Residents of the Ibaa community in Rivers State’s Emuoha Local Government Area have raised concerns about the criminal actions of a dissolved local vigilante organization known as ISPAC.
Residents said that the vigilante group collaborated with some police officers to harass, threaten, and arrest members of the community who were considered as opponents.
Dimkpa Jaja, a member of the community, said this at a news event in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, under the banner of Fubi Political Associates.
Jaja claimed that if the dissolved local security force led by Ndidi Eke was not checked, the community would be thrown into yet another crisis.
He recounted that upon taking office, Emuoha local government chairman Chidi Lloyd disbanded all vigilante organizations in the area in response to accusations of criminality and human rights violations.
He was disappointed, however, that ISPAC operatives were still functioning and carrying out illegal arrests and intimidation.
Jaja said, “On Sunday 27th November 2021 as at 15:30hrs while we were celebrating the age-grade induction in Ibaa community, the serving police divisional police officer in Rumuji and his Divisional Crime Officer in the company of few policemen and members of the disbanded ISPAC security in Ibaa community led by one Ndidi Eke stormed the compound of chief Fubara Ohaka in Ibaa to unlawfully whisk him away with the claims of order from the Rivers State Commissioner of Police without an investigation letter or warrant of arrest.
“Mr. Ndubusi Nlerum, a transporter who hails from Ibaa, and his son, Chinonye Nlerum, were whisked away by the same dreaded disbanded members of ISPAC.
“On inquiry from the state police command, we discovered that the Commissioner of Police was not aware of the said arrest. Several complaints were made to the division, but no arrest has been carried out till date.”
Jaja urged the state police commissioner to look into the operations of his officers in Emuoha in order to restore the public’s trust in the police as state residents.
When contacted, ISPAC leader Ndidi Eke denied the charges, claiming that it was individuals who went to the media who were causing difficulties in the Ibaa community.
“Those are all lies. They are agents of Ohaka who are using crisis to make money in the community. They are saying those things to indict me or indict the police because they know we are doing a good job to maintain peace in Ibaa community,” Eke stated.
Nnamdi Omoni, a spokesman for the state police command, told our correspondent that he had not yet received the complaint.