By Perez Brisibe
UGHELLI – A police sergeant attached to Special Protective Unit, SPU Base 5, Benin-City, Edo State, has gone into hiding and abandoned his AK 47 rifle with serial number B11343170 and 30 rounds of ammunition after allegedly extorting the sum of N1.8million from a teenager whom he accused of being an internet fraudster.
The police sergeant identified as Nelson Onyenibe with force number 456246 in company of other members of his team while operating in an unmarked Camry car, had last Tuesday, stopped the teenager identified as Precious Idisi during a stop and search operation along DSC express road, accused him of being an internet fraudster and arrested him after going through the contents of his phone including his bank statement.
Though the State Police Public Relations Officer, Onome Onowakpoyeya could not be reached for comments when contacted, a security source from the Ebremede police division, Sunday, confirmed the incident to Vanguard stressing that the police has also launched a manhunt for the fleeing police sergeant and his accomplices.
According to the source, the victim had reported the matter at the police station two days after the incident claiming that the suspect, who was on special duty at a hotel along DSC road in Ughelli South local government area of Delta State, had arrested him and a friend, handcuffed them and forcefully collected the sum of N1.8million from him.
Speaking further, the source who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “According to the victim, the amount was part of N2million sent to him by his elder brother residing in Germany to be used for the funeral rites of their late father.
“They were subsequently taken to a Point Of Sale, POS operator identified as Ofuya Faith at PTI junction where Precious was compelled to forcefully make a withdrawal of N1.8million.
“Upon reporting the matter at the police station, the DPO directed the Divisional Crime Officer I, DSP Yerimah Ikerodah in the company of another policeman to go and arrest the suspect.
“Unfortunately, on arrival at the hotel where the suspect was stationed, DSP Yerimah began negotiating for a share of the money with the suspect, an incident that led to the sergeant escaping after jumping the fence of the hotel leaving his rifle and ammunition behind.
“However, DSP Yerimah has been issued with a query for disobedience to lawful order, discreditable conduct and sabotage while the salary account of the fleeing sergeant has been frozen with the POS operator equally arrested and detained pending further investigation.”
Speaking on the incident, an Urhobo youth leader who earlier brought the matter before the DPO, Efemena Umukoro, said the activities of policemen extorting money from private individuals in the state is fast becoming a regular occurrence adding that the state commissioner of police has ordered for a full-scale investigation into the incident.