Motorists, Commuters plying the IMO to Onitsha to Enugu Axis of the South East Road have lamented the extortion’s and undue delays on travelers by Men of the Nigeria police, Rivers state police command posted to the area to check the high rise in cases of Cultism’s, Kidnapping and armed Robbery bedeviling the area,
Our correspondent who went on a fact finding mission Reported that going to Owerri, between the Omagwa to Elele in a distance about 300 meters an active presence of police road block could be seen stopping and not necessarily searching but asking for unwholesome police documents and vehicle papers including Road Worthiness to drive on unworthy roads and counted 13 check points including men of the Federal Road Safety Corps who are apparently utilizing the road blocks to demand for vehicle papers.
Our correspondent also noted that between Elele to Imo Gate, counted 10 checkpoints but with a more business oriented policemen suspected to be Anti-Cultism personnel of Rivers State Police command who would stop buses and bring out all the young men having tattoos. While other Vehicles are stopped at random with sometimes the engaging police officer would delay the long ques for close to fifteen minutes chatting or demanding for one or two documents from a driver without the courtesy to other driver’s pain and delays the queues are causing to other road users.
One of their recent victim Baridam James had earlier reported to EWR that he fell victim of the Anti-Cultism Unit Policemen when the Bus he was travelling with other passengers was asked to continue their journey while young men carrying tattoos on their body where dropped from the Bus Under the guise of been a cultist, he said while the already agitated passengers freely handed the three of them with Tattoos to the police. He said he was made to pay 10,000 naira even after showing the police men his Identity card as an artist going to Owerri to perform in a show,
He said one of the boys without an ID Card was driven to a bank at Elele to withdraw money as he was made to pay -30,000 naira at gun point.
Another victim told EWR that had bailed himself on two occasions.
Our correspondent however spoke with some of the Motorist: Emeka Iwezor said, each time I want to go home its one headache or the other from this police men, if you think he you have passed three to four check points the fifth one will delay you for not known reasons.
He said most times they will stop you and hold your vehicle licence while they are attending to 5 persons or vehicle at the same time. It’s a terrible situation.
Madam Hope Nwachukwu says my own is the amount of time they keep people queuing up on the road, before to travel from port Harcourt to Owerri is 45Minutes but now if you meet it under two hours then you are lucky or maybe that day and time the policemen are full for that day.
A bus driver with Peace Mass Transport confided in our correspondent that their company had already settled ahead with the Police but sometimes you still find one erring police officer still ask you to settle them. He said na wetin we dey see every day be dat
For Tochi Mmaduabuchukwu, I know that the police are here for our sake but they should apply human feeling to their duties, when they keep people travelling on a journey in one place for more than one hour, over flimsy excuse, I think its wickedness. I want to call on the commissioner of police to set up a monitoring unit to checkmate the activities of these roadblock police officers.