Members of the Keke Drivers Association took over the streets to protest alleged police extortion, harassments and illegal detention of members. Human and vehicular movements were disrupted for hours at
the ever busy Denis Memorial Grammar School, (DMGS)
The protesters, dressed in mourning cloths and mouth
guards sang anti-police songs and brandished placards with
several inscriptions including “IGP please overhaul Police in
Onitsha”, “Police in Onitsha are the most corrupt in the
country”, among others.
According to the Chairman of the Campaign for Democracy,
(CD), South East zone, Dede Uzor, the protest was in
collaboration with CD against the police in the city whom he
accused of resorting to intimidation, corrupt practices and
illegal arrest and detention of tricycle drivers since the ban
on checkpoints across the country.
He said that corrupt practices among policemen were more
apparent in the commercial city of Onitsha, adding that
policemen attached to the Central Police Station, Inland
Town and Awada stations have been at the forefront for the
alleged illegal detention and extortion.
“We are protesting against the illegal and corrupt activities of
policemen in this city, they have made Keke drivers to
remain perpetually in agony because of massive extortion,
illegal detention and other inhuman treatments. It is also
pertinent to note that majority of these drivers are driving
these tricycles on hire purchase basis and when police kept
on extorting them of the money, most of them have had no
option than to drop the keke because they couldn’t meet up
with the agreement they reached with the owners”
He called on the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed
Abubakar to immediately overhaul the entire police stations
in the commercial city to bring in new police officers who
have not been corrupted by money and other things.
Also speaking, the Secretary of the KDA, Mr. Chukwudi Obi
lamented the ordeal of keke drivers in the hands of policemen
whom he accused of deliberately arresting their members
and in the process extorting money from them at the various
police stations before they would regain their freedom.
He called on Governor Willie Obiano and the Commissioner
of Police in Anambra state, Mr. Usman Gwary to look into the
matter and call the policemen serving in the police divisions
in Onitsha to order to allow those in their genuine business
However, when contacted, the State Police Public Relations
Officer, PPRO, Mr. Emeka Chukwuemeka said the policemen
in the state are there to maintain law and order and
described the allegations as frivolous and unfounded.