HEADLINE | Posted: Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Police community relation official accuses Imo State DPO of s*xual misconduct


By Ikenna Ngere

The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the New Owerri Police Division at the Imo State Police Command, CSP Abideen A. Salawu, has been accused of sexual assault.

According to Saharareporters, the DPO faces accusations of sexually assaulting, harassing, and intimidating policewomen and female members of the public who report cases at his division.

A member of the Police Community Relation Committee (PCRC) at the World Bank Housing Estate in Owerri, Ogumba Onyeaghala, filed a petition to the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, and Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, detailing these allegations.

The petition alleged that since CSP Salawu took his position at the New Owerri Police Division about five years ago, he has been involved in numerous misconducts, particularly targeting women police officers who have “been dying in silence.”

Chief Onyeaghala’s petition claims that CSP Salawu often favours women in legal disputes, allegedly to gain sexual favours. This alleged behaviour has led many residents of the World Bank Housing Estate to avoid the New Owerri Police Division, opting instead for the Umuguma police station or the Area Commander’s office in Owerri.

The petition further asserts that CSP Salawu maintains a hotel room and a flat in Owerri for his personal use but often stays at the police station to exploit policewomen, both married and unmarried. Some female officers, feeling intimidated, have reportedly recorded him during these encounters.

A critical point in the petition is the allegation that CSP Salawu requested the Imo State Commissioner of Police, Danjuma Aboki, to transfer all personnel from the New Owerri Police Division to bring in new female officers. This request was purportedly to target those who were not submissive to him.

This request reportedly reached human rights advocates who alerted Mrs. Chioma Uzodinma, the wife of the Imo State Governor. Despite her call for CSP Salawu’s removal, a senior police officer intervened, claiming Salawu was his benefactor.

Although the DPO received a serious warning, he allegedly retaliated by beating Inspector Juliet Ubalaka and threatening further transfers and diabolical actions.

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