Ahead of the Christmas and New Year festivities, residents of Enugu State have cried out over a wave of indiscriminate arrest of citizens by the police in the city.
Some of the residents described the police action as unlawful and a violation of their rights to free movement.
The state police command, however, defended its action, saying it was a routine security measure to rid the state of criminals during the yuletide.
A trader, Nnamdi Umedi, said the police had recently been “invading peoples’ homes and work places” for arrest with no just reason. “We are citizens and have right to move around at any time,” he said. “It is not done like this anywhere,'' he said.
Another resident, Adaeze Okonkwo, described the police action as intimidating, claiming that law-abiding people were being targeted. “We have not witnessed any criminal incident that can lead to such arrests by the police,” she said.
Ebere Amarizu, the state’s police spokesperson, explained that the arrests were part of a “proactive strategy” to prevent crime. He said the police were only raiding criminal hideouts and black spots in the metropolis.
“Along Main Market, where the arrests were made today, was one of our flash points,” he said. “If you are arrested, you will be interrogated and if found to be a criminal, you will be detained.”