By Daniel Dafe
Leaders of the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), Youthwing, Worldwide, have successfully retrieved the sum of Four Hundred and Twenty Thousand Naira (N420, 000) extorted from a resident in Asaba, Glory by one Inspector Paul.
According to the President of the youth body, Comrade Efemena Umukoro, the said victim just moved to Asaba for greener pastures, adding that he is an indigene of Ovu in Ethiope East Local Government Area of the state and was resident there before he moved to the state capital.
He added: “I got to know of the issue through a call from the victim that I have never met before. He told me that he just recently moved over to Asaba to stay with his elder brother.
“Glory decided to provide money for the purchase of a foam as his elder brother did not have one when he got to his residence. It was on their way back from the market with the foam that they ran into a police officer on mufti, who asked the tricycle rider that drove them to park.
“According to the victim, immediately, another tricycle came from behind and parked in front of them. The elder brother of Glory who has been residing in Asaba took to his heels and abandoned his younger brother, Glory that came from the village.”
He continued: “The younger brother was at the mercy of the police officers who then took him to Stadium road in Asaba and gave him the torture of his life. At the end of the day, at gunpoint, they demanded for Glory’s ATM card and pin number and went to the bank where they withdrew One Hundred Thousand Naira (N100, 000) first to confirm the ATM card. They then came back, took Glory to Igbuzor where with the aid of a POS withdrew the sum of Three Hundred and Twenty Thousand Naira (N320, 000).
“Looks like Glory’s bank suspected fraud and blocked the ATM. Before they allowed him go, they took him to the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) branch office in Asaba, pretended that they wanted to take him in there, but got to the gate and released him. It was at this point that Glory contacted me.
“Immediately, I put a call to the Commissioner of Police in the state, CP Hafiz Inuwa after I and some of my executive members located the IRT office in Asaba and met with the leader of the IRT in Delta. The leader of the IRT had denied that the said security operative was a member of his team.
“The CP asked the leader to assist me to ensure that the said police officer is arrested. We then started search for Paul and arrested him. According to Paul, he is attached to the Control Room in the Government House in Asaba. He insisted that he will return the money after he confessed to the crime. I was privileged to be in the trial room where he (Paul) was quizzed. The CP ensured that before the said sum was returned that he should be tried.
“Paul admitted to a two count charge before the IPO during the trial by the Police Provost Department. But, I was told by the IPO that they will get back to me after the final judgment.
“The N420, 000 has been retrieved by me and returned to the victim.”
Meanwhile, the youth leader urged the police to dismiss the officer and allow him to be tried in a competent court of jurisdiction and charged for armed robbery and kidnap for ransom.
Comrade Umukoro reinstated that his administration will continue to defend Urhobo youths, urging all indigenes to stay away from every criminal activities and be sure of their safety under the watchful eyes of the UPU youthwing executive.
He said: “All Urhobo youths should be aware that no one will trample on their rights as long as they remain peaceful and law abiding.”
Furthermore, he commended the CP, describing him as a promoter of human rights and a crusader against oppressed brutality, noting that since he came on board in the state, the rights of Deltans have been respected, as he advised him to continue in this honourable path.
To the Delta State Government, he said: “It is obvious that policemen who ought to defend and protect Nigerians are the same persons who are kidnapping for ransom.
“The said police officer’s offence are kidnapping, armed robbery and threat to life. The Delta State Government must assist the Nigeria Police to get such bad eggs out of the force so that the slogan ‘police is our friend’ can remain relevant in the state.”
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