Despite the directive of the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, to police formations to dismantle roadblocks across the country, several police teams have mounted roadblocks in some parts of Aba and along the Old Aba-Umuahia highway, Abia State.
The policemen operating with patrol vehicles such as Federal Highway Police, MOPOL 28, and the Eastern Ngwa Police Divisions are allegedly using the roadblocks to extort money from motorists.
Vanguard observed that the roadblocks along the old Aba-Umuahia highway, were located within a distance of less than two kilometres.
From a distance of less than two kilometres, there are over five police checkpoints, with the first one at Acho Nwakanma junction to Osusu Amaukwa.
A cross section of motorists who spoke to Vanguard lamented that the police teams now use the numerous roadblocks on the Ukaegbu junction, Ikot Ekpene Road and Aba-Umuahia road to extort money from them and urged the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Anthony Ogbizi, to call them to order.
Contacted, CP Anthony Ogbizi, who confirmed that roadblocks remain banned, however, explained that there is a difference between roadblock and checkpoint in police operations and urged Vanguard to send photographs of any roadblock mounted by policemen.
He said: “Roadblocks remain banned. There is no roadblock, there can’t be roadblocks. They can’t be located less than a kilometre. I don’t even have manpower like that.
There are differences in our patrol systems. If you give me the exact location, I will send my men to check. “There are policemen at the Abia /Rivers and Imo/Abia border posts because of IPOB activities.
You know Abia is bordered by about six states. When you talk about Mopol 28 and Mopol 55, we deploy them in strategic points like the Hausa quarters, onions market, cattle markets. These are not roadblocks. How do we intercept vehicles that are stolen? We send our policemen to mount strategic points. These are not roadblocks.”