Posted by News Express | 8 July 2017 | 2,046 times
What exactly is responsible for the deterioration of professionalism and discipline in the Nigeria Police: Is it due to lack of competence and or lack of will-power to change the compromised and corrupt status quo in the force by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Kpotum Idris?
The deepening spectre of deterioration of professionalism and the breakdown of discipline among operatives and officers of the police force is disturbing. The compromised performance of police officers in handling the case of alleged poisoning and assassination of a 22-year-old undergraduate of the Cross Rivers State University of Technology, Miss Joy Odama, by a man identified as Alhaji Usman Adamu in his home in Karimo, a suburb of Abuja, shows that the Inspector-General of Police must sit up and walk the talk.
That the Police Service Commission (PSC) has watched as the Nigeria Police Force transforms into cesspool of corruption and bribery calls for a restructuring of this oversight agency.
On his part, the IGP doesn't seem to be ready to lead by example in this case, going by his initial mis-steps and reported deliberate attempts to make way for the alleged murderer to get away with this alleged grave offence of deceptively luring a young Nigerian student to her untimely death. It appears some funny games are being played out, and this is because these police officers believe that in Nigeria the rich and highly connected can always pay their way out and evade prosecution.
There are too many evil antecedents of cases of open compromise of cases of heinous crimes committed by the well-to-do and well-connected Nigerians. Sadly, Nigerians are so docile that we have refused to stand up and demand comprehensive change in the policing institution.
It's like a situation of if you can't beat them, join them.
Will Nigerians allow this young girl's life to be wasted, while the alleged culprit throws money and influence around to circumvent the principle of rule of law which is the corner-stone of our democracy?
For now, it looks increasingly that it is business-as-usual, and there's a groundswell of an atmosphere of conspiracy to compromise the matter. Nigerians are simply outraged on the social media, but have done nothing to demand transparent investigation and prosecution of the accused and his co-conspirators within the top echelons of the Police.
So, the emerging compromised investigation carried out by the police in the case of Joy Odama is happening about the same time that another suspected police compromise has manifested, with the arrest of Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, the so-called billionaire kidnapper.
In this case of the so-called billionaire kidnapper, the police, since over the last five years, authorised the circulation and publication of another innocent man whom the police told the Nigerian media was the suspected kidnap baron, 'Evans', but in the last one week after the real suspect was arrested, it has turned out that the photo that had been circulated is that of an innocent Nigerian based in Angola.
What would have happened?
It is possible that someone within the police hierarchy deliberately circulated the wrong photo to allow the real kidnapper continue to operate, provided that he kept paying them some fees for protection from arrest, and was picked up after he may have reneged on the agreed terms. The pattern of betrayal of public trust by the Police has become notoriously monstrous.
The sad case of this young Nigerian girl, Joy, who was suspiciously/allegedly drugged to death by this Alhaji Usman Adamu, the compromised policing style adopted by both the DPO of the Police Station-in-charge and other top police officers, including the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, has exposed the underbelly of the comprehensive state of corruption and criminal negligence in the Nigeria Police.
This open case of criminal collusion and compromise to obstruct justice by top-ranking police officers must be investigated, and the indicted officers sanctioned and punished sternly in accordance with the law. And the police officers who connived with the alleged murderer of Miss Odama should be arrested and prosecuted, without further delay.
There is an overwhelming evidence to justify urgent reorganisation and reformation of the Nigeria Police Force, to weed out the thousands of corrupt officers and bribe-seeking operatives, and save the country from becoming a full-blown failed state. It seems bribery and corruption have become the 'guardian ghosts' of the Police. This is dangerous for Nigeria.
This is because any society whose policing institution and officials can easily be bought over with money by the rich, in conflict with the law, such a society lacks justice and therefore is a failed state.
It is laughable that the IGP has chosen to play the ostrich in this scandal by seemingly disputing the clear result from the National Hospital, which conducted forensic autopsy on the remains of the late Joy and came up with far-reaching determination that she died of cocaine (drug) poisoning.
The National Hospital was unequivocal. In their in their own words: Odama died of acute cocaine poison.
According to the report, cardiogenic shock secondary to diffusionwas attributed as cause of the death of Joy.
“The cause of death was traced to cardiogenic shock secondary to diffusion, myocardial infarction secondary to possible acute cocaine poison,” the autopsy report released by the hospital management said.
The Nigerian Police also deceptively said they have been on the trail of Alhaji Usman, the alleged killer of Odama, and have ordered all its commands across the country to spread its dragnet to track the running suspect. This is deceitful, because the man accused of this grave crime is said to enjoy police protection, while the Police Public Relations Officer was busy dishing out falsehoods. It's obvious the police authority is playing out some dubious tricks by ordering another autopsy by the same hospital which found out the exact cause of death.
The order to re-conduct a fresh autopsy as directed by the Police boss is illegal and a meaningless money-guzzling gambit, which is a time-wasting strategy. The National Hospital that did the first autopsy is a credible institution of the Federal Government, just like the Police Force.
Is the Police Inspector-General now a forensic laboratory expert?
What scientific/pathological authority does he possess to doubt the far-reaching results turned in by a reputable national institution?
Who is this 'sacred cow' of an Alhaji that even the police hierarchyis frantically trying to protect, amidst mounting evidence and allegations of his involvement in the death of Joy? Is this Alhaji Usman Adamu bigger than law-enforcement agencies?
Why are the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the Office of the Wife of the President; Women Affairs Ministry and the Attorney-General of the Federation not interested in this matter?
•RIGHTSVIEW appears on Wednesdays, in addition to special appearances. The Columnist, a popular activist, is a former Federal Commissioner of Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission and presently National Coordinator of Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HURIWA). He can be reached via 08033327672 (sms only) or via firstname.lastname@example.org
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