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Police conniving with criminals on Benin-Ore Expressway to attack motorists and passengers –Security expert

A security expert, Mr Jackson Ojo, has accused police deployed in  some sections of the Benin-Ore Expressway of conniving with hoodlums to attack motorists and passengers  on the road.

 Ojo, who is a Fellow of the  International Institute of Professional Securities,  made the allegation  in an interview with one of  our correspondents in Lagos on Friday.

The road came into the spotlight following the killing of Mrs Funke Olakunri, daughter of the leader of Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, in the Ondo State section of the highway in July.

Ojo, a frequent   traveller  on the highway,  said what he observed on some occasions and the information he got from traders and villagers on the road made him to conclude that some of the police connived with the hoodlums on the road.

He said, “I travel regularly on  the Benin-Ore Expressway and I passed through the road again last week. The policemen at a checkpoint at Akinjagunla were not wearing uniforms, nothing to identify them as policemen and they did not go there with any police van and they did not carry arms.

“I stopped at Ore and I interviewed some hawkers and residents  in  some of the  villages  on the road.

“Traders even said that if policemen were  coming to that area known for crime to combat criminals, they should be armed and have equipment to do the job.

They said these policemen deployed on the road would just come without wearing uniform and  that they would stay at a particular spot.  They normally stay at a spot at Akinjagunla along the  expressway. They usually  do not use   police vans or anything that can be used to identify them.

“I learnt that  Ondo State asked the army to take over in the area but the police have refused to leave the road.

“I interviewed more than 40 persons to get to know what was really happening. They all accused police of conniving  with the hoodlums. They said police would usually leave the spot shortly before hoodlums would strike and  dispossess  innocent people  of their belongings on the road.

“I am urging the Federal Government to act fast and remove police from that side. They should deploy soldiers there and  police should come only when normalcy has been restored.”

But the  Ondo State Police Command debunked the allegation  that its men were conniving with hoodlums to perpetrate crime on the expressway.

Spokesperson for the   command, Mr Femi Joseph,   in an interview with one of our correspondents said, “It is either the person saying our men are conniving with the criminals is being mischievous or trying to satisfy his paymasters.

“In the first place, has the person ever passed through that highway in recent times to see how our men have restored normalcy to that area. Or is he just an armchair critic, who will never see anything good in whatever the police do?

“If he has found any of our officers engaged in any infraction,  has he made any attempt to report them either to the command or Abuja? I regard such a  sensitive  statement  from him as a ranting of a debased mind  and frustrated paid agent that is devoid of any scintilla of truth.

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