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Posts tagged ‘Nigerian Police’

Besieged by the Police By Okey Ndibe.


 

Okey Ndibe
Columnist:

Okey Ndibe

President Goodluck Jonathan is notorious for moving at slower than the speed of a snail when called upon to address issues that rather demand alacrity. Yet, Nigerians are besieged by a terrible plague that Mr. Jonathan can—and should—address immediately. It’s the plague of the “privatized,” lawless police.

Last week, a friend telephoned me from Lagos. Alarmed by his dispirited tone, I feared that something grave had happened. He acknowledged that he was downcast. “It’s about the way that the police are now used,” he explained. “Anybody with some money or political contact can buy himself a few police officers. They then use these officers to harass people everywhere, including in traffic.”

He described how commuters in Lagos trapped in the city’s hellish gridlock are constantly beset by the blare of police sirens. “These sirens go off so frequently, and you are expected to make way for the police-led convoy. Mobile police men hang out of the doors of the blaring vehicles, brandishing guns and koboko (horsewhips). If you don’t get out of their way fast enough, they can smash your car’s windshield or beat you up. Here’s the most annoying thing: more than 90 percent of the time, they’re not escorting any government official. They’re clearing the traffic for some private individual with money or connections.”

I was quite familiar with that nightmare scene. During my last visit to Nigeria, I spent time in Lagos, Calabar, Awka, and Enugu—and I saw that ugly scene play out numerous times in each city. I came away with the impression that police officers, whose orientation ought to be the combating of crime, had been deployed to serve as mai-guard (private security guards) for the country’s well-heeled—including those who had accumulated their huge nests in illicit ways.

Indeed, one saw two classes of police officers in Nigeria. One class—those on private deployment whose job is to harass the rest of us on behalf of their wealthy “owners”—struck me as clean and well dressed, their boots shiny, a sheen to their skins. The other class—who stood in the sun worrying motorists for bribes of N20 or more per car—appeared scruffy, their uniforms dirty or torn, their boots dusty or spattered with mud when they did not wear flip flops.

This misapplication of police power compounds the atmosphere of lawlessness in a country where might frequently usurps the place of what’s right. Each police officer in Nigeria is paid from the collective resources of all Nigerians. It is bad enough that the Nigerian police are scandal-prone, that they hardly know the first thing about solving serious crimes, that their training equips them to view Nigerians, not with any sense of civil regard, but as legitimate sport for all manner of violent impulses. To now “privatize” police officers, especially the dreaded ones called mopol (for mobile police), to lend these police officers to do the bidding of private citizens who happen to have mortgaged their senses for a haul of cash—to do this is to worsen Nigeria’s state of anarchy.

Mr. Jonathan ought to order the police to immediately stop the practice of deploying police officers on private duties. There’s a precedent for such a directive. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who was no great custodian of law and order, saw fit to instruct the police to pull officers who were seconded to non-government officials. President Jonathan should tread the same path.

Like the country’s National Electric Power Authority (NEPA)—re-baptized the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN)—the Nigerian police have an awful image. Billed as an electric power company, NEPA spent years earning a reputation for plunging Nigerians into darkness. Years before the government officially changed NEPA’s name, Nigerians had creatively refashioned the acronym, making linguistic games out of it. When in a generous mood, they rendered it as “Never Expect Power Always.” In moments of forlorn exasperation, they called NEPA “Never Expect Power At all.”

Nigerians’ most benign epithet for the police remains “Wetin you carry?” It grew out of the lazy question that police officers pose to hapless motorists they stop at ubiquitous police road blocks all over the country. These road blocks are ostensible crime-fighting devices, but any Nigerian kindergartner knows that they are, in reality, bribe-collection points.

In fact, Nigerians know that their police are allergic to fighting crime. Quite often, the police seem enamored of criminals. There are accounts of criminals who menaced their innocent victims with guns supplied by the police. Many Nigerians would say that, frequently, they can’t tell the police apart from criminals: both are so deeply, so inextricably embedded.

Nigerians know or tell some version of a joke that’s the product of despairing experiences. The kernel of the joke goes like this. A horde of armed robbers descends on a neighborhood, shooting sporadically into the air whilst going from apartment to apartment to haul away cash and valuables. A distressed victim makes a frantic telephone call to a nearby police station, breathlessly describes the harrowing event, and asks that police officers be sent to combat the robbers.

“Is that right?” says the police officer at the other end, his tone calm and manner unhurried. The officer sucks his teeth, as if he’d just worked through a heavy meal of spicy goat meat escorted by two large bottles of Guinness. “We fit come now now, only say vehicle no dey. If you can fit to bring car, we go follow you there quick quick!”

In some countries, the point is made that the police are the citizens’ best friends. Suggest that to Nigerians, and you’d provoke guffaws. The Nigerian police are nobody’s friends. Some Nigerians would say their police are friends only of criminals. The Nigerian police offer little or no help to law abiding citizens. Some Nigerians would contend that ruthless criminals receive plenty of help from the police.

There’s—to cite one example—the case of Lotachukwu (Lota) Ezeudu, a 19-year-old accountancy student at the University of Nigeria who has never been seen since he was kidnapped on September 26, 2009. The main suspects in his abduction include Sam Chukwu, a divisional police officer (DPO), and Desmond Chinwuba, a sacked police officer who was standing trial in an earlier armed robbery. Both men have been on the run for several years. Some believe that Mr. Chukwu was the mastermind, that he ran a criminal ring whose nefarious menu included assassinations, armed robbery, and kidnapping. Among those in custody are Ernest Okeke, fired alongside Mr. Chinwuba, and Nnaemeka Chukwu, the DPO’s son.

