IGP cautions Officers against operating outside dictates of the law

Tunde Akanbi, Illorin

The Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase has cautioned men and officers of the Nigerian Police Force against operating outside the dictate and principles of the law.

Mr. Arase, who gave the warning while on a one day official visit to the Kwara State Police Command, asked the Nigeria Police Force to respect not violate the fundamental rights of the people while dealing with them.

The Inspector General of Police also urged them to gather sufficient evidence before putting anybody indicted for any offence in custody, adding that it is no longer fashionable to have custodian approach towards internal security management.

Mr. Arase who stressed the need for the police as an investigator to always differentiate between criminal, commercial and civil cases, warned them against commercial transactions and civil matters.

The IGP noted that he was passionate about intelligence led policing, saying that policing should be done with the best international practices.

The IGP who said he had toured about 23 states since his assumption of duty, explained that the purpose of the visit to all states of the federation is to share the strategic position they are taking the police to.

Police Welfare

Speaking on the welfare of the police force, he disclosed that about 37,000 officers were promoted this year in all ranks, adding that it would be a continuous process.

Earlier, the Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Sam Okaula, said the state police command had witnessed relative peace since his assumption in office, saying that men of the command  were highly devoted, exceptionally diligent and effectively committed to not only their duties but also the laudable programmes of the IGP.

Mr. Okaula, informed the Inspector General of Police that the command has been facing logistics problem, particularly inadequate serviceable patrol vehicles, arms and ammunition, riot equipment and Armoured Personnel Carriers.

He said the state could not boast of any Armoured Personnel Carriers considering the trend of modern day crime and criminality, stressing the need for urgent provision of at least six APC for the command.

VON correspondent reports that the Inspector General of Police also promoted two Inspectors, Inspector David Garba and one of the first woman traffic warden in the country, Inspector Margaret Osee to Acting Assistant Superintendent of Police subject to the approval of the Police Service Commission.

Mr. Arase visited the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gamabari, before addressing a stakeholder meeting at the Police Officers message.

The Inspector General of Police also observed a minute silence for the repose of the soul of the late former Inspector General of Police, Mr. Sunday Adewusi and paid the deceased a condolence visit.

Salary Increase

Stakeholders in Kwara State also called on the Nigeria Police Force and Police Service Commission to increase the salary of the Police Officers to reduce the high rate of corruption among the officers.

They also encouraged the Police to promote community policing by carrying along the host community in combating crimes and criminality in the state.

Speaking at the stakeholders meeting held at Officers mess in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, the representative of the Emir of Ilorin, who is the Magaji Nda of Ilorin, Alhaji Saliu Woru Mohammed, stressed the need for the motivation of hardworking police officers.

Alhaji Woru Mohammed noted that promotion of the Police Officers salaries should be based on hard work and commitment to duty, which he said would inspire the men and officers of the Nigerian Police to work hard.

Proper Orientation

The State Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Barrister Issa Manzuma, said there is need for serious orientation of the Police in the attainment of justice.

Also speaking, the State Chairman of the Trade Union Congress, Comrade Waheed Olumo, who frowned at the conduct of the Police during the recent protest on electricity tariffs hike, called for more orientation and training of the Police Officers.

The representative of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association, appealed to the Inspector General of Police to strengthen its partnership with other law enforcement agencies to fight pipeline vandals.

Maximum Security

Also speaking, the representative of the Bankers Forum in the state, Mr. Yusuf Taofeek, stressed the need for security of business environment, saying that many banks outside the state capital are not operating due to the activities of the men of the underworld.

Mr. Taofeek called for quick intervention of the IGP to ensure maximum security of the business environment and allow banks to commence full operation in all parts of the state.

Other stakeholders attributed the problems facing the Police to mode of recruitment, training of the officers and funding and asked Mr. Solomon Arase to look into the three key issues.

Community Policing

Responding, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, directed all Divisional Police Officers, Area Commanders and Commissioner of Police to connect and identify with the stakeholders in the society in the fight against crime.

Mr. Arase noted that he keyed into community policing as an effective way to bring crimes to its lowest ebb and solicited the support of all stakeholders in the task of cleansing the society of crimes.

The IGP frowned at the conduct of the Police to the people, particularly the informants, saying that there is paradigm shift and called on his officers to respect the fundamental rights of the people and informants.

He noted that it is only community policing that would ensure robust security in the country.

Mr. Arase disclosed that psychological evaluation of the men of the Nigerian Police would be carried out occasionally to test the level of alcohol intake and check their activities to avoid accidental discharge.

He directed the Commissioner of Police and Area Commanders to monitor the activities of Police mounting roads block, warning that no police officer should mount roads block only if they receive an information that suspects were trying to pass through the road.

Mr. Arase therefore urged the bankers forum to take it as part of their corporate social responsibility to provide logistics for the Police to enable them combat crimes.