Policemen protest demotion of colleagues attacked by unknown gunmen.

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Some police personnel amongst the rank and file of the Nigeria Police Force in Enugu State has expressed their displeasure after the alleged reduction in ranks of three of their officers in Nsukka Division who narrowly escaped death in the hands of unknown gunmen a few months ago.
The officers: Inspector Ernest Ogbonna, AP No. 201118; Inspector Aboh Justin, AP No. 274182; and Inspector Kingsley Ugwuja, AP No. 326239, were reportedly on duty at a hotspot along Nsukka-Ibagwa Ani Road last June when they were ferociously attacked by over ten heavily armed hoodlums that came with a white Hilux and Siena bus.
The daredevil criminals opened fire on them, and the gallant officers returned fire, after which they fought them feerlessly for about an hour.
It was gathered that after the intense fire exchange, the police officers succeeded in repelling their onslaught and chased them away, with some of them inflicting injuries. Unfortunately, during the exchange of fire, the criminals succeeded in setting fire to the police van, but there was no loss of lives, police arms were intact, and no wounds were sustained by the members of the police team.
Police sources said that after this narrow escape, the lucky officers were queried in the office, and an orderly room trial was carried out. Sources said when the result of the trial came out, the gallant officers were reduced in rank, a decision that was also affirmed by the AIG at Zone 13, Ukpo, Anambra State, which overlooks the activities of police officers in Enugu and Anambra States.
The punishment, according to sources, sent shock waves amongst the rank and file of both commands, as they have been victims of ceaseless attacks by criminals masquerading as unknown gunmen for a long time.
Some of the officers who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order not to be punished told reporters that they have been in a very low spirit since the unfair and wicked punishment was meted out to the gallant officers. According to the officers, does it mean that the authorities expected them to die and be decorated with death after they performed so gallantly? They were only three I’ll equip officers, but they were able to confront a heavily armed gang of criminals numbering over ten. They came out without injuries or loss of arms, yet the accolade the police gave them was to try and reduce their ranks. This is outrageous and cries to the heavens for justice.
Reports said that the concerned officers had since appealed against the injustice meted out to them and are eagerly awaiting redress by the Inspector General of Police.
A human rights group in Enugu, Alliance for Justice, intimated that the morale of officers in, especially, Enugu State, is very low after the unfair and orderly room trial of the officers.
Their spokesman, Dr. Okwui Eze, lamented: “This is the greatest height of injustice I have seen in this century. Just a few days ago, gallant police officers and the army were gruesomely killed. by these criminals in Imo State, see the incessant kidnappings now going on in Enugu State, and at the end of the day, the police will wickedly treat their gallant officers that survived such an attack in this heartbreaking manner. Where, then, lies justice? How do you expect our long suffering, and I’ll equip officers and men to continue to fight criminals?
“We are appealing to the Inspector General of Police, Egbetukon, who has so far taken very pragmatic and commendable steps to fight crime and criminalities in the country, to urgently address this callous and inhuman treatment meted out to these three officers. There should be no recourse to insubordination, as his timely action in this regard will highly restore the moral of his me in Enugu and Anambra states. The concerned officers must be duly rewarded by police authorities.”
When contacted, the state police spokesperson, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, promised to ascertain the actual status of the trial.
He stated, “While I make an effort to verify and ascertain the actual status of the said trial, it is important to inform you that an orderly trial is purely an internal administrative and/or disciplinary matter of the NPF. Hence, if any police personnel, just as you mentioned, is aggrieved with the outcome of such trials, he or she certainly knows the best channel through which judgments are appealed. So advise the individual(s) mentioned to do the needful, please.”

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