Rogue officers like the fugitive Sam Chukwu further taint the already unflattering image of Nigeria’s police. They are one reason some took to calling the country’s law enforcement agency the Nigerian Police Farce.

Nigeria’s police are trapped in a crisis that demands long-term remedies, addressing in a fundamental way how police officers are trained, equipped and paid. For now, however, President Jonathan has a duty to spare Nigerians from some of the excesses of the police. He should order that no police officer should be seen working “private” shifts for Nigeria’s deep pockets.

 

Please follow me on twitter @ okeyndibe

(okeyndibe@gmail.com)

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Nigerian Police Look Away As PDP Flouts Directive Banning Gatherings At Airports – PREMIUM TIMES.


 

By Nnenna Ibeh

Three months after the Nigeria police banned ‘political, socio-cultural, or religious gatherings’ within and around all Nigerian airports, the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, violated the directive, while the police looked away.

The ruling party flouted the directive on February 1 when hundreds of its members gathered to welcome its new National Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, on his first official return to Bauchi State after he emerged the party’s chairman.

Mr. Mu’azu, a two-term governor of Bauchi, was appointed PDP chairman on January 20.

The airport carnival

When the party chairman decided to visit his state, he was accompanied by another PDP leader and Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed. Mr. Mohammed, a former senator, is a governorship aspirant in Bauchi.

The leader of the delegation that received the two PDP heavyweights at the Bauchi Airport was Governor Isa Yuguda, also a member of the PDP.

It was a carnival-like atmosphere at the airport as Mr. Yuguda, different dance troops, mascots, praise singers and people dressed in colourful uniforms – “aso-ebi” – could barely wait for the plane to land. There was also a massive banner bearing the pictures of President Goodluck Jonathan and Messrs Mu’azu and Yuguda. The airport was beautifully decorated with fabrics made in PDP colours (red, white and green).

Mr. Yuguda, leading hundreds of people who waved their party flags and posters of the politicians, danced towards the plane as Mr. Mu’azu joyfully strolled down the airplane waving both hands to the party faithfuls.

As shown on national TV networks, and in an exclusive video sourced by PREMIUM TIMES, the crowd surrounded the plane as they welcomed their illustrious son, who had just emerged the leader of Nigeria’s ruling party; a party that describes itself as Africa’s largest.

Mr. Mu’azu and his entourage left the airport and went to the palace of the Emir of Bauchi, Rilwanu Adamu, to seek blessings for what he expected to be a result-oriented reign as PDP chairman.

“Without the blessings of the royal father, I may not make much impact. I need your prayers and blessings to succeed in this very tasking national assignment. Bauchi is my home, and you are our farther, as such, I am in dire need of your support to succeed,” Mr. Mu’azu said.

Mr. Yuguda, who accompanied the PDP chairman to the Emir’s palace, pledged his support to the latter saying Mr. Mu’azu’s success is the success of Bauchi State and the entire North-East zone.

A Bauchi-based journalist, who accompanied Mr. Yuguda’s convoy to receive the guests at the airport, narrated the events to PREMIUM TIMES.

“We left for the airport at 11.30 a.m in the convoy of the governor, Isa Yuguda. When we got to there, the place was actually jam-packed. There were lots of dancers and praise singers, praising all (the politicians). The security there was also tight; a lot of police officers. Many youths were also there, dancing with posters of politicians that they think want to contest for governorship, like Abdul Ningi, the FCT minister, posters of Jonathan, Isa Yuguda and Mu’azu.” The journalist sought anonymity for fear of being victimized by his employers.

The Police directive

On November 6, 2013, the Nigeria Police announced the ban of all political, socio-cultural, or religious gatherings within and around the premises of all Nigerian airports.

In a statement, the spokesperson of the Nigeria Police, Frank Mba, said the ban was part of efforts towards averting any security breach and the need to protect critical infrastructure, travelers, aircrew, airport staff and personnel at the nation’s local and international airports.

“As part of deliberate efforts towards averting any security breach and the need to protect critical infrastructures, travelers, aircrew, airport staff and personnel at the nation’s local and international airports, the Nigeria Police High Command has placed a total ban on political, socio-cultural or religious gatherings within and around airport premises, including tarmacs, lounges and other sensitive security points,” Mr. Mba announced.

Mr. Mba said the decision was taken by a strategic security meeting at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, on November 5, 2013. The police also vowed that legal actions would be taken against anyone who failed to comply with the directive.

The decision by the police to ban receptions and carnivals fell on the same day security personnel at the Port Harcourt International Airport clashed with supporters of Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi.

There was confusion when security personnel barred the governor’s supporters, who besieged the airport to welcome the leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC. The APC delegation had come to invite Mr. Amaechi to join the opposition party.

Mr. Amaechi has since joined the APC and is the party’s leader in Rivers.

See no evil, hear no evil

After failing to sanction the PDP for violating its directive, the Nigerian police lied to this newspaper that the Bauchi event did not happen.

When PREMIUM TIMES contacted Mr. Mba over the matter, the police spokesperson said he was not aware of it and asked for time to enable him make enquiries.
He later told PREMIUM TIMES that the Bauchi Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Ladan, said no celebration was held at the airport.

“I just spoke with the Commissioner of Police in charge of Bauchi. The information at my disposal is that the reception that took place at the airport was within the bounds of the law,” Mr. Mba said. “What simply happened at the airport was that the governor and other politicians just came and received him and they joined the vehicle and drove off.”

The police spokesperson said he was told by the Bauchi police that no dancing and drumming took place at the airport, and that the ceremony was held at the Government House in Bauchi where Mr. Mu’azu was treated to a state reception.
This video sourced by PREMIUM TIMES has since exposed the police’s claim to be false.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Lagos Magistrate Court Grants Injunction Against Police Land Take Over Of Atiporome Community.


