Police Officers Arrested For Extorting Journalists In Plateau

The Plateau State Police command has arrested some of its officers accused of extorting some journalists of N100,000 in Jos, the state capital.

Confirming the development on Tuesday, the state Police Commissioner, CP Okoro Julius, said the arrested officers are attached to the anti-kidnapping unit of the state’s police command.

The complainants had approached the command to allege that some officers extorted the sum of N500,000 from them on October 15, 2023.

The police commissioner, who intervened in the matter, however, said the command found out during investigation, that the officers had collected N100,000 and not N500,000 as reported by some media outlets.

CP Julius said the money has since been recovered and returned to the complainants.

In a statement made available to newsmen, the spokesperson of the state command, DSP Alabo Alfred, said, “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.

“In a bid to ensure that the matter is given the urgent attention that it deserves, the commissioner of police Plateau State Command, CP Okoro J. Alawari, pcs on the 16th October, 2023, invited the complainants, namely; Audu Michael and Bitrus Zakka to his office where the erring officers were paraded and interviewed before them.”

The PRO further stated, “But contrary to the Punch report, one of the complainants, Audu Michael voluntarily disclosed to the Police that the Punch reporter, Victor Ayeni misrepresented and exaggerated the fact by reporting that AKU operatives extorted the sum of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500,000) instead of One Hundred Thousand Naira (N100,000) as alleged by the complainant, Mr Audu Michael.

“The Police boss who frowns at the unprofessional conduct of the affected officers assures Plateau residents that his administration will not harbour bad eggs in his Command. He therefore ordered the *OC Provost* of the Command to commence the orderly room trial of the officers with immediate effect.”

Alfred added that the police commissioner has urged the general public to always report Police unethical conduct to the Police Public Relations Department and Complaints Response Unit (CRU) of the command for prompt attention.

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