Police authorities have condemned the claim that a Divisional Police Officer (DPO) was arrested by security operatives for his alleged involvement in kidnapping and other criminal activities along the Benin-Ehor Road in Edo State.
In a statement on Sunday, the Police Public Relations Officer in Edo, Kontongs Bello, described the claim as mischievous, malicious, and misleading.
He noted a trending report captioned “DPO EHOR DIVISIONAL POLICE ARRESTED BY THE SPECIAL ANTI-KIDNAP TEAM FROM THE OFFICE OF THE IGP OF POLICE, ABUJA IN CONNECTION WITH KIDNAPPING AND OTHER CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES ALONG BENIN-EHOR ROAD”.
Bello stated that there was no such unit called the Special Anti-Kidnap Team in the office of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) in Abuja.
“The report which is already going viral on various social media handles and platforms is totally the work of mischief-makers aimed at tarnishing the image of the force and to incite the general public against the police, particularly Edo State Police Command.
“The Commissioner of Police, Edo State Police Command, CP Philip Aliyu Ogbadu Psc (+), therefore, calls on the good people of Edo State and its residents to disregard the report and go about their lawful business,” the statement said.
According to the command’s spokesman, it is obvious that criminal elements have already noticed that Ehor is no more profitable for them and have decided to come out with the fake report to divert the attention of the police and the people assisting them with information about criminal activities.
He explained that the DPO in charge of Ehor Division, CSP Benjamin Benafa, reported at the division on July 2 and took over duties and responsibilities of the division the next day.
Rather than getting involved in criminal activities as alleged, Bello disclosed that Benafa was instrumental in the rescue of nine passengers kidnapped in the state.
The victims, he noted, were travelling from Auchi to Benin in an 18-seater bus owned by a private company on July 4.
“The officer is presently at his duty post in Ehor, not arrested as been mischievously circulated,” the command’s spokesman stated.
He added that the police commissioner has ordered a full-scale investigation into the matter with the aim of bringing those behind the fake report to book.