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Police return $3000 extorted by Rivers cops to Abia travellers

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The Rivers State Police Command has said three of its officers who abducted and extorted the sum of $3,000 from two travellers will face an orderly room trial and query respectively.

The spokesperson for the command, Grace Iringe-Koko, who disclosed this while parading the suspects before newsmen in Port Harcourt on Monday, said the action was part of the internal disciplinary measures taken against operatives involved in unlawful activities.

Iringe-Koko, a Superintendent of Police, also said the money equivalent to N4.2 million has been recovered and handed over to the owners who were to be travellers.

The policemen, including two Assistant Superintendents of Police and an Inspector, had whisked their unsuspecting victims to three states before dispossessing them of the said amount equivalent to N4.2m.

 She stated, “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.

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 “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.

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