THE Abia Police Command has debunked claims that its personnel had been colluding with hoodlums in the state to kidnap residents for ransom purposes.
It described the allegation as “over-generalisation”, asserting that no policeman had been arrested for complicity in kidnapping in the state.
Addressing the media on Tuesday at the state Police Headquarters Umuahia, the Police Commissioner, Jonathan Johnson, who was represented by the Assistant Commissioner in charge of the state Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Joseph Micloth, said losing 38 officers to death and another 20 injured in the line of duty did not suggest police collusion with criminal elements in Abia.
Johnson said: “The state Police Command lost 38 officers and men, 20 sustained injuries within three months and if we did so, where then lies our collaboration with kidnappers with this high casualty figure on the Police?”
Reviewing the command’s operations in the past three months, Johnson said several successes were recorded by his men in the period under consideration.
He disclosed that the command arrested 27 kidnap and armed robbery suspects, five murder or attempted murder accused, three pipeline vandals and three drug peddlers in 90 days.
Also 21 units of various guns and over 1,500 ammunition were recovered within the period.
Johnson also said that 100 suspects were handed over to the Joint Task Force in the same period.
However, the police chief said his command had been severely hampered by its firepower, which he added, was far inferior to the one at the disposal of criminal elements in Abia, especially kidnappers.
According to Johnson, “normalcy has been restored in Aba following the joint operational activities of the Police and the Military. Aba, which occupants fled due to high rate of kidnapping, armed robbery and other violent crimes, is returning to its lost glory.
“The command is assuring residents of Abia State and its environs to return and feel free to carry out their normal businesses and enjoy crime-free celebration of the Yuletide”.Abia Police