Saturday, September 23, 2023 7:06 pm
*Police react, state side of the story
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
A Human Rights Advocate Israel Joe, based in Delta state, has petitioned the Acting Inspector General of Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun, over alleged extortion of 80 million naira and a gold necklace worth 4 million naira from one Mr Atubi Davison.
The Rights Advocate claimed that the alleged extortion was made by an Assistant Commissioner of Police(ACP) Olayinka,2ic State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department(SCIID), Port Harcourt and two other officers simply identified as Emmanuel and Uche.
Mr Joe in a petition to the Inspector General of Police dated September 21, which was duly stamped by the office of the IGP, said the Police on 14th September,2023 busted the home of Mr Davison at Peace Avenue Road, Egbelu,Obio-Akpor, searched the house and saw 100 million naira mostly in dollars, which was meant for payment of the men securing pipeline facilities in Niger Delta.
Mr. Davison is the Chairman of one of the units securing pipeline facilities.
The rights activist said the Police took away the money, two cars and a gold chain valued at N4 million, and arrested four persons in Mr. Davison’s house, including, a female.
Mr. Joe claimed that despite a Police investigation showing that the money was for payment of securing an oil facility the Police held on to the money.
Mr Joe alleged further:
“I met with the Assistant Commissioner(AC) of State CIID and asked him what he was investigating the man for, the AC told me that it was an alleged kidnap case and that he did not know if somebody would come and report that his money is missing or is a ransom money, that all they need to do is to see how they can manage the situation that the money is about 100 million naira.
“A major part of the money is in dollars. I told the AC they should charge him(Davison) to court if the man committed any offence.
“When they saw that calls were coming from different angles, they called us, called the father that they were going to release the two cars for him and any amount they release to him(Davison), he should manage it, that they are going to send 30 million naira to the IGP,16 Million naira to the CP.
“At the end of the day, they(Police) released the two cars, they released the Chevrolet and Toyota Camry car to him. They released only 12 million naira to him and took away a whopping sum of over 80 million naira along with his gold chain valued about 4 million naira, the two plasma Television,shoes and clothes they carried from his house .
“The IPO even told us to leave Port Harcourt that criminals may come for us.That we should leave Rivers State.
“I know one CP called him(AC) and he confirmed that they took away almost 100 million naira from the man’s house .They released only 12 million naira for the man.
“The 12 million was in dollars.The other people who were arrested with the man bailed themselves, some one million naira,2 million naira,just like that.
“I am calling for proper investigation, the money should be refunded, all officers involved should be brought to book.
“If the survilance workers are not paid, people will go and break the pipeline and the man has nothing to do and it will tell on the economy of the Federal Government of Nigeria”.
In a the response of the state Police Command on the issues by its Spokesperson,SP Grace Iringe-Koko tilted:
‘Official Statement on False Accusations Against Rivers Command SCID’
The Rivers State Police Command,in response to social media video by one Israel Joe, is the to clarify the situation concerning the arrest of Mr. Davidson John on September 14, 2023, by the Cybercrime Unit of the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Rivers State Police Command.
The Command said that the initial grounds for Mr. John’s arrest was rooted in allegations of involvement in cybercrime and ritualistic activities. Subsequent to a comprehensive search of his residence at No. 6 Peace Avenue, Ogbelu, Rivers State, Police Operatives discovered substantial sums of money in both domestic and foreign currencies concealed in his premises, notably atop the ceiling.
Police stated that further that Mr. John’s inability to provide a satisfactory account for the origin of this money led to his transfer to the SCID for further investigation. However, it came to light that the suspect had a urinary catheter in his stomach, necessitating a medical assessment. Upon consultation with a medical professional, it was determined that his health condition could not endure excessive stress, prompting a decision to release him into the custody of a reliable surety while investigations continued.
Furthermore, Police said Mr. John’s father acted as his surety and requested financial assistance for his son’s medical needs. The Deputy Commissioner of Police granted a partial release of funds on compassionate grounds for the suspect’s healthcare, while the remaining amount was meticulously documented and entrusted to the exhibit keeper. Additionally, a gold necklace, reportedly obtained from an undisclosed woman, was also registered with the exhibit keeper.
The Rivers State Police Command emphatically reaffirms that the entirety of the money is securely registered and under the custody of the exhibit keeper, thus refuting any insinuations to the contrary made by the suspect, as it is vital to get proper understanding of the reason behind concealing such huge amount of money in cash in his house, as well as not being able to give full account of the monies.
The Command urges the public to dismiss the misinformation presented by Israel Joe, recognizing it as a distortion of facts. It is important to emphasize that the investigation is ongoing, and the Command intends to provide a comprehensive update to the public regarding its outcome in due course”.