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One dead as vigilance group, cultists clash in Onitsha

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• Police re-launch ‘bail is free’ campaign
One person was killed in Onitsha, Anambra State capital yesterday when members of a vigilance group clashed in the area.

The incident took place at Ozala, Awada, a suburb in the commercial city of Onitsha, which resulted in about 10 persons severely injured.

Sources said the vigilance group operative had gone to the scene of the incident in company of his colleagues to stop a fight building up in the area. As they were trying to quell the fight, the feuding parties mobilised for re-enforcement and within a few minutes, some boys, suspected to be cultists, stormed the scene.

The Awada Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Mr. Babalola, confirmed the incident, adding that investigation is ongoing.

In another development, in the bid to eradicate extortion by its officers, the Nigeria Police has re-launched the ‘Bail is Free Campaign’ across the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

To ensure compliance with the directive, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, has ordered all Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs) and Commissioners of Police (CPs) to immediately ensure that bail is indeed free and that a sign in that regards is pasted in the crime branch, statement room, charge room and other conspicuous locations in all police divisions, stations and outposts throughout the country.

Re-launching the crusade in Minna, Niger State capital, Idris said the fight against money for bail was born out of his desire to reposition the Nigeria Police Force to be more accountable.

According to the police boss, who was represented by the Force Public Relations Officer, Moshood Jimoh, in furtherance of the objectives, the IGP and Management Team have embarked on aggressive community and people-oriented engagements to bring the Nigeria Police Force closer to the people so as to ensure effective service delivery to all Nigerians.

“The Eminent persons Forum, which is a platform to strengthen the community policing strategies of the force to tackle ethnic, religious and communal disputes and crisis that bedeviled some parts of the country was launched throughout the thirty six (36) states of the Nation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and it has been achieving the desired results.

“The IGP and management team pays special attention to issues of corruption allegations, most especially as it concerns bail of suspects in police custody. He has therefore directed the launch of Bail is Free campaign starting today from Niger State Police Command, ‘B’ Division in Minna.

“Nigerians are to report to the nearest police station the conduct of any police officer, Investigative Police Officer (IPO) or any other officer that ask for money or pecuniary benefit before, during or after bail is granted to the Divisional Police Officers (DPO’s), Area Commanders, command’s Public Relations Officers, Commissioner of Police or to the Force Public Relations Officer through the following phone numbers 07056792065, 08088450152, email: bailisfree@gmail.com, and police website: www.npf.gov.ng.

“The IGP has sent out the X-squad of the Nigeria Police Force to all the states of the country to monitor compliance to the campaign and given power to arrest, detain and discipline any erring police officer,” he said.

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