Senior cop in abuse of process claim

National, Normal

The National- Monday, January 10, 2011

 A SENIOR police officer within the NCD-Central command has been accused of unprofessional conduct and abuse of process against a Port Moresby businessman and his relatives last Friday. 

Businessman Simeon Manihia claimed that fully-armed policemen had confronted him and his relatives at their home at Tokarara last Friday, at the directive of a senior officer with the NCD-Central command (named), over a trivial family matter.

He said the use of an armed police unit was not warranted.

He claimed police did not follow proper procedures where they would only act upon formal complaints being filed.

Manihia said the incident started when his wife, who is a relative of the senior police officer, left the house and did not return for two days. 

The couple has a nine-month-old daughter who was looked after by her baby-sitter during the mother’s absence.

He said although he did make several attempts to talk his wife into returning home, she refused with fully-armed policemen fronting up at his Tokarara gates last Friday evening.

“Police came and asked me if we had any problems at home; I said none because we did not have any problem.

“When they asked about a baby, I told them about what had happened and they responded by telling me that the baby’s mum had send them to take the baby away.

“When I told them that my wife was a relative of (named) senior police officer, and that he was acting in a manner likened to an abuse of process, the policemen went away and returned with the senior officer, his wife and my wife in his car.

“Although I requested for all of us to sit down and talk the matter over, the senior officer shouted me down and ordered that I bring the baby out.

“I did so eventually, and they left.

“But, before doing so, the senior officer also ordered his policemen to search my relatives, claiming that we had an unlicensed firearm in the house.”

Manihia said the approach taken by the senior officer to use his policemen to resolve a family matter was unprofessional and an abuse of power.

“The officer concerned has put himself in a conflict of interest situation.

“He has lowered himself and the police force with the use of heavy-handed tactics.

“I have been made to look like a criminal in my community,” Manihia said.

He said he has written to acting Police Commissioner Anthony Wagambie to register the matter and to ask for a formal police investigation into the senior officer’s conduct.

Wagambie’s cell phone rang out on The National yesterday.