The Commissioner of Police in Enugu State, Mr Mohammed Danmallam says the command will not condone any form of unprofessional conduct especially extortion from citizens of the state.
Danmallam spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Friday in Enugu, against the backdrop of complaints over alleged unlawful activities of his men in the state.
The police boss, however, described the allegations as “baseless’’.
“I as a person, from the days of being a lower senior officer to date, I do not condone unprofessional conducts especially extortion. These can be seen in my records in the Nigeria Police Force so far.’’
He noted that the command’s enviable record had been achieved by very dedicated, professional and God-fearing officers and men in various divisions, formations and units within the command.
“The command today is having an enviable record of achieving a very low crime rate among other states in the country.
“This does not come with only fighting crime and criminality but a high display of professionalism, dedication and courtesy among its officers and men.
“I have also dealt decisively with issues of unprofessional conducts in any shade; just within two weeks I have to remove two Divisional Police Officers in Enugu metropolis as well as transferred some personnel under them.
“On this action, I received commendation letter from a pastor on Dec. 3, which I have not seen till today, for removing the DPO in one of our divisions.
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“I challenge any one with evidence of unprofessional conduct of any police personnel under my command to report to my office and I assure prompt investigation and dealing with the personnel appropriately if found culpable,’’ he said.
Danmallam said that the command had continued to train its personnel on professionalism and being humane as well as constantly reminding them on the dangers and consequences of unprofessional conduct.
“Just recently, I have directed the officer in charge of IGP X-Squad, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr John Babangida, to go round the state and fish out officers and men in the habit of extortion of residents.
“The team is meant to watch out for policemen who extort motorcyclists, motorists and others.
“Babangida have also given out his telephone number publicly; which is 08033140979 for residents to contact him immediately and report any erring police personnel,’’ he added.
Meanwhile, an NGO, Carmelite Prisoners’ Interest Organization (CAPIO) had said that it was working with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to ensure that innocent persons do not end up in detention unduly in Enugu State.
CAPIO’s executive director, Rev. Fr. Ambrose Ekereoku who also spoke to NAN, urged the police to check its unwholesome activities.
Ekeroku said that the organisation had received cases of human rights abuse where the Anti-Cult Unit in Enugu Command allegedly arrested people indiscriminately and extorting money from them.
The cleric cited a case of a man who was arrested inside his house alongside his brother and neighbour and were detained for days before they were eventually bailed with a huge sum of money.
According to him, such activities usually get innocent citizens unduly detained for no just cause.
“The police must as a matter of conformity to modern policing stop mass indiscriminate arrest and arrest by proxy.
“Modern policing deals with intelligence backed up with smart technologies that aid crime detection and prevention,’’ he said.
He noted that some police personnel had been involved in unprofessional activities, inimical of destroying the reputation of the police.
“The Anti-Cult Unit in Enugu have been arresting people indiscriminately without any proper investigation.
“Those indiscriminately arrested alleged that if one is arrested and does not have money for bail, such a person ends up in prison or police cell.
“We received information concerning the anti-cult unit officers going from house-to-house doing indiscriminate arrest on people sleeping in their houses at about 2 a.m. and 3 a.m., which most times affects the innocent.
“At the end of the mass arrest, these people are all dumped in the police cell or prison, if they cannot bail themselves,’’ Ekereoku added.