Some of the protesting land owners at the Lagos secreatriat
By SaharaReporters, New York

A magistrate court judge in Badagry has granted an injunction against a police invasion, and demolition of over a thousand houses at Atiporome community in Badagry.

The magistrate, Judge Adesanya (Mrs.) ruled on Wednesday that the police invasion and demolition of the houses was in contempt of court, as a suit was pending regarding the  ownership and tussle on the land.

Magistrate Adesanya in her ruling also lambasted the police over its arbitrary demolition of more than 1,500 houses in the Atiporome community. She wrote the action by the police left residents there homeless.

Just a few weeks before their removal, Atiporome community residents had stormed the offices of the Lagos State Government in Ikeja. They aired their complaints and demanded government intervention on their behalf. But not much came with the airing of their plight before government officials. The Lagos State Government was also busy, ironically, at the time, wrestling with residents of the Okun-Idasho community, in Ibeju-Lekki, in a strikingly similar legal battle, to take over their land for its Lagos Free Trade Zone project.

In recent weeks before the new injunction, police had demolished well over a thousand houses in the community, claiming ownership to the land.

The magistrate ordered the police authority to be immediately served with the court order to avoid further excesses, as she ruled on the application for injunction. This latest legal step was filed collectively by members of the Atiporome community.

The matter was adjourned set for a March 20th hearing.

 

Congratulating The New Rivers State Police Commissioner By Niyi Osundare.


Compol Tunde Ogunsakin
By Niyi Osundare

Many Ikere – Ekiti sons and daughters   have greeted with a generous outpouring of congratulatory messages the just-announced posting of Mr. Ogunsakin  as Commissioner of Police to Rivers State.

That’s how it should be.

But many of these messages, in the main, have been full of hackneyed prayers and sentimental greetings. These are not enough.

Let us all wake up to the fact that Mr. Ogunsakin’s posting is not just another routine arrangement. He is being sent to a virtual battleground in a state where a costly but absolutely UNNECESSARY war has been waged for the past many months, a senseless war that has shown no signs of abating.

You don’t require a soothsayer to tell you that, from the way things are going, the fate of Nigeria’s present democracy may well depend upon how  the delicate war in Rivers State is handled. We are seeing in this state the acts of arrant stupidity, intolerance, and misuse of the so-called FEDERAL MIGHT that have been the bane of Nigeria’s several unsuccessful attempts at democracy. Once again, the monster is at our door. But as usual, we do not seem to see it.

People of our land, shine your eyes…

Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin will need all the courage, wisdom, hindsight and foresight he can muster to succeed in his new assignment. He must display a vital measure of that virtue that is in short supply in contemporary Nigeria: INTEGRITY. A healthy dose of the proverbial positive stubbornness and moral nerve that typified Ekiti character in the past will be an absolute must in the new assignment

So, compatriots, I say: mushy felicitations and ethnic back-slapping will not do for the new Rivers Commissioner of Police. He will need the benefit of our wise counsel, honest admonition, candid comments, and objective appraisal. And, yes, our goodwill too – which he cannot afford to take for granted.

So to Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin, our new Commissioner of Police to Rivers State, I say:  please be careful of the incubus called the Nigerian Factor. Never forget to think about life after power/after office. Remember the town from which you come.

May your baton be brave but kind.  May your medals shine without blinding the people. May your gun only respond to the extermination of evil. May you prove a true descendant of AJOLAGUN (the Ikere  Hero who danced through battle and emerged unscathed).

Your Compatriot,

Niyi Osundare

New Orleans,  Feb. 8, 2014.

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Soldiers, Policemen At War In Aba.


 

army police

Hell was let loose on Monday evening in Aba, Abia state as more than fifty
soldiers invaded the Aba Area Command of the Police threatening to burn
down the station if they did not produce a policeman who allegedly slapped
their colleague.

Trouble started when a policeman in company of his pregnant wife who is
also a police officer, rammed their Mercedes Benz car into another car
driven by a man in mufti later identified as Captain Abubakar who was also
in company of his colleague.

According to eyewitness accounts, the soldiers got out of their car
demanding to know why the policeman hit their car. The situation was said
to have led to an exchange of words between both parties with one of the
soldiers landing a slap on the policemen.

Angered by the action, the policeman returned the slap while the soldier
pulled a gun threatening to shoot but was held back by the wife of the
policeman who insisted that they be shot together.

The exchange which held up traffic at the Jubilee road junction near the
old site of the Abia State University Teaching Hospital(ABSUTH), a
shouting distance from the Aba Area Command, attracted some policemen who
ran back to inform their colleague about the development.

Another group of Policemen converged at the scene pleading with the
soldiers to let go of the incident since both parties should work
together. But unknown to them, one of the soldiers had contacted their
colleagues who stormed with area with an Armoured personnel Carrier
(APC)and five Hilux jeeps.
On arriving at the gate of the Aba Area Command, the angry soldiers
started beating anyone they on sight, including policemen. Even shop
owners and passersby were not spared as they were horse whipped.

The policemen who ran for cover were said to have been embarrassed when
their colleague simply identified as DSP Rotimi was stabbed on his head
and hands. The policemen ran into the Area Command and brought out guns
even as another Hilux jeep filled with soldiers landed at the area.
Rotimi was said to be discussing with an Army captain on how to settle the
matter when a soldier pulled a dagger and stabbed his hand and head.

The situation further enraged policemen who also brought out their own
APC, blocked the gate of their premises and started shooting tear gas.
Some of them went into the premises and returned with guns, threatening to
return fire for fire.

