‘Po­lice road­blocks, na­tional dis­grace’

The Punch - - NEWS - Oladimeji Ra­mon

FOUR Igbo groups on Thurs­day de­cried the mul­ti­ple po­lice road­blocks in the South-east, which they said had be­come a na­tional dis­grace as po­lice­men had turned them into “ex­tor­tion cen­tres.”

The Igbo groups, which jointly ad­dressed a press con­fer­ence in La­gos on Thurs­day, were Otu Oka Iwu, Aka Ikenga, Nzuk­oumunna and Ndigbo La­gos Foun­da­tion.

In a state­ment jointly signed by their lead­ers – Chief Em­manuel Ikokwu; Maj. Gen. Abel Umahi (retd.); Mr Os­car On­wudiwe; and Mr Ngozi Odu­muko – the groups said it was em­bar­rass­ing that bribe-tak­ing po­lice­men at road­blocks were of­ten be­ing filmed and such videos cir­cu­lated on­line to em­bar­rass Nige­ria.

They said, “It is in­struc­tive that these road­blocks vi­o­late sundry rights set out in the 1999 Con­sti­tu­tion of the Fed­eral Repub­lic of Nige­ria. In par­tic­u­lar, Sec­tion 33 of the Con­sti­tu­tion se­cures the right to life. Mul­ti­ple road­blocks ex­pose our cit­i­zens to the risk of ex­tra­ju­di­cial killing. We re­call that the UN Spe­cial Rap­por­teur on Ex­tra­ju­di­cial, Sum­mary or Ar­bi­trary Ex­e­cu­tions found in 2006 that po­lice ‘check­points pro­vide the oc­ca­sion for a large num­ber of ex­tra­ju­di­cial ex­e­cu­tions by po­lice’.

“The vast net­work of check­points that ex­ists in Nige­ria leads to nu­mer­ous con­fronta­tions be­tween the po­lice and mo­torists who refuse to pay the bribes de­manded.”

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