Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 11 July 2018 | 4,425 times
National Commandant of the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN), Amb. (Dr.) Dickson Akoh, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to call the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Kpotum Idris to order.
There was breakdown of law and order for several hours in the Jabi District of Abuja on Tuesday, when policemen opened live bullets and tear gas on some members of civil groups, journalists and members of the PCN who were at the Peace Corps headquarters for press briefing in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Corps.
The PCN office located at 57, Iya Abubakar Crescent, Off Alex Ekwueme Way, Jabi, Abuja, has been sealed off by the Police since February 28, 2017, in spite of the two judgments of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Akoh while addressing newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, specifically pleaded with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) National Assembly and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami (SAN) to show concern to the refusal of police to obey court orders and the rule of laws.
The Commandant claimed that his organisation rented the office at a yearly sum of N13.8m, adding that since February 28, 2017, when police invaded the office, his men and officers have not been allowed to access the office complex.
“I plead with police to allow us to continue to operate as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). We attempted to become a statutory body within the confines of the law but regrettably, police fought us to stand still and sealed off our office without any just cause.
“The two chambers of the National Assembly passed a Bill that the Peace Corps be made a statutory body but Mr. President declined to give assent to the Bill and yet, police have refused to leave our office for us to operate in spite of the two court orders that they vacate the office for us.
“The police have achieved their aim of sabotaging the Peace Corps from becoming a statutory body, so they should leave us alone. They should allow us to access our office on the order of two of the federal high court,” Akoh lamented.
At the time of this report, a heavy police truck with no, NPF 3641C had been used to effectively block the entrance of the office complex by police in despite the two court orders pasted on the gate.
Meanwhile, men of the Mobile Police Unit of the Nigeria Police Force who attacked officers of the Peace Corps have apologised to the wounded Corps members.
Trouble started when fully armed police in five pick-up vans arrived the scene and ordered the gathering to disperse immediately.
In the confusion that ensued, the police fired gunshots sporadically and also tear gassed the group, leading to several persons incurring injuries.
As a result of the shootouts, two of PCN officers, Ogwu Stanley and Torkula Awjuu, sustained various degrees of injury in the head and in the leg respectively.
Bearing in mind the loss of blood in the process, the police took the injured in their van to Wuse General Hospital for immediate medical attention.
The police led by an Assistant Police Commissioner, Mr. Danlami Yusuf Taura, resorted to dialogue and pleaded with the civil group and PCN officers to continue to be peaceful and also promised to convey their message to the police highest authorities.
Taura declined to answer questions from the hordes of Journalists at the scene of the protest and referred them to the Police Force Public Relations Officer.
When contacted on phone, the Police spokesman, DCP Jimoh Moshood, said it was the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command that deployed police to the scene and pleaded that he be given time to speak with the Commissioner of Police in the command.
News Express contacted the Police Public Relations Officer in charge of FCT Command, DSP Anjuguri Manza, who claimed ignorance of the development.
“I’m not aware of any clash between the Police and the Peace Corps,” Manza told News Express.
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