Juliana Francis

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The Executive Director of Rule of Law and
Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULACC), Okechukwu Nwanguma, has accused authorities
at Police Training College, Nekede, Owerri, Imo State, of extorting the

Nwanguma got to know about this through a series of complaints
received from some of the trainees.

The trainees were allegedly asked to pay for items,
which were believed to have been taken care of by the federal government.
According to them, those that dared to complain were punished.

Other security stakeholders and human rights activists,
just like Nwanguma, said that training schools were the foundation for inculcating
sound morale into the trainees, but that the place had turned into where
corruption takes place.

Nwanguma said: “According to them, authorities at the
Force Headquarters are not aware of what is going on and they want this brought
to their attention for urgent intervention to save them from the oppressive and
exploitative activities of the authorities of the Training school. According to
the trainees, they had never received any kind of allowance but are still being
extorted. At the last count, according to them, they are 445 in total.”

The trainees reportedly alleged: “Immediately we
reported to the training school, we were ordered to drop our phones to the
school authorities. That’s the instruction across all the training schools, because
of the insecurity. As such, the school now took advantage of the fact that we
can’t have access to our phones, which is a means of communication, to extort
the trainees.”

They further alleged that they were asked to
contribute N100 each for light, N100 each for water, N25,000 each for textbooks,
N5000 each for trainees’ uniforms (Green and White), and N4000 each for fencing
of the school, N1700 for Belt and Beret.

“All these payments were compulsory for all trainees,”
they further alleged. “We have also been asked to prepare to pay for Handouts, Examination,
Passing out, Police uniforms, Police accouterments, Shoes, Headgear, Belt,
amongst others. The few of us that reported to our families when our families
visited were severely punished.”

Nwanguma said: “The thing is clearly illegai and criminal, if the police authorities want to find out, they can,”

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