The incident which lasted more than two hours would have degenerated but
for the intervention of the Aba Area Commander, ACP Tunde Mobayo who
rushed back to the Command to douse the situation. Sources hinted that the
erstwhile Area Commander in Aba, ACP Rabiu Dayi who is on transfer to Edo
state Command was contacted to help douse the situation. Dayi was said to
have contacted some of the soldiers he worked with at Aba, some of whom
expressed surprise that he didn’t inform them that he has gone on
transfer.

A policeman who spoke on the condition of anonymity told
Pointblanknews.com that one of the irate soldiers almost attacked the Area
Commander who was on mufti, but was stopped by his colleague who
identified the former.

Sources said a senior police officer also contacted one Major Bello who
serves as the head of the Army Unit at Ngwa road, Aba who also stormed the
scene and pulled out his men who threatened to burn down the offices of
the Aba Area Command unless they produce the officer who slapped their
colleague.

“We are not happy that soldiers will attack us at every opportunity, even
when their colleague was the wrong party. How can they attack us at our
office every time? We refused to be intimidated, that is why we stood up
to them. It would have been deaths on both sides if they crossed our
gate,” a cross section of MOPOL men told Pointblanknews.com

When the fracas died down, not less than 2 policemen and 5 shop owners and
passersby sustained injuries inflicted on them by soldiers.

According to one of the injured shop owners, a patent medicine dealer, “I
was attending to a customer when soldiers came into my shop, asked me what
I was doing there and used their horse whip on me. I ran away. Even Keke
riders and other people who were going through Hospital road at that time
were beaten mercilessly. They even collected our money, everybody closed
shop and ran away”

As at the time of filing this report, the injured policemen were said to
have been invited to the office of the state Commissioner of Police,
Alhaji Usman Tilli Abubakar at Umuahia, the state capital.

Abia Police spokesman, ASP Ogbonna Geoffrey who described the incident as
unfortunate, added that it has been resolved as the two agencies will
continue to work together to maintain law and order in the state.

Source: Radio Biafra.

M. D. Abubakar intensifies anti-Igbo agenda, wipes out Igbo senior officers from Nigeria Police.


Police-M-D-Abubakar

Alarm bells are ringing in connection with what is considered as a deliberate policy of the present leadership of the Nigeria Police Force headed by the Inspector General of the Police, Alhaji Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar, to ensure that no police officer of Igbo extraction heads the force in about the next 10 years.

Alarmed by the shocking development, the International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) today sent a petition to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Senate President David Mark, House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, and Executive Chairman, Federal Character Commission, Prof. Shuaibu Oba AbdulRaheem to seek their urgent intervention into the matter.

The petition is copied to the Inspector General of Police himself; Chairman, Police Service Commission, Sir Mike Okiro; and Chairman of Southeast Governors’ Forum, Governor of Anambra State.

The petition, a copy of which is in the possession of News Express, was jointly signed by Intersociety’s Board Chairman Umeagbalasi and Head, Publicity Desk,

Justus Ijeoma. It is entitled Unmasking “Dogari/Dansanda” Policy In The Nigeria Police Force & A Case Against Sectional Domination In Promotions & Postings Of Key Officers In The Force. Part One of the petition dated February 3, 2014 and sent from Intersociety’s head office in Onitsha, Anambra State, reads as follows:

‘In our last letter (Averting Chaos & Bloodletting In 2015 General Polls) to the Presidency and the leaderships of the National Assembly, dated 13th day of January, 2014, one of our demands was the presidential intervention in the lopsided promotions and postings characterizing the present leadership of the Nigeria Police Force, headed by the Inspector General of the Police, Mr. Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar. Sadly, the wicked policy has not only continued, but also risen to an apogee, to the extent that one of Nigeria’s leading federating partners: Southeast geopolitical zone is in a verge of being erased in the high command hierarchy of the Nigeria Police Force, through the policies of “promotion dormancy and tea-making duty assignments/postings”.

‘Except drastic constitutional measures, such as immediate intervention of the President, in his capacity as “Chairman of the Nigeria Police Council” and “Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces”, are taken urgently; otherwise, no senior police officer of Southeast extraction will occupy the rank of AIG in the immediate time and DIG in the next ten years or more, not to talk of becoming an IGP. Already, except timely presidential intervention, Southeast zone has lost the possibility of producing the next Inspector General of Police when the present IGP, Mr. Mohammed D. Abubakar retires on 30th July, 2014, having lost the headship of the Army in recent shake up in the Service Chiefs.

‘This is because no senior police officer from the zone presently serves as AIG, out of the country’s 21 serving AIGs and the only serving DIG from the zone (Emmanuel Kachi Udeoji) will retire on 9th of September, 2014. The Southeast case is made worse by the fact that out of eight (8) serving CPs from the zone, three will retire this year (2014), three next year (2015) and two next two years (2016). The present IGP (M.D. Abubakar), who will retire in next six months (30th July), was appointed IGP on 25th of January, 2012. By the end of his tenure, he would have served two years and six months as IGP.

‘It is recalled that the leadership of this organization – International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law-Intersociety, had in May 2013 made two representations to the President & Commander-in-Chief over lopsided promotions and postings in the Nigeria Police Force high command(esp. ACPs to IGP), which gravely violates the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 including her Section 14 (3). The letters were predicated on promotions carried on 3rd of April, 2013 by the Police Service Commission, which said it acted based on “IGP’s recommendations”. The seeming inaction of the President & Commander-in-Chief, emboldened the prompters and promoters of this “dogari policy”, to the extent that it has become a wicked norm in the present leadership of the NPF.

