By Emma Elekwa, Onitsha
Traders at the G.U.O Plaza, Niger Street phone market in Onitsha, Anambra State, on Wednesday marched against incessant police harassment, extortion and intimidation.
Business activities were grounded for hours as the protesters, mostly phone dealers, proceeded to the Fegge Police Division, chanting songs to register their displeasure.
The protesters alleged outright infringement of their rights by policemen who ‘have been milking us dry with fictitious allegations’.
Chief Security Officer of the market Basil Udekwe accused policemen from Fegge Police division of turning their business premises into their office extension where they wilfully arrest traders for allegedly buying and selling of stolen phones.
He said: “The policemen who engage in the unholy act bring people who just accuse any trader on sight and they take the trader into detention. The trader has to bail himself with money.
“One of our members, popularly known as Emeka Nnewi, is presently in detention for allegedly buying stolen phones. Some of them have parted with between N200,000 to N500,000 in the past before regaining their freedom, unknown to the Divisional Police Officer (DPO).”
A lawyer, Margaret Iwuchukwu, who mediated for the traders, urged the police to address the challenge. According to her, the traders have become restive which could trigger another #EndSARS protest.
The Divisional Crime Officer of Fegge Division, Stephen Odok, who received the protesters traders on behalf of the DPO, Rabiu Garba, promised that their petition would be handled professionally.
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