Residents of Orhuwhorun community in Udu Local Government Area of Delta State have expressed shock over what they describe as human rights abuses allegedly by men of the Ovwian-Aladja Divisional Police.
NewsNet Nigeria investigation revealed that the recent raids and arrests by men of the Division, which started on Wednesday, December 22, 2021, were occasioned by the resurgence of cult clashes in the community in the last three weeks.
Some residents who are still counting their losses following the recent cult clashes that took the lives of at least three persons, with property worth millions stolen and destroyed, wondered why security agents who are meant to maintain law and order would rather resort to unwarranted arrest of young men and women in pharmacies, tricycles and shops in the area.
A young man in his 30s who spoke on condition of anonymity said that he was arrested on his way back from work on Wednesday evening at about 7:30pm.
Narrating his ordeal, he alleged that the policemen refused to listen to the commuters in the tricycle as their phones were collected, bundled into a Toyota Sienna and taken to the police station where they spent the night in a crowded cell.
He however found favour, after spending two nights in the cell on Friday afternoon when he was permitted to make a call to his parents who paid fifteen thousand naira to secure his release.
He also alleged that he witnessed a woman pay sixty thousand naira to secure the release of her four children.
Further findings revealed that about sixty persons have been arrested and locked in the cell in the past three days and residents are wondering if they would be able to celebrate Christmas and the New year with the fear of shootings and looting by cultists off late at the back of their minds coupled with the illegal arrests carried out by men of the Ovwian-Aladja Police Station.
Concerned citizens in Orhuwhorun community have therefore called on the Divisional Police Officer, Ovwian-Aladja, to call his men to order and fish out the culprits of the recent cult clashes that still affect the emotional, physical and financial state of persons living in the community.
Reacting to the alleged unwarranted arrests and other abuses by policemen from the Ovwian-Aladja Divisional Headquarters, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Delta State Command, DSP Bright Edafe, said persons arrested at crime scenes are later subjected to screening by the police to ascertain those that are culpable or innocent.