‘Since then, three sets of promotions, “on the recommendations of the IGP”, have been carried out with patently lopsidedness and gross breach of the federal character principle. In the September 27, 2013 promotions, four (4) CPs (Ballah Mogaji Nasarawa – Kebi State, Northwest), Mohammed J. Gana (Niger State, North-central), Sabo Ringim (Jigawa State, Northwest) and Edgar Tam Nanakumo (Bayelsa State, South-south) were elevated to the rank of AIG. Shockingly, no senior police officer from Southeast zone was among those promoted. The promotion exercise also involved elevation of eight (8) DCPs to CPs, seven (7) ACPs to DCPs and twenty (20) CSPs to ACPs. In the December 19, 2013 promotions, made public by the IGP on 20th of January, 2014, AIGs Michael E. Zuokumor (Bayelsa State, South-south) and Jonathan Johnson ( Taraba State, Northeast) were made DIGs, while CPs Fana Abdullahi Salihu (Kebbi State, Northwest), Musa Abdulsalam Daura (Katsina State, Northwest) and Kakwe Christopher Katso (Taraba State, Northeast) were elevated to the rank of AIG. Out of these promotions, no senior police officer from Southeast was among. This is in spite of the fact that Southeast has two serving CPs, who have remained in the rank of CP since 2006 and 2007 respectively.

‘In the last promotions that took place on 21st of January, 2014, six (6) DCPs were made Commissioners of Police. They are Aminchi Samaila Baraya (Taraba State, Northeast), Hurdi D. Abubakar Mohammed, (Kebbi State, Northwest), Usman Alkali Baba (Yobe State, Northeast), Tijani Baba (Yobe State, Northeast), Mohammed K. Mohammed (Katsina State, Northwest) and Victor O.E. Onofiok (Akwa Ibom State, South-south). In the above promotions, none of them came from Southeast zone. This is despite the fact that the zone has twenty (20) serving DCPs including three (3) that will retire this year (2014). Also, nine (9) ACPs were promoted to DCPs in the exercise. They are Olukolu Shina Tairu (Lagos State, Southwest), Omololu Shamsiden Bishi (Lagos State, Southwest), Isaac Akinmoyede Olutayo (Lagos State, Southwest), Tijani Babatunde Olasupo (Kwara State, North-central) and Okon Ene Etim (Cross River State, South-south).

‘ Others are Aminu Pai Saleh (FCT/North-central), Makama Usman Hamisu (Plateau State, North-central), Aminu Koji Kwabe (Adamawa State, Northeast) and Chris Mbazor (Ebonyi State, Southeast) who will retire on 26/11/2014, having been born on 03/09/56 and enlisted on 26/11/79. Eight (8) CSPs were elevated to the rank of ACP and they are Alonge Adebowale (Lagos State, Southwest), Augustina Nwuka Ogbodo (Enugu State, Southeast), Polycap Chilaka Dibia (Enugu State, Southeast), Bello Tajudeen Olanrewaju (Kwara State, North-central), David Dangiwa Dantata (Kaduna State, Northwest), Anthony Okon (Akwa Ibom State, South-south) and Babangida Adam Zannah (Borno State, Northeast).

‘Further Authoritative Findings: Our further authoritative findings from high quarters of the Nigeria Police Force have continued to show shocking lopsidedness and sectional promotions and postings of senior officers in the Force. The lopsided and despicable policy appears worst under the present IGP, Mr. Mohammed D. Abubakar, who became IGP on 25th January, 2012. According to an authoritative NPF document seen by our field team of investigators led by Emeka Umeagbalasi; a criminologist and security expert; in addition to an investigation carried out on the last promotions’ exercise of 21st of January, 2014, there are one(1) serving Inspector General of Police (IGP), seven(7) Deputy Inspectors General (DIGs), twenty-one (21) serving Assistant Inspectors General (AIGs) including one specialist, eighty-eight (88) serving Commissioners of Police(CPs) including four specialists, one hundred & seventy-two (172) Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCPs) including fifteen specialists, three hundred & ninety-eight (398) Assistant Commissioners of Police (ACPs) including fifteen specialists and nine hundred and six (906) Chief Superintendents of Police (CSPs) including thirty-five specialists. The list of “IGP-CSPs” under reference was updated to 23rd day of January, 2014. According to the list thoroughly investigated by our team, there are a total of one thousand, five hundred & eighty-six (1,586) serving senior police officers in the Nigeria Police Force occupying the ranks of IGP to CSPs as at 31st day of January, 2014. This is in addition to last promotions under reference (21/01/2014) per PSC (Police Service Commission) website.

‘Serving IGP & DIGs: Out of seven serving DIGs in the Force, the Northwest geopolitical zone, which produces the present IGP, Mr. Mohammed D. Abubakar, also produces two DIGs in the persons of Suleiman Dauda Fakai from Kebbi State and Atiku Yusuf Kafur from Katsina State. The remaining five geopolitical zones have one DIG each and they are Abdurahaman Akano from Osun State (Southwest), Peter Yisa Gana from Niger State (North-central), Emmanuel Kachi Udeoji from Abia State (Southeast), Michael E. Zuokumor from Bayelsa State (South-south) and Jonathan Johnson from Taraba State (Northeast). The birth, enlistment and retirement dates of the IGP and the seven DIGs and their educational qualifications are as follows: 1. Mohammed D. Abubakar (IGP), birth: 05/05/58, enlistment: 30/07/79, retirement: 30/07/2014, educational qualification: Dip., Public Administration & Criminal Justice. He was promoted IGP on 25/01/2012. 2. Suleiman Dauda Fakai (DIG), birth: 01/11/59, enlistment: 01/01/84, retirement: 01/01/2019, educational qualification: B.Sc., PGD, Geography, Policy & Administration. He was promoted DIG on 22/02/2012. 3. Atiku Yusuf Kafur (DIG), birth: 07/07/57, enlistment: 08/12/82, retirement: 07/07/2017, educational qualification: B.A., Education/History. He was promoted DIG on 22/02/2012.

