The Plateau State command of the Nigeria Police Force has taken action against officers who allegedly extorted money from journalists in Jos, the state capital. Police Commissioner CP Okoro Julius confirmed the arrest of these officers, who are part of the anti-kidnapping unit of the state’s police command.
The incident began when journalists approached the police command with a complaint that certain officers had extorted ₦500,000 from them on October 15, 2023. However, during the course of the investigation, CP Julius stated that it was discovered that the officers had actually collected ₦100,000 from the journalists, contrary to the initial reports.
CP Julius also noted that the money had been recovered and returned to the complainants, bringing a resolution to the matter.
In a statement issued by the state command’s spokesperson, DSP Alabo Alfred, it was stated that, “Following the allegation of extortion by operatives of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit (AKU) attached to the Plateau State Police Command reported by one Victor Ayeni of the Punch Newspaper on the 15th October 2023 with the headline, ‘Policemen invaded our estate, force us to pay N500,000 – Jos residents,’ the Plateau State Command has investigated the claim, identified the deviant officers, recovered exhibits and handed them over to the complainants.”
To address the situation promptly, the Plateau State Commissioner of Police, CP Okoro J. Alawari, invited the complainants, Audu Michael and Bitrus Zakka, to his office. There, the officers involved were paraded and interviewed in front of the complainants.
It was revealed during this process that the initial report by Victor Ayeni of the Punch misrepresented the facts by reporting that AKU operatives had extorted ₦500,000 when the actual amount involved was ₦100,000, as alleged by Mr. Audu Michael, one of the complainants.
CP Okoro Julius expressed his disapproval of the unprofessional conduct of the officers involved and assured the residents of Plateau State that his administration would not tolerate such behavior within the police force. As a result, he ordered the Officer in Charge of the Provost to initiate the orderly room trial of the officers without delay. This action signifies the commitment of the police command to maintaining the integrity and professionalism of its officers.