. . . Speaks on Bail, Tinted Glasses, Sirens
By Jude Atupulazi
The Commissioner of Police, Anambra State, John Abang, has once again made it clear that bail remains free and urges members of the public not to make any cash payments at any police station in the state. Abang disclosed this while reacting to questions regarding the demand for money at police stations by officers and men of the force in various guises before granting bail to individuals, reports Jude Atupulazi.
Fides gathered that despite repeated declarations by the police High Command about bail being free, many police personnel still collect money in various guises before releasing people on bail. Sometimes they claim such monies are for documents when they cannot coerce some people into paying money for bail.
But speaking to some newsmen in his office in Awka, Tuesday, Abang insisted that bail remained free, even as he warned his men against extortion of any type at any place.
He said that under his watch, the Command had been very strict on compliance, disclosing that there had been instances where police personnel reported to have collected money from individuals were asked to refund such money as well as being made to face disciplinary action.
He urged the public to always formally file complaints rather than going about grumbling.
Noting that grumbling would not solve the problem, Abang said that once complaints were received by the police they always acted on them. He reiterated that no cash must be paid whatsoever by any person in any police station for bailable offences.
Abang said the police under his Command had zero tolerance for any form of extortion and warned his officers and men against violating the directive to that effect.
While admitting that bad eggs existed in the force, he said such people were being handled.
On sirens, the Police Chief said that apart from the president, governors, security chiefs, senate president and House of Reps speaker, all others were banned from using sirens, assuring that the police would continue to enforce the ban.
On use of tinted glasses by individuals, Abang said there was never a ban on such, noting that the Inspector General of Police had clearly stated that no policeman should stop anyone on the road for such or ask for a renewal license.
Abang said that the IGP had warned all the state Police Commissioners to ensure their officers did not harass people on the road because of tinted glasses. Failure to ensure this, Abang said, would make the Commissioners vicariously culpable.
On the covering of vehicle number plates, the Anambra police boss said the directive against such was still in force, noting that it was even against the interest of defaulters as any stolen car with covered number plates would be difficult to find.
'All commanders have been instructed to arrest anyone found using covered number plates and charge them to court,' he said.
He promised the people of the state of a crime free yuletide, assuring that a credible security architecture was on ground to help achieve that even though it was not easy to have a totally crime-free state or nation.
He thanked Gov Willie Obiano for his support to the police to the, pledging to make Anambra people happy over the yuletide.