The Nigeria Police Force said the Monitoring Unit of the Inspector-General of Police had commenced an investigation following a petition by a Delta State-based rights advocate, Israel Joe, over alleged extortion of N80 million from a surveillance contractor, Atubi Davison, by an Assistant Commissioner of Police, in charge of the State Criminal Investigation Department, and two other officers.
The police said it is currently interrogating the policemen who according to the petitioner, claimed that they would give the sum of N30 million to IG Egbetokun, and N16 million to the Rivers State CP, Polycarp Abonyi, out of the booty.
The petitioner also alleged that the policemen also collected a gold necklace from Davidson worth N4 million.
In an official correspondence yesterday, the Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi noted that to ensure fairness and impartiality, the complainant who made the allegations will be contacted to come forward and cooperate by providing more relevant information regarding the matter.
Meanwhile, Joe, in the petition dated September 21, which was duly stamped by the office of the IG, said the police on September 14, 2023, busted Davison’s residence at Peace Avenue Road, Egbelu, in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state, searched the house and discovered local and foreign currencies totaling N100 million meant for payment for men securing pipeline facilities in Niger Delta.
The activist said the police took away the money, two cars, and gold necklace, and arrested four persons seen in Davison’s house, including a female. He said that despite an investigation showing that the money was for payment of securing an oil facility the money was not returned.
Joe said, “I met with the Assistant Commissioner, State CIID, and asked him what are you investigating the man for, the ACP told me that is an alleged kidnap case that he doesn’t know if somebody will 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 N100 million.
“A major part of the money is in dollars. I told the ACP 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 to him and any amount they release to him (Davison), he should manage it, that they are going to send N30 million to the IG, N16 million to the state Commissioner of Police.
“At the end of the day, they (the policemen) released the two cars, they released the Chevrolet and Toyota Camry car to him, released only N12 million to him and took away a whopping N80 million along with his gold chain valued about N4 million, the two plasma Television, shoes and clothes they carried from his house.”
Continuing, he said, “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 N100 million 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 with one million naira, two million naira, just like that.
I am calling for a proper investigation. The money should be refunded and all officers involved should be brought to book. If the surveillance 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”.
Reacting to the development in an official correspondence on Monday night, Adejobi said, “Following allegations of unprofessionalism, kidnapping, name-dropping, extortion, and illicit enrichment against some officers of the Rivers State Police Command, and the swift intervention of the acting Inspector-General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, the officers fingered in a petition by one Israel Joe on behalf of one Mr Atubi Davison are being interrogated by the IGP Monitoring Unit as part of ongoing investigation to unravel the allegations and ascertain its veracity for further necessary action.
“As previously stated, the Nigeria Police Force views these allegations with the utmost seriousness and is fully committed to conducting a comprehensive and transparent investigation. To ensure fairness and impartiality, the complainant who made these allegations will be contacted to come forward and cooperate by providing more relevant information regarding the matter.
“The Inspector-General of Police, therefore, cautions the public about fraudulent individuals who always attempt to exploit the reputation of the Inspector General of Police and other senior officers for personal gain.
He urges members of the public to exercise caution and verify the authenticity of anyone claiming to represent Senior Police Officers in any dubious activities while reporting such to the NPF and the Force Public Relations Officer or the Complaint Response Unit desk in any state of the Federation.”