The House of Representatives has urged the Inspector-General of the Police to direct the Commissioner of Police in Anambra to review the location of the police checkpoints in Ihiala Federal Constituency of the state.
This was a sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion by a member, Ifeanyi Momah (APGA-Anambra) at the plenary on Wednesday.
Moving the motion, Mr Momah said for over two years, military and police checkpoints had been operational on Onitsha-Owerri Expressway due to insecurity in the area.
According to him, road users have since been subjected to devastating, degrading and inhumane treatment by the security operatives manning the checkpoints in that area.
“Being a major expressway, the negative impact of the military checkpoint has been grave on the community, as well as all road users,” he said.
The lawmaker said the security checkpoints were located at the middle of the busiest road in the local government area, opposite Abbot Boys Secondary School, Ihiala, and opposite Ihiala Divisional Police Station.
According to him, headquarters of both institutions are located within the same axis, an area that ought not to be associated with a military checkpoint.
Mr Momah said it is popular knowledge that military checkpoints were to be stationed at border communities and not in the current location.
“Recall that on Saturday, May 2020, a police makeshift roadblock was the cause of a fatal accident in Ihiala which led to the death of a trailer driver and his conductor as well as over 10 bus passengers,” he said.
The House observed a minute silence for the souls of those that died in various accidents at the police and military checkpoints along the Onitsha-Owerri Expressway.
In his ruling, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, mandated the Committee on Police Affairs and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance.
Briefing reporters after the plenary, Mr Momah said the most annoying aspect of the situation was that, the officers often run away after accidents, instead of giving help to the victims.
He said but for his intervention and those of other community leaders, youths in the constituency were about to take laws into their own hands.
He called for the relocation of the checkpoints to forestall further preventable loss of lives and property.
Anambra, like other states in Nigeria’s South-east, has been plagued by incessant deadly attacks often linked to IPOB, an outlawed group campaigning for the actualisation of an independent republic, Biafra.
IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, is in detention in Abuja where he is facing trial for alleged treason.
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