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MAN PETITIONS JONATHAN, ONOVO OVER POLICE HARASSMENT

By NBF News
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A businessman in Onitsha, Anambra State, Mr. Sebastine Okafor-muo, has sent a Save-Our-Soul (SOS) message to President Goodluck Jonathan, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ogbonna Onovo, and the police Affairs Minister. He is requesting them to save him from harassment from the state Police command.

Okafor-muo alleged that he had been detained many times by the police over a crime he knew nothing about. He told Daily Sun from where he took refuge in Asaba, Delta State, that his life was no longer safe.

He said trouble started when he discovered where a robbery kingpin, who was declared wanted by the police was hiding and informed the police. He explained that as he was going to the police station, someone advised him to first, notify the local vigilance group, which he did.

According to him, rather than arrest the suspect, the vigilance group called the robbery suspect, who hails from the same town with him, on phone. He said he didn't know what the robbery suspect told the group, who later arrested him. Okafor-muo alleged that the local security outfit threatened to kill him, if he did not give them N400, 000. He explained that as he was asking what his offence was, a member of the vigilance group attempted to shoot him.

'They arrested me and forced their way into my car, collected the sum of N400, 000 in it, at gunpoint. They held me hostage and compelled my wife to pay another N200, 000. They told my wife to pay another N1.4 million or I would be killed. They warned her not to let anybody know about it. Out of fear, she went to Skye Bank and withdrew N1.4 million. They extorted N2 million from me.'

The indigene of Adazi-Nnukwu, Aniocha Local Government Area of Anambra State, alleged that after sharing the money, the vigilance group invited a photographer, police and brought out N400, 000, which they littered on the ground, claiming it was the money I paid them to assassinate the suspect,' he alleged.

He said after extorting money from him, the group and the alleged robbery suspect handed him over to the police. Since then, the police have been moving him to various police stations.

He said even when the police knew the truth, they still connived with the alleged suspect and the vigilance group to intimidate him. In a petition to President Jonathan and the Police Service Commission (PSC), on his behalf by the Legal Adviser, C.O. Chigbue, made available to Daily Sun, he wants the President and Police Affairs Minister, to prevail on Onovo to nvestigate the matter.

He wants the IG to investigate if the alleged suspect was once actually declared wanted by the police over alleged armed robbery or not. He also wants the IG to know that the alleged suspect was once declared wanted in connection with an armed robbery case and that he was standing trial in Ogidi High Court, in a suit number HID/4C.2005.

The legal adviser said his client was only complying with his civic responsibility of giving information to security operatives about an alleged criminal, but ended up being the hunted. 'If the police do not wade into the matter and bring the culprits to book, other innocent persons would face similar treatment. He described as shameful, a case where people paid to protect the innocent citizens use the guns given to them to rob people.