quick intervention: 08034773600 or 08098880197,” the statement added.
In another development, the Command has reinforced the ban on the use of fireworks.
A statement signed by the PPRO, Abattam, said: “The Imo State Police Command has observed with utmost dismay the indiscriminate use of fireworks and other Explosives in the state and hereby warn the general public that the Ban on the use of fireworks and other explosives is still very much in force and the Command will enforce all the extant laws prohibiting the use of Knockouts, Bangers, etc, especially this yuletide season.
“Following the prevalent cases of insecurity, it is now common knowledge that hoodlums use such fireworks and explosives to cause distraction, panic and consequently pandemonium and in the process rob/kidnap unsuspecting victims. Also, such fireworks and explosives could be life threatening as it may cause heart attacks in aged persons and fire outbreaks.
“To forestall crime and criminality in the state, parents/guardians are advised to educate and guide their children and wards against the use of fireworks and other explosives. Wholesalers/Retailers of such items are equally warned to stop the distribution/sales of fireworks in the state, as anyone found complicit will be arrested, the fireworks or explosives confiscated and such person(s) prosecuted forthwith.”