Posted by News Express | 22 January 2013 | 5,904 times
Most Investigating Police Officers (IPOs) in Nigeria FEAR THE COMPUTER while only about 5% of the country’s over 370,000 officers are computer literate.
This is one of the shocking findings of the International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety), as disclosed in a public statement entitled “Nigeria Police Force: The Good Versus The Bad & The Ugly.”
Issued yesterday in Onitsha, South-East Nigeria, the statement said: “The Nigeria Police Force (peopled by over 370,000 officers), going by modern policing technology, is no longer haunted by lack of manpower but lack of machine power and its competent handlers. For instance, it is an indisputable fact that up to 95% of the Force personnel, particularly from her Constables to Inspectors, are not computer literate. Also, most of her so-called Investigating Police Officers in her over 6,500 field formations in the country including most of her State CID operatives fear computers and their hardware and soft ware methodologies.”
This, according to Intersociety, is one of the reasons for the inability of the country’s police to live up to expectation in the discharge of its duties. Signed by the Chairman, BOT, Emeka Umeagbalasi, and Head, Publicity Desk, Comrade Justus Ijeoma, the statement identified seven factors responsible for the poor performance of the Nigeria Police. According to Intersociety:
“One of the fundamental challenges facing the Nigeria Police Force today is the culture of the good versus the bad & the ugly within her management and operations. Other core challenges or problems undermining the Force’s competence, capacity and capability in crime prevention, fighting and control are static policies and procedures or non-adherence/adaptation to changing security challenges and modern anti-insecurity patterns; obsolete legislations on criminal justice and court rules; obsolete crime prevention and fighting equipment including lack of modern technological policing toolkits; unprofessionalism and lack of specialization; dearth of funds and gross mismanagement of overheads and capital allocations; incompetent oversight control of the Force’s headship by the PSC, ministerial and extra-ministerial establishments; lack of morale boosting; un-patriotism; ethno-religious-cum-political allegiances; ethical dilemma and police sub culture including blue wall of silence and gross negative public perception towards the police resulting in increasing rates of dark figures of crime and the self-help syndrome among members of the public.”
Intersociety, which routinely beams its searchlight on the Nigeria Police, stoutly defended its action and gave several examples to justify its insistence on wide-ranging reforms in the Force. It also suggested the way forward. Below are other relevant parts of the statement:
Our criticism of the Force in recent times is well-intentioned; part of it is to see her totally revolutionalised by the authorities concerned. The Nigeria Police Force as the country’s general overseer of her internal security must be re-focused, socially re-engineered and reconstructed to enable her face competently the mounting internal security challenges such as internal terrorism, violent, cyber and administrative crimes. The worrying culture of the good versus the bad and the ugly whereby the good in the Force faces imminent extinction and extermination in the hands of the bad and the ugly who dominate the Force, for daring to effect positive changes, must be tackled head on before it becomes a hydra-headed monster. The late DIG Haruna John (killed in a suspicious helicopter air crash in 2012) wore and still wears the incontestable symbol of the good in the NPF.
“Notwithstanding the forgoing inadequacies, there are still the good in the NPF working to the best of their abilities to give the Force a new good name and a new path. We in the Intersociety totally associate ourselves with such police good ambassadors. Conversely, the bad and the ugly still dot every nook and cranny of the Force swearing un-repentantly to return the Force to her dark ages with their sundry nefarious conducts aimed at sabotaging and undermining the change philosophy, which has incontestably removed the Force from the first position of the most corrupt public institution in Nigeria, which now goes to the Nigerian Judiciary particularly its pre-elections and post elections litigation section. One of the good in the top hierarchy of the NPF in recent times is IGP Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar. IGP Abubakar, from our extensive interactions with recently retired chiefs of police in Nigeria, etc, is joined by the likes of late DIG Haruna John (former DIG OPS), DIG Peter Gana (DIG FCID or D Div), AIG Philemon Leha, etc. Out of our various calls for the revolutionalisation of the NPF’s obsolete general administration, intelligence, criminal investigations and oversight control of her top headship, attentions by way of workshops, seminars, re-training and re-orientation, though not yet enough, are being given to two(general administration and criminal investigations)headed by IGP Abubakar and DIG Peter Gana. The dislodgment of most of over 3,500 extortionist police checkpoints across the country and the diligent investigation so far carried out in the dastardly murder of Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde (an aide to Governor Adams Oshiomhole) on 4th of May, 2012 in Benin, Edo State, South-south Nigeria, are cases in point.
IGP Abubakar & DIG Peter Gana As Semblance Of The Good In The NPF:
Apart from ordering the dislodgment of over 3,500 extortionist police checkpoints on January 30, 2012, the IGP has substantially kept to his words of ensuring its sustenance despite the efforts of some corrupt State commands such as Anambra State Command under CP Bala Nasarrawa to sabotage and undermine it. The IGP has, for now; distinguished himself as one of the few history and people-friendly IGPs in Nigeria, notwithstanding the shortcomings of his personnel particularly in the areas of rights abuses such as extra-judicial killings and torture and corrupt practices. When objectively compared with her immediate inglorious epoch, the NPF under IGP Abubakar has made a remarkable shift from her hitherto chronic path of infamy when all indices of her social duties were at zero ratings. The recent successful launch of the code of conduct for the officers and men of the Force is a plus for the IGP’s leadership. Though belated, the code of conduct, we believe, emanates from the international code of conduct for police officers, issued by the International Association of the Chiefs of Police, which is an integral part of the Law Enforcement Oath of Honour, Law Enforcement Code of Ethics, Law Enforcement Code of Conduct and Cannons of Police Ethics. The godfathers of these important codes are the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Personnel and the UN Basic Principles for the Use of Force by the Law Enforcement Officers. In the rights community, they can be called Bill of Rights &Obligations for Law Enforcement Personnel. With this commendable development, the NPF has joined the league of international police organizations using modern professionalism and sound ethical conducts as her uncompromising parameters in her public policing industry. The change philosophy introduced by IGP Abubakar should be supported by all and sundry including the untiring exponents of the new Nigeria Police Service for a maximum success.
