Military, Police abandon roadblocks following explosive report alleging official highway robbery in Southeast Nigeria

Posted by News Express | 25 December 2018 | 1,894 times

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Personnel of the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Military have “taken a flight and temporarily dismantled most of their roadblocks” in the South-East, “particularly those mounted or stationed at police and military roadblocks in the region”.

The International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) disclosed this in a statement on Christmas day. The statement signed by Emeka Umeagbalasi and Obianuju  Igboeli, Esq. said the development followed the release, yesterday, Monday, December 24, 2018 of Intersociety’s sub-report entitled, “Welcome to Southeast Region-Nigeria’s Headquarters of Official Highway Robbery”.

The group said that the dismantling of the roadblocks “happened hours after the release of the sub-report and its reportorial publication and sharing by several online media and social media platforms.”

Intersociety had in the sub-report, catalogued the number, details, patterns and trends of police, military and paramilitary roadblocks on Southeast Roads and others linking the South-East with the rest of the country.

The sub-report had found that the South-East “is besieged and harmfully affected by 3,000 police roadblocks mounted by no fewer than 15,000 police personnel, 100 military roadblocks mounted by no fewer than 1,000 military personnel, 20 roadblocks mounted by personnel of the Nigerian Custom Service and others in their hundreds or thousands mounted by personnel of the Federal Road Safety Corps, NSCDC, etc.”

Intersociety in the explosive report alleged that “a whopping N100.02b was raked in or criminally pocketed from such roadblocks in the past 40 months or between August 2015 and December 2018; involving Police – N78b, Military – N6b, Customs Service – N11.52b and FRSC, NDLEA, NAFDAC and NSCDC – N4.5b, totaling N100.02b. The criminal sums were generated and pocketed from roadblock bribery and other securitisation corruption practices.” The sub-report was attached with 16 evidential photos and two video clips.

“But, yesterday, hours after the release and publication of the sub-region, most of the military and police personnel at the roadblocks took a flight and temporarily dismantled physical structures mounted at the middle of major Federal and inter State Roads across the Southeast. “Those with checkpoint kiosks erected by the roadsides retired off the roads while the personnel of the FRSC pretentiously reverted to clearing and decongestion of the roads. In spite of all these, some chronically corrupt police personnel especially those stationed in intra and intercity roads/streets were still busy collecting bribes from commercial motorists and other use roads,” Intersociety said in this afternoon’s press statement.

The group said that it has received “barrage of text messages, mails and calls from concerned others expressing happiness and giving updates on hurried abandonment or temporary dismantling of police and military roadblocks in their areas.”

The statement, however, warned that it is not yet uhuru, saying: “While these reports sound encouraging and are deeply appreciated by Intersociety, but they are likely to be a fire brigade approach or a sort of damage control resorted to be the accused security authorities following the sub-report and the public outcries so generated. In as much as the reports have expressly vindicated Intersociety and its sub-report, but they practically translate to a call for more action. Evil, they say, triumphs and thrive because people of good conscience refused to say or do the opposite!

“Therefore, it is not yet uhuru or time for celebration. Possibility of repeat offense or returned criminality in the instant case is still very predictably high. Those who think that AK-47 rifle and its wielding is the mightiest must be tutored to know that mental thoughts or ideas are the mightiest, not gun-culture or threats of same. The People of the Southeast must therefore remain extremely vigilant and join hands in liberating the Region from the shackles and manacles of the uniform brigands masquerading as “officers and personnel of the Nigerian Armed Forces and the Police in Southeast Nigeria”.

“Citizens should make maximum use of their ICT appliances and brains in the instant case. These must be fully deployed and applied in this Xmas and New Year holiday and beyond to checkmate all forms of military, police and paramilitary roadblock and checkpoint extortions and abuses. Credible finding so generated can be sent to any notable rights group or Intersociety via for further or follow-up steps.”


Source: News Express

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