Some officers of the Nigeria Police have fled the peaceful Idjerhe Kingdom, Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State, leaving behind their identity cards, ATMs, mobile phones, and vehicle keys.
It was gathered that the policemen were probably on a false mission to extort money from the leader of the vigilante group in the kingdom, Mr Freeborn Ofeshohwo Alia’s Cornerstone, in the guise of hunting after cultists.
Three abandoned ID cards read Sgt. Sunday Owor, with the number 477467 of the Delta State Command; Sunday Owor with his rank as Inspector (the Nigeria Police Warrant Card); and the third ID card, though blurred, also reads Sunday Owor with the same number.
Arising from a communal protest, led by chiefs of the kingdom, on Thursday, the Otota of the kingdom, Chief Onosia James Obriki, while addressing journalists, described the failed mission of the police officers as ignoble.
“It is very shameful that police officers on an approved mission by their superior will come to make arrests and eventually abort the mission by running away, leaving behind their identity cards and cell phones, after engaging in unwarranted behaviours.
“Let me use this medium to brief the press and the whole world on the police intimidation and harassment of the people of the Great Idjerhe Kingdom.
On January 30, 2024, some police officers came to Idjerhe Kingdom to terrorise the peaceful people of the community.
“On this faithful day, the police officers intimidated and harassed the Commander of the Idjerhe Kingdom’s vigilante outfit, Mr. Freeborn Ofeshohwo Alia’s Cornerstone, Mr. Friday Johnson and Enor Young, and other members.
“This is a man who has served this kingdom meritoriously for the last 10 years and has not been found wanting in any way of criminality or otherwise.
“They came under the pretext of looking for drugs at the country home of the vigilante commander. There were no elements of drug dealing, as they alleged.
“If there were, they should have found some of these drugs after properly investigating the allegations before going ahead to engage in their extra-judicial shooting and maiming of our law-abiding sons of Idjerhe Kingdom.
“Our investigation has revealed that when the police officers came to Idjerhe Kingdom, they went to the Jesse Town Police Station to book their arrival, claiming that they were in search of cultists.
“They entered the kingdom in the middle of the night. However, their claim turned out to be false, and with a mission to harass and intimidate the vigilante commander on issues of drug dealings with the primary aim of extorting money from him,
“If they had not come with the mission to extort money from our people, they should have opened up at the Jesse Town Police Station and informed the leadership of the police station that they had come for drug-related matters.
“It is very shameful that police officers on approved missions by their superiors will come to make arrests and eventually abort the mission by running away, leaving behind their identity cards and cell phones, after engaging in unwarranted behaviours,” the Otota noted.
Speaking on behalf of the chiefs and people of the kingdom, Chief Obriki called on the new Commissioner of Police, Olufemi Abaniwonda, and the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, to unmask the officers and bring them to book.
“We, the people of the great Idjerhe kingdom, hereby call on the Inspector General of Police to properly investigate and arrest all the police officers that were involved in this unprofessional misconduct.
“It is on record that Idjerhe Kingdom’s leadership has consistently assisted the police in fighting crime of all kinds, and it is uncharitable for the police to pay us back in such a manner by shooting one of the arrowheads of the kingdom’s fight against criminals and criminality,” the Otota alleged.