‘Others are: 4. Peter Yisa Gana (DIG), birth: 15/11/59, enlistment: 31/12/84, retirement: 15/11/2019, educational qualification: B.Sc., M.Sc., Policing & Public Order. He was promoted on 22/02/2012. 5. Emmanuel Kachi Udeoji (DIG), birth: 09/09/54, enlistment: 15/07/80, retirement: 09/09/2014, educational qualification: B.Sc., LLB, Sociology & Law. He was promoted DIG on 22/02/2012. 6. Abdurahaman Akano (DIG), birth: 22/06/54, enlistment: 31/12/84, retirement: 22/06/2014, educational qualification: B.A., LLB, English & Law. He was promoted DIG on 22/01/2012. 7. Michael E. Zuokumor (DIG), birth: 14/04/56, enlistment: 01/08/80, retirement: 01/08/2015, educational qualification: B.A., LLB, M.Sc., Law &History. He was promoted DIG on 15/01/2014. 8. Jonathan Johnson (DIG), birth: 23/09/55, enlistment: 03/07/79, retirement: 03/07/2014, education: Teachers’ College (Grade 11). He was promoted DIG on 15/01/2014. A careful look at the foregoing clearly shows that apart from damaging geopolitical lopsidedness, there are also no women among the seven serving DIGs in the NPF. The geopolitical representation of the seven DIGs is utterly lopsided as it is totally wrong to allow the Northwest zone that produces the present IGP to also produce two DIGs.

‘Sirs, please see part two and three of this important letter for continuation and conclusion. It is our hope that the letter in its completeness will be expeditiously looked into and issues of extreme importance raised therein addressed frontally.’

Source: Radio Biafra.

Dollar-bribe Demanding Nigerian Policeman Arrested, Faces Disciplinary Action.


Police Corporal Aniyem Chiyem
By SaharaReporters, New York

The policeman earlier caught on camera demanding a “dollar bribe,” has been arrested and currently in Police custody according to the Nigerian police headquarters.

The police officer, Corporal Aniyem Chiyem with police number F/No 374171, is attached to the Isheri Division, Lagos State.

SaharaReporters has learned that the police authorities have commenced disciplinary action against him.

Mr. Chiyem was videotaped while demanding bribe in dollars from a US-based Nigerian traveling  in Lagos.

NPF Press Release :

POLICEMAN ON VIDEO ALLEGEDLY DEMANDING DOLLAR BRIBE ARRESTED, NOW IN POLICE CUSTODY

A hitherto unidentified policeman caught in a hidden camera allegedly demanding “dollar bribe” from a citizen has been identified and arrested. He is F/No. 374171 Cpl Aniyem Chiyem attached to Isheri Division, Lagos State Police Command. His arrest was sequel to a matching order issued by the Inspector-General of Police, IGP MD Abubakar, CFR, NPM, mni, psc to the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, CP Umar Abubakar Manko to ensure prompt arrest and investigation of the matter. Following his arrest, the suspect who is now in police custody, is undergoing Orderly Room trials and if found guilty will face appropriate disciplinary actions.

Meanwhile, the IGP has commended the unknown whistleblower in this case for his painstaking efforts in exposing what would have been a hidden crime.  He equally enjoins other members of the public to emulate this noble and patriotic action which will certainly go a long way in checkmating crime in our society.

 

CSP FRANK E. MBA
FORCE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER,
FORCE HEADQUARTERS,

ABUJA.

Rivers released 275 suspects Boko Haram arrest sterrorists.


Boko-Haram-members-42-suspected

Two hundred and seventy-five persons among those held by the Police in Rivers State on the suspicion that they are members of the dreaded Boko Haram group, have been released.

Deputy Commissioner State Criminal Investigation Department (DC/CID), Sam Ukaula told reporters in Port Harcourt yesterday that 19 of those arrested are being held for further interrogation.

The arrest of the people travelling in buses on the Rivers –Imo border, has generated huge interest. The House of Representatives has ordered as probe into the

arrests. .

Ukaula said the 19, whose mission in Port Harcourt was not clear, include an illegal immigrant from Niger Republic. One of them, he said, had spent ammunition on him.

The police officer said the interception of the vehicles and arrest of the occupants was necessitated by information to Commissioner of Police Mbu Joseph Mbu, that a great number of the killer squads had been dispatched to cause havoc on Port Harcourt residents.

He explained that the action of the Police was meant to nip the intended trouble in the bud. He absolved the police of political connection.

Earlier reports said those arrested were 320, but Ukaula said yesterday that they were 294.

The suspects were arrested on Sunday morning at the boundary between Imo and Rivers states, in a convoy of 17 buses from Jigawa state. They were held at the state CID until they were screened and freed.

Ukaula said a team of security agencies in the state, including the Army, Police Immigration, customs and SSS assembled to screen the suspects before the 275 could be released.

He said: “It would be recalled that on Friday night of January 24, 2014, the Commissioner of Police received an alarming information that members of Boko Haram were being massively transported to Rivers state particularly, Port Harcourt from certain parts of the country for the purpose of causing havoc on innocent citizens.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Gunmen attack church in Adamawa, many feared dead.


