‘Police roadblocks, national disgrace’
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.”