“Demotion of Police Officers Who Survived Unknown Gunmen’s Attack Sparks Outrage”
The decision by the police authorities to demote three officers in the Nsukka Division, Enugu state, who survived an attack by unknown gunmen several months ago has sparked outrage.
The officers, identified as Inspectors Ernest Ogbonna, Aboh Justin, and Kingsley Ugwuja, were on duty along Nsukka-Ibagwa Ani Road in June when they were attacked by more than 10 heavily armed criminals in a white Hilux and Siena bus.
The officers engaged the assailants in a fierce one-hour gunfight, ultimately repelling them and causing some to sustain injuries. Fortunately, there were no casualties among the officers, their weapons remained intact, and none of the police team members were injured.
Following the incident, the officers were queried and subjected to an orderly room trial. The trial resulted in their demotion, a decision that was affirmed by the Assistant Inspector General (AIG) at Zone 13, Ukpo, Anambra state, responsible for overseeing police activities in Enugu and Anambra.
The demotion has left police officers in both commands disheartened and perplexed. They question whether the authorities expected the officers to lose their lives and be posthumously honored for their bravery.
The affected officers have appealed the decision and are awaiting redress from the Inspector General of Police.
A human rights group in Enugu, the Alliance for Justice, has decried the injustice faced by the officers and called on the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, to address the issue promptly. The group emphasized that the unjust treatment of these officers could significantly affect the morale of law enforcement personnel in the region.
Efforts to obtain a response from the police authorities in both Enugu and Abuja were unsuccessful at the time of reporting. Police Public Relations Officer in Enugu, Daniel Ndukwe, indicated that orderly trial outcomes can be appealed internally, and aggrieved officers are aware of the appropriate channels for such appeals.