The Plateau State Commissioner of Police, Okoro Julius, announced on Tuesday that he had detained officers who had extorted N100,000 from complainants in Jos, the state capital.
According to reports, the arrested officers are attached to the anti-kidnapping unit of the state’s police command.
The officers were arrested following an allegation of N500,000 in extortion from the complainants on October 15, prompting the police commissioner to intervene in the situation for an inquiry.
However, the police commissioner stated that during the investigation, it was discovered that the officers received N100,000 rather than 500,000, as reported by several media outlets, and that the money had been recovered and handed over to the complaints.
The spokesperson of the state command, DSP Alabo Alfred, said, “Following the allegation of extortion by operatives of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit (AKU) attached to the Plateau State Police Command reported by one Victor Ayeni of the Punch Newspaper on October 15, 2023, with the headline,’Policemen invaded our estate, forcing us to pay N500,000 to Jos residents’, the Plateau State Command has investigated the claim, identified the deviant officers, recovered exhibits, and handed them over to the complainants.
“In a bid to ensure that the matter is given the urgent attention that it deserves, the commissioner of police, Plateau State Command, CP Okoro J. Alawari, pcs, on October 16, 2023, invited the complainants, namely Audu Michael and Bitrus Zakka, to his office, where the erring officers were paraded and interviewed before them.”
He further stated that, “But contrary to the Punch report, one of the complainants, Audu Michael, voluntarily disclosed to the police that the Punch reporter, Victor Ayeni, misrepresented and exaggerated the fact by reporting that AKU operatives extorted the sum of five hundred thousand naira (N500,000) instead of one hundred thousand naira (N100,000), as alleged by the complainant, Mr. Audu Michael.
“The police boss, who frowns at the unprofessional conduct of the affected officers, assures Plateau residents that his administration will not harbour bad eggs in his command. He therefore ordered the OC Provost of the Command to commence the orderly room trial of the officers with immediate effect.”
According to Alabo, the police commissioner has asked the general public to always report unethical police behaviour to the command’s Police Public Relations Department and Complaints Response Unit (CRU) for immediate action.