A Delta State-based rights advocate, Israel Joe, has petitioned the acting Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun over alleged extortion of N80 million from a surveillance contractor, Atubi Davison John, by an Assistant Commissioner of Police, in charge of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Port Harcourt and two other officers simply identified as Emmanuel and Uche.
The petitioner also alleged that the policemen also collected a gold necklace from Davidson worth N4 million.
Joe, in the petition dated September 21, which was duly stamped by the office of the IGP, said the Police on 14th September 2023 busted Davison’s residence at Peace Avenue Road, Egbelu, in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state, searched the house and discovered local and foreign currencies totaling N100 million meant for payment of men securing pipeline facilities in Niger Delta.
The activist said the police took away the money, two cars, and gold necklace, and arrested four persons seen in Davison’s house, including a female.
Joe claimed that despite an investigation showing that the money was for payment of securing an oil facility the money was not returned.
Joe said, “I met with the Assistant Commissioner, State CIID, and asked him what are you investigating the man for, the AC told me that is an alleged kidnap case that he doesn’t know if somebody will come and report that his money is missing or is a ransom money, that all they need to do is to see how they can manage the situation that the money is about N100 million.
“A major part of the money is in dollars. I told the AC they should charge him (Davison) to court if the man committed any offence.
“When they saw that calls were coming from different angles, they called us, called the father that they were going to release the two cars to him and any amount they release to him (Davison), he should manage it, that they are going to send N30 million to the IGP, N16 million to the state Commissioner of Police.
“At the end of the day, they (Police) released the two cars, they released the Chevrolet and Toyota Camry car to him, released only N12 million to him and took away a whopping N80 million along with his gold chain valued about N4 million, the two plasma Television, shoes and clothes they carried from his house.”
Continuing, he said, “The IPO even told us to leave Port Harcourt that criminals may come for us, that we should leave Rivers State.
“I know one CP called him (AC) and he confirmed that they took away almost N100 million from the man’s house. They released only 12 million naira for the man.
“The 12 million was in dollars. The other people who were arrested with the man bailed themselves, some with one million naira, two million naira, just like that. I am calling for a proper investigation. The money should be refunded and all officers involved should be brought to book.
“If the surveillance workers are not paid, people will go and break the pipeline and the man has nothing to do and it will tell on the economy of the Federal Government of Nigeria”.
But in a swift reaction, the spokesperson for the State Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, a Superintendent of Police in a statement described the accusations in the petition as false and misinformation.
The statement titled, ‘Official Statement on False Accusations against Rivers Command SCID’ was issued in Port Harcourt on Saturday and sent to newsmen.
She said the man was initially arrested on allegations of involvement in cybercrime and ritualistic activities, which led to a search of his residence by operatives and the discovery of ‘substantial’ sums of money concealed in his premises, notably atop the ceiling.
The state police image maker explained that John’s (Davidson’s) inability to provide a satisfactory account for the origin of this money led to his transfer to the SCID for further investigation.