The Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN), has called on Police authorities to enforce the ban on check points and road blocks across the country especially in the South East geo-political zone of Nigeria where, “with the approach of Christmas, the numbers of these check points and road blocks have increased together with the menacing activities of police officers who set them up, harassing travellers, extorting money from them and delaying and detaining those unable or unwilling to part with bribe.”
A statement by Okechukwu Nwanguma NOPRIN National Coordinator, said that the harassment of passengers and extortion of money from them before they are allowed to contine their journies cannot be happening, especially under a government “where anti corruption is a major signature commitment.”
Fll text of the statement reads:
INCREASING MENACE OF ILLEGAL POLICE CHECKPOINTS AND ROAD BLOCKS
Ordinarily, Southeast States (Anambra, Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo) witness the highest presence of numbers of police checkpoints and road blocks where police officers stop motorists, extort money and delay travellers in transit. But with the approach of Christmas, the numbers of these check points and road blocks have increased together with the menacing activities of police officers who set them up, harassing travellers, extorting money from them and delaying and detaining those unable or unwilling to part with bribe.
I just received a call from one of the victims who was stopped by police officers at a checkpoint at Ogbulafor in Enugu State. He was detained because he refused to give money in order to be allowed to continue on his journey from the North to his hometown in Enugu. I called the Enugu State PPRO but before he could do anything, the victim had been forced to pay to pass.
This cannot be happening to citizens in a democratic society, especially, where anti corruption is a major signature commitment.
The police hierarchy needs to give a definite and firm directive to police officers, especially in the South East, to dismantle all illegal checkpoints and desist from harassing citizens travelling home. The ban on illegal checkpoints, to the best of my knowledge, remains in force and must be complied with by police officers every where.
Police officers should continue to patrol and stop mounting illegal road blocks where they harass, extort and delay citizens in transit.