The Rivers State Police Command has announced that three of its officers involved in the abduction and extortion of $3,000 from two travellers will undergo an orderly room trial, and also be issued official queries. The disclosure was made by the command’s spokesperson, Grace Iringe-Koko, during the parade of the suspects before newsmen in Port Harcourt on Monday.
Iringe-Koko, a Superintendent of Police, added that the internal disciplinary measures have been taken as a response to the unlawful activities of the officers. She also stated that the equivalent sum of money in Naira has been recovered and returned to the rightful owners, who were the travellers.
The officers, which include two Assistant Superintendents of Police and an Inspector, took the victims to three states before extorting the said amount equivalent to N4.2 million.
She conveyed, “The Rivers State Police Command wishes to inform the public that it has taken a decisive action in response to a distressing incident involving the unlawful abduction and extortion of two young men by three of our officers, ASP Doubara Edonyabo, ASP Talent Mungo, and Inspector Odey Michael.”
“The victims were arrested in Abia State, taken to Delta, Bayelsa, and Rivers states respectively for alleged fraud by a yet-to-be-seen complainant. They were extorted of the sum of $3,000, an equivalent to N4.2m. Immediate steps were taken to apprehend the officers involved, and a thorough investigation was conducted to ascertain the facts surrounding the incident.”
“The extorted money was recovered and released to the victims on January 18, 2024. Following a comprehensive inquiry, it has been established that the actions of the officers in question were in clear violation of the law and the ethical standards expected of members of the Nigeria Police Force.
“As a result, appropriate disciplinary measures are being taken to address this grave misconduct.”
Continuing, the state police image maker said, “In response to these regrettable events, the two officers have been issued with official queries, and the Inspector has been slated for an orderly room trial.”
“Additionally, to demonstrate our commitment to transparency and accountability, the Rivers State Police Command has decided to publicly parade the officers before the press to underscore the seriousness with which we view this matter.”
While noting that the command is committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity, professionalism, and accountability, Iringe-Koko said the behaviour of the errant officers was unacceptable and did not represent the values and principles of the police.
She added, “We deeply regret the negative impact that such misconduct may have on the reputation of the Rivers State Command and the Nigeria Police Force in general. It is important to emphasise that the actions of a few individuals should not overshadow the dedication and sacrifice of the vast majority of our officers who serve with honour and distinction.”
“The Inspector General of Police has consistently articulated a zero-tolerance stance against corruption and misconduct within the Force, and this incident does not reflect the aspirations of the Nigeria Police Force as a whole. The Rivers State Police Command reassures the public that we remain resolute in our commitment to serving and protecting the community with the utmost professionalism and integrity.”
She urged the public to continue to have faith in the police, as they strive to maintain the trust and confidence of the citizens they swore to serve.