BY Osa Okhomina, Yenagoa –
A total number of 16 gun boats and 6,000 armed police personnel are expected to be deployed along the waterways and creeks of Bayelsa state to tackle rising sea piracy and criminal activities in the state.The Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, Asuquo Amba, who made this known during a call on him by the members of the state chapter of the Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, led by the chairman, Chief Alabo Nengi James, in the state.
Commissioner Amba said though the intelligence reports gathered by the police showed that the Delta and Rivers waterways have recorded relative calm in recent time due to a chain of arrests, other criminals can still be arrested and their activities stopped. “The suspected sea pirates in Bayelsa waters are criminals and will be dealt with.”
Amba said out of the 16 gun boats being deployed, 14 are expected to be repaired by the state government. “The Governor has directed that 14 gun boats be repaired for the operation and three donated by the Police high Command. And the 6,000 personel needed are being trained.”
On the issue of prison congestion and recent jail break at the Office of the State Anti-robbery squad, SARS, Amba blamed the deplorable state of police detention and slow judicial processes for the congestion and jail break. He however noted that the proposal for the construction of a new and secured SARS jail and the amendment to improve the judicial process have been submitted. “Most police jails are not in good state in Bayelsa. And the process of the Bayelsa judiciary does not help matters. It does not allow a prisoner to be brought to court. Out of all the states of the South-south, Bayelsa court process is the slowest. All cases depend on DPP clearance and when the case is cleared, it does not move forward. I have met with the Chief Judge on the matter. I have met with the governor. When a police detention space is congested, detainees become agitated.”
Earlier in his presentation, the State Chairman of CLO,Chief Alabo Nengi James, who visited the state command in company of the state secetary of CLO and the state coordinator of the Enviromental Right Action, ERA, and immediate past secretary of CLO, Comrade Morris Alagoa, commended the Bayelsa Police Command on the recent successes recorded in the state.
Nengi James noted that though few personnel of the command are doing well,” some few have continually engaged in alleged extortion of people from whom they demand bribe before they grant them bail. He also noted that the issue of indiscriminate arrests made by the serious crimes and Special Anti-robbery squad is discouraging night outings by residents of the state capital.
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