Extortion: Rivers CP, Garrison Commanders storm borders to warn men

Sequel to numerous Complaints of massive extortion by security agencies at the Rivers State borders, the Commissioner of Police, Mustapha Dandaura, and Army Garrison Commander on Thursday, April 16, took an unscheduled visit to some of the borders between Rivers State and other states.

The visit was to address officers and men at the borders to ensure that security agencies deployed stop the extortion levelled against them.

He warned that any security agent found engaging in any unprofessional conduct will be dealt with and vowed that such act had to stop.

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He said monitoring unit have been constituted to report any officer caught taking advantage of the restriction of movement to enrich themselves.

CP Mustapha Dandaura who was accompanied to the borders the Garrison Commander of Nigeria Army other top Police Officers spoke to Journalists after addressing the officers at Rivers and Abia State border.

“We have come here (border) to give a Stern warning to officers and men that from today any person caught in unprofessional conduct will be dealt with. No vehicle that does not fall into the waiver bracket should be allowed in or out the state.

“To show the seriousness of the offence is the reason why I came along with other Garrison Commanders. From now, we are setting up a monitoring team to checkmate any unprofessional activities of our men here,” CP Mustapha Dandaura said.

Trucks loaded with livestock and foodstuffs entering into Rivers State were stranded at various borders due to alleged massive extortion from security agencies at the borders who demand between N80,000 and N100,000 per truck.

Stranded vehicles carrying foodstuffs at the Rivers border with Bayelsa State.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sequel to the alleged level of extortion, the marketers of foodstuffs who come from outside the state, the Spokesman for members of Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, Babajiya Tanko, has alerted Governor Nyesom Wike that interstate foodstuff vendors from the northern part of the country are finding it difficult to come into the state and may be forced to stop bringing in foodstuffs into the state if not checked.

“We have reports that the security agencies and people suspected to be working for the state government collaborate to charge between N80,000 to N100,000 per trailer load of foodstuffs or livestock. They are complaining that after parting with huge sums at the borders, they will not be able to make profit and they may be forced to stop bringing different food items because the suffering is too much.”

Babajiya Tanko called for the intervention of Governor Wike to stave off any impending food scarcity in the state even after the coronavirus pandemic because of huge amount of money they are making illegally. He enjoined the Governor to set up a monitoring task force to check the excesses of security agencies to avert the threat by interstate food vendors to stop supplying to the state.

Investigations by our correspondent showed that the determined efforts by Governor Wike to stem the spread of Coronavirus in state may be thwarted by compromised security agencies who allow unhindered movements in and out of state without necessary testing their health status.

A report by the Covid-19 Situation Room of a Coalition of Civil Rights Activists in the state that was published by its Chairman Karl Chinedu Uchegbu via his Facebook post on Wednesday, April 8, titled: “Extortion at The state Boundaries and Sabotage of Government Restriction on Interstate travel”, said Security personnel continue to exploit the lockdown and freeze on interstate travel to extort citizens.

Stranded vehicles carrying foodstuffs at the Rivers border with Bayelsa State

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“In spite of stated objectives of the travel which is to limit the movement of people from the state, passengers travel out of and into Rivers state on a daily basis.

The report also stated that at the Imo River boundary between Rivers and Abia states, passengers pay N500 each to be allowed into the state. The Driver and his conductor pay N2000. The passengers cross over the bridge on foot, while the vehicle drives across empty. Once on the Rivers side of the boundary, the passengers re-embark on the vehicle and the journey continue.

Trucks pay N10,000 to be allowed entry, while cars pay N3000-5000. Bikes (Okada) pay N700-N1000.

Nobody cares about the implication allowing people to travel freely across state boundaries even as the Coronavirus continues to rampage.

“Commercial buses leaving the state for other parts of the country pass through Etche and onward to Imo state. Security personnel at the boundary charge N6000 per bus. This same routine is replicated at the Mbiama boundary between Rivers and Bayelsa.”

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