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Nigeria: Calabar Police Under Fire

Calabar Police Under Fire

By Akanimo Sampson, Port Harcourt

ALLEGED unwholesome activities of the Zone Six of the Nigeria Police based in Calabar, the capital city of Cross River State, are currently drawing the ire of the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Sunday Ehindero.

Some senior police officers within the zone, are claiming that how zone six was handling some ‘sensitive cases’ have been leaving sour taste in the mouth. The latest of such worrisome cases has to do with an alleged wrongful detention of a Port Harcourt businessman, Paul Onwudinjo.

In a-six paragraph petition dated August 19, 2006, to the Inspector-General of Police, by the wife of the detained business man, Mrs. Precious Onwudinjo, she pleaded with the Police boss to save her husband before he is killed.

According to her, “my husband is in a trumped-up case of alleged murder leveled against him and in which he has been held in detention for over two weeks at the Zone Six, Calabar.”

Continuing, she said, “I am calling on you to save the life of my husband before he will be systematically eliminated by the man who wants him dead at all cost.” In the petition to the police chief, Mrs. Onwudinjo named one Eze Isa Onukem, whom she claimed is also known as DOGWO, as being behind her husbands current ordeal.

Speaking to some concerned journalists in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, on Tuesday, before leaving to Abuja to keep a date with the police high command, Mrs. Onwudinjo said her husband has been in detention since August 3.

“My husband is a victim of a dangerous ring of land speculators who are working in league with some police officers at Zone Six”, she said.

Police spokesperson, Rivers State Command, Mrs. Ireju Barasua, claimed in a telephone interview that she was not competent to comment on the matter. But the police in Port Harcourt however, pointed out that Onwudinjo was first detained and released at the Mbuogba Police Station before being whisked away to Zone Six, Calabar.

Although Onukem a.k.a Dogwo could not be reach for comments, a man who claimed to be his relation simply told this reporter, “my brother is taking on Onwudinjo for murder. He is being presecuted for insisting that justice must be done”,

Trouble however, started for Onwudingjo in May 2005, when he allegedly issued a quit notice to his tenant, one Ofomeme Enukora. The tenant allegedly refused to quit the two-bedroom apartment but instead threatened to deal with Onwudinjo.

In the mean time, the Onwudinjo family at the moment is not only pleading for the release of their bread winner, but also for the investigation of the alleged involvement of some police officers from Zone Six in questionable business deals.

The family is already alleging that some persons who posed as police officers have been pressing the family for N5,000,000.00 to enable them close the case.

As at press time, it was not quite clear whether Ehindero, the police big boss, has ordered for a probe into the matter. Police sources in Calabar however, said the matter could lead to the opening of some cans of worm in Zone Six.


NOTE: Akanimo Sampson is a senior journalist and Co-ordinator of Journalists for Niger Delta (JODEL), a media group concerned with the affairs of Nigeria’s oil and gas region.

© Scoop Media

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