Police turn levy collector in Abia, attack residents

IGP Mohammed Abubakar

The police said it would punish the officers involved

Police officers attached to the Cameroon barrack Police Station in Aba, Abia State, Friday morning, went on a molestation spree, attacking residents and arresting people at random in a bid to collect infrastructure levy on behalf of the state government.

An Aba resident condemned the action of the police officers involved and narrated how residents were beaten and women molested by the officers.

“Police are now task force for the so called infrastructure levy in Abia State Nigeria. Police from Cameroon barrack police station in Aba did mass arrest this morning. Beating people and even stripping women naked,” Kalu Uche, a resident, said.

Mr. Uche wondered why the police allowed the state governor use its officers as debt collectors

“Why is Abia State Governor degrading police? Why is police not doing the right thing in Aba? I will be happy if (they) stop degrading themselves in Aba,” he said.

The Abia State Police Command spokesperson, Amaechi Jonathan, confirmed the incident. He said officers who participated in the task collection activities were not on any official duty, stating that defaulters who have refused to pay their infrastructural levy should be charged to court not molested.

“The commissioner has said it that police are not debt collectors, and that those officers as far as he’s concerned are not on any official duty. If revenue drivers get a defaulter who refuses to pay, the defaulter should be charged to court, police can only act on court order as found in Section 4 of the Police Act,” Mr. Jonathan told PREMIUM TIMES.

He said the police would investigate the complaints of the residents and bring indicted officers to book.

“An investigation concerning this issue is going on right now and any officer found to have been involved in this act will be seriously dealt with,” he said.

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