 

Boko-Haram-11

Many people including 2 policemen were feared killed as gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram members attacked a church in Chakawa village of Madagali Local Government area of Adamawa.Some residents of the affected village who fled the area told newsmen that they were attacked by gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram members during Sunday service in the morning.” They used explosives during the attack on worshippers and many people lost their lives”, local villagers recounted their ordeals.” I can not actually say how many people were kill but I learnt that there are about 16 people evacuated from the church”, one of the residents who identified himself as Apogu said.Another resident claimed that some houses were also attacked by the gunmen who took some men as hostage, while two policemen, an Inspector and a Sergeant who were on guard in the church were killed instantly.” I saw some people crying saying that their relations had been taken away as hostage by the gunmen”, the resident who prefer anonymity said.Attempt to get the military and police authorities in the area to comment on the incident did not yield result.A soldier in the area who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to the press told Vanguard that nine people lost their lives during the attack.He said the Army have sealed up the area and were hunting for the fleeing attackers.Military authorities in Adamawa State have promised to speak on the issue later, even as the chairman of Madagali Local Government, Maina Ularamu confimed the attack, but declined the civilian casualties.Madagali Local Government is bordering Gwoza Local Govenment of Borno state known for series of insurgent attacks since the declaration of the state of emergency.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Police Permit Not Required For Rallies In Nigeria-Femi Falana.


Femi Falana (SAN)
By Femi Falana

In January 2012, the mass protests against the so-called removal of fuel subsidy were violently disrupted by the police and the army personnel. During its recent industrial action the Academic Staff Union of Universities had cause to direct its members to embark on protests to draw public attention to the underfunding of public universities in Nigeria. The police dispersed the protesting academics with tear gas. A fortnight ago, a political rally in Port Harcourt, Rivers State was brutally suppressed by the police. In justifying the violent attack, Mr. Joseph Mbu, the Rivers State Commissioner of Police claimed that the rally was unauthorized, as the conveners did not obtain police permit. Since the disruption of public meetings and rallies is an infringement of the fundamental right of Nigerians to freedom of association, assembly and expression it is pertinent to draw the attention of the authorities to the state of the law on public meetings.

Under the Public Order Act (Cap P42) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 the power to regulate public meetings, processions and rallies in any part of Nigeria was exclusively vested in the governors of the respective states of the Federation. Thus, by virtue of section 1 of the Act the Commissioner of Police or any other police officer could not issue a licence or permit for any meeting or rally without the authority of the governor. In other words, no police officer was competent to issue a permit for holding any public meeting or rallies or cancel any such public meeting or rally without the authority of the governor of a state.

In the case of All Nigeria Peoples Party  & Ors. v. Inspector General of Police (2006) CHR 181the Plaintiffs being registered political parties requested the Defendant, the Inspector-General by a letter dated 21st May, 2004 to issue Police Permits to their members to hold unity rallies throughout the country to protest the rigging of the 2003 elections. The request was refused. There was a violent disruption of the rally organized in Kano on the 22nd of September 2003 on the ground that no police permit was obtained.

In a suit filed at the Federal High Court against the Inspector-General of Police the Plaintiffs challenged the constitutional validity of police permit under the Public Order Act and the violent disruption of the rally. In defending the action the Defendant contended that the conveners of the rally did not obtain a police permit. In dismissing the contention of the Police the trial judge, the Honourable Justice Chinyere stated inter alia:

“The gist of the provision in section 1 of the Act is that the Governor of each State is empowered to direct the conduct of all assemblies, meetings and processions on public roads or places of public resort in the state and prescribe the route by which and times at which the procession may pass. Persons desirous of convening or collecting any assembly or meeting or of forming a procession in any public resort must apply and obtain the license of the Governor. The Governor can delegate his powers to the Commissioner of Police of the State or to other police officers. Persons aggrieved by the decision of the Commissioner of Police may appeal to the Governor and the decision of the Governor shall be final and no further appeal shall lie therefrom.”

On the inconsistency of police permit with sections 39 and 40 of the Constitution and Article 11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights Act (Cap A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 the learned trial judge said:

“In my view, the provision in section 40 of the Constitution is clear, direct and unambiguous. It is formulated and designed to confer on every person the right to assemble freely and associate with other persons. I am therefore persuaded by the argument of Mr. Falana that by the combined effect of sections 39 and 40 of the 1999 Constitution as well as Article 11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the right to assemble freely cannot be violated without violating the fundamental right to peaceful assembly and association. I agree with Mr. Falana that violation can only be done by the procedure permitted by law, under section 45 of the Constitution, in which case there must be a state of emergency properly declared before theses rights can be violated.

I also agree with Mr. Falana that the criminal law is there to take care if protesters resort to violence in the course of demonstration and that once the rights are exercised peacefully, they cannot be taken away.

The Public Order Act so far as it affects the right of citizens to assemble freely and associate with others, the sum of which is the right to hold rallies or processions or demonstration is an aberration to a democratic society. It is inconsistent with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution. In particular, sections 1(2),(3),(4),(5) and (6), 2, 3 and 4 are inconsistent with the fundamental rights provisions in the 1999 Constitution and to the extent of their inconsistency, they are void. I hereby so declare.”

After declaring the provisions of the Public Order Act which require police permit for public meetings and rallies illegal and unconstitutional the Federal High Court proceeded to grant the following reliefs:

“1.    A DECLARATION that the requirement of police permit or other authority for the holding of rallies or processions in Nigeria is illegal and unconstitutional as it violates section 40 of the 1999 Constitution and Article 11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (Cap 10) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990.

2.     A DECLARATION that the provisions of the Public Order Act (Cap 382) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990 which require police permit or any other authority for the holding of rallies or processions in any part of Nigeria is illegal and unconstitutional as they contravene section 40 of the 1999 Constitution and Article 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (Cap 10) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990.

3.     A DECLARATION that the Defendant is not competent under the Public Order Act (Cap 382) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 1990 or under any law whatever to issue or grant permit for the holding of rallies or processions in any part of Nigeria.

4.     AN ORDER OF PERPETUAL INJUNCTION restraining the Defendant (the Inspector-General of Police) whether by himself, his agents, privies and servants from further preventing the Plaintiffs and other aggrieved citizens of Nigeria from organizing or convening peaceful assemblies, meetings and rallies against unpopular government measures and policies.”

