Two days after a boat driver in Rivers State accused operatives of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) monitoring unit in Borikiri, Port Harcourt, of illegally detaining him for five days without food, another victim, Mr Thankgod Jaja, yesterday, alleged that the same unit extorted N750,000 from his family to facilitate his release after spending about one month in their custody.
Narrating their ordeal, elder brother to Jaja, Mr Temple Jaja, said his brother was detained following a false allegation against him as a kidnapper after he was arrested on February 24 by the police unit at the burial of an uncle in Umuechem, Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Jaja said the Investigating Police Officer (IPO), Bello Yusuf, told him to accept that he was a cultist after he rejected the charges of kidnapping and armed robbery.
Jaja also alleged that the operatives of the IGP tactical squad tortured him severely for not accepting the false charges against him before extorting N750,000 from his family members to release him.
The Guardian gathered that the team released Jaja on Wednesday after the state Commissioner of Police, Friday Eboka, ordered that he be charged to court or be released if there was no evidence against him.
MEANWHILE, residents of the state have decried the incessant violations of human rights by the unit, calling on the state police boss to bring the erring police officers to justice to serve as a lesson to others.
The residents recalled similar actions by the Eagle Crack police officers at Mile One Police Station, who tortured Chima Ikwunado, a mechanic at Ikoku Auto Spare Parts market in Mile 3, Diobu, Port Harcourt to death.
They called for disbandment of the unit, saying if nothing was done, like SARS, the outfit would become a terror to residents.
Speaking on the incident, the Coordinator of the Centre for Basic Rights Protection and Accountability Campaign, Prince Wiro, urged the Inspector General of Police to investigate the allegations against the IGP unit at the Bokokiri Police Station.
Source: The Guardian