Completely dissatisfied with the judgment of the Federal High Court on the issuance of police permit the Inspector-General of Police appealed to the Court of Appeal. Upon hearing the case the Justices of the Court of Appeal unanimously affirmed the judgment of the Federal High Court. With respect to the powers of governors to authorize the issuance of permit for holding public meetings and rallies in their states Olufunmilayo Adekeye JCA (as she then was) had this to say:

“On a proper perusal of the provisions particularly section 1 subsection 1-6, and sections 2-4 there is no where the name of the Inspector General is mentioned in connection with the issuance of permit for the purpose of conducting peaceful public assemblies. Such application is to be forwarded to the Governor within forty-eight hours of holding such. The Governor may delegate his powers under the Act to the Commissioner of Police of the State or any superior police officer of a rank not below that of a Chief Superintendent of Police as applicable to this case in hand.”

On the fundamental right of Nigerian citizens to assemble freely and protest without licence or permit Adekeye JCA proceeded to hold as follows:

The power given to the Governor of a State to issue permit under Public Order Act cannot be used to attain unconstitutional result of deprivation or right to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.

The right to demonstrate and the right to protest on matters of public concern are rights which are in the public interest and that which individuals must possess and which they should exercise without impediment as long as no wrongful act is done…

Public Order Act should be promulgated to compliment sections 39 and 40 of the Constitution in context and not to stifle or cripple it. A rally or placard carrying demonstration has become a form of expression of views on current issues affecting government and the governed in a sovereign state. It is a tread recognized and deeply entrenched in the system of governance in civilized countries – it will not only be primitive but also retrogressive if Nigeria continues to require a pass to hold a rally. We must borrow a leaf from those who have trekked the rugged path of democracy and are now reaping the dividend of their experience.” (See Inspector-General of Police v. All Nigeria Peoples’ Party (2008) WRN 65).

In his contribution to the judgment of the Court of Appeal Muhammad JCA confirmed that police permit is alien to a democratic society when he reiterated that:

“In present day Nigeria, clearly police permit has outlived its usefulness. Certainly in a democracy, it is the right of citizens to conduct peaceful processions, rallies or demonstrations without seeking and obtaining permission from anybody. It is a right guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution and any law that attempts to curtail such right is null and void and of no consequence.”

In consigning police permit to the dustbin of history the Court of Appeal relied on the case of New Patriotic Party v. Inspector-General of Police, Accra (1992-1995) GBR 585 where the Supreme Court of Ghana observed that:

“Statutes requiring such permits for peaceful demonstrations, processions and rallies are things of the past. Police permit is the brain child of the colonial era and ought not to remain in our statute books.”

In line with the rule of law the current Inspector-General of Police, Mr. M.D. Abubakar has directed all police officers to comply with the verdicts of both the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal by recognizing the fundamental right of Nigerians to assemble freely and protest without harassment. Hence, in the Nigeria Police Code of Conduct launched at Abuja on January 10, 2013 it is stated that police officers shall “maintain a neutral position with regard to the merits of any labour dispute, political protest, or other public demonstration while acting in an official capacity; not make endorsement of political candidates, while on duty, or in official uniform.”

In view of the aforesaid judicial pronouncements on the fundamental right of Nigeria to protest peacefully without police permit which has been recognized by the Inspector-General of Police as espoused in the Nigeria Police Code of Conduct we urge the Rivers State Commissioner of Police and other Police Commissioners to desist from cancelling or disrupting political meetings and rallies convened by Nigerians in exercise of their freedom of association and assembly. Incidentally, the Honourable Justice Adekeye J.S.C. (Rtd) who delivered the historic judgment of the Court of Appeal, which confirmed the illegality of police permit, is now a member of the Nigeria Police Service Commission. We have no doubt that the respected Justice will rightly advise the Nigeria Police Force to stop the illegal and contemptuous practice of insisting on the issuance of police permit for political meetings and rallies in Nigeria.

Notwithstanding that the provisions of the Public Order Act relating to the issuance of permit for holding public meetings and processions have been struck down the Constitution has empowered governors to issued directives to commissioners of police with respect to public order and security in their respective states. This was confirmed by the Supreme Court in the case of Attorney General of Anambra State v. Attorney General of the Federation. (2005) 9 NWLR (PT 931) 572 at 616 where Uwais CJN (as he then was) held that:

“The Constitution in section 215 subsection (1) clearly gives the Governor of Anambra State the power to issue lawful direction to the Commissioner of Police, Anambra State, in connection with securing public safety and order in the State.

Following the aforesaid judgment of the Federal High Court the Olusegun Obasanjo Administration ensured that the protests organized by the Nigeria Labour Congress in 2005 against incessant hike in the prices of petroleum products were not disallowed by the police. In the same vein, the Acting President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan ensured that the rallies convened by the Save Nigeria Group in Lagos and Abuja in 2010 to protest the coup of the cabal that seized power when the Late President Umaru Yaradua was in a state of coma in a foreign hospital  were not attacked by the Police. Since democracy admits of freedom of expression the holding of dissent, protests, marches, rallies and demonstrations the right of Nigerians to freedom of expression should not be enjoyed on the basis of the whims and caprices of the ruling class.

In the light of the foregoing, it is submitted, without any fear of contradiction that the power to issue licence or permit for holding public meetings, assemblies and processions was never vested in Inspector-General of Police and Police Commissioners but in the State Governors. Police permit which is a relic of colonialism has been annulled on the ground of its inconsistency with the provisions of the Constitution and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on freedom of assembly, association and expression. To that extent, the disruption of public meetings and rallies by the police and other security agencies ought to be resisted by Nigerians, as it is illegal and contemptuous.

-Femi Falana, SAN.

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