The Raging Controversy Over The Murder Of Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde:
For some time now, the investigation and prosecution of the possible murderers of the late Private Secretary to Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, Comrade Olaitan Ojerinde have been shifted to the pages of newspaper no thanks to the Governor’s sustained media attacks against the NPF particularly her DIG FCID, DIG Peter Gana and DCP Chris Ezike (DCP, Federal SARS), who investigated and still investigate the matter, and the scanty responses by the authorities of the NPF. For untainted records, according to our empirical findings, the late Comrade Oyerinde was gruesomely murdered by some violent armed men on 4th of May, 2012 after midnight moments after he returned from a night outing in Benin City, in company of his two friends: one David Ugolor and one Blessing Ada Ogbonna. The gruesome murder took place at his residence: No. 65 2nd Ugbor Road, GRA, Benin, Edo State. The killers of Comrade Oyerinde also robbed his household of mobile telephones including Black Berry; laptops, local and foreign currencies, etc. The most worrying and controversial part of it all was the timing of the gruesome murder: barely three months to the all-important Edo gubernatorial poll, which eventually took place in July 2012. On surface valuation, it appeared politically motivated. But instead of allowing for competent and unbiased criminal investigations, the key players in Edo politics, drawn from the political camps of the ACN, which rules the State and the PDP-the main opposition party, resorted to accusations and counter-accusations via media warfare, aimed at achieving unholy political goal or destroying the possible leads into the involvement, directly or indirectly of either of the two camps.
The criminal investigations into the ill-conceived murder were handled by the NPF best hands in criminal investigations-the DIG-FCID and his subordinate commanders such as DCP Chris Ezike (DCP-Federal SARS), etc. The Department of State Services-DSS (SSS) was also involved in the investigations. At the end, two sets of criminal suspects were arrested by the two security agencies-NPF and SSS with the NPF launching its original investigations on the same day of the murder (04-05-2012). Today, with the help of media propaganda, the substance and validity of the investigation outcomes are under a serious threat. A division, by false or real impression, has successfully been created between the Police and the SSS criminal findings. For instance, Governor Adams Oshiomhole believes that Police have not found the killers of Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde, yet the State’s DPP under his Attorney General has Okayed some of the arrested suspects for criminal trial for murder, armed robbery and criminal conspiracy against the subject. On the other hand, the suspects arrested by the SSS, whom Governor Oshiomhole believes did a good job, were not conventionally investigated (according to our empirical findings) by the SSS, who handed them over or transferred them to the NPF on 23rd August, 2012 for prosecution, with some exhibits other than (no) case files, statements of the suspects and witnesses/complainants, attestations, search warrants, etc; thereby leaving the NPF investigators with no other options than to re-investigate them. The only nexus between the SSS suspects and the murder under reference, according to our empirical findings and the re-investigated case, was criminal receipt of the deceased family’s personal effects (mobile phones) per suspect Lawal Abubakar originally wanted by both NPF and SSS, but first arrested in Kano by the Kano State Police Command and handed over to the SSS on the orders of the State CP before the arrival of the Force CID team. Also, the clues provided by suspect Garba Usman Maisamari, under interrogation, as per his relationship with one David Ugolor over the procurement of the Comrade’s gruesome murder were aborted through media propaganda and court actions, therefore, the clues were unexhausted.
Lessons From The Gruesome Murder & Its Criminal Findings:
The first lesson is gun controversy. Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s accusations would have been valid and believable if, for instance, he had established before the public, as his State’s chief security officer, that the guns used by Comrade Oyerinde’s killers, through bullet ballistic and other empirical analysis, were not the same with those disclosed by the NPF or SSS; since the late Comrade was shot severally in the stomach. Also the ownersip of the guns that accompanied the SSS exhibits and suspects ‘transfer to the NPF is now subject of controversy because its admittance allegedly under torture or duress by one of the suspects (Mohammed Ibrahim Abdullahi) has been withdrawn in the re-investigated case. The suspect, according to our empirical findings, had insisted that in the course of the search executed in his house in Benin, only one hammer, one machete and two kitchen knives used by his three wives were found. He was reportedly introduced to Governor Adams Oshiomhole as the owner of the guns used in murdering Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde when the SSS reportedly paraded him and six others before the Governor on 31st June, 2012. Therefore, it is now left with an option that they were planted. The SSS owes Nigerians an obligation to make public (if any) empirical findings of its conventional investigation of its seven suspects it arrested in connection with Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde’s gruesome murder. The second lesson is the politicization of the murder and its investigations. In criminal investigations, excessive media involvement is a sufficient defense to right to freedom of expression and media, because it defaces leads, clues and scene of the crime management. For now, Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s accusations lack empiricism and factuality until proven otherwise. The third lesson is that other than conventional armed robbery as the cause of the Comrade’s death, it is possible that he was killed from within or outside. In Criminology, Security Studies and the PCR (Peace & Conflict Resolution), politicians from both ruling and opposition parties and camps can kill their own or their opponents for political goals or to erase traces of political incriminations or certain deadly secrets. The fourth lesson is the continued dependency of police prosecutors on the so called DPP advice, which is both time consuming and corrupt. It is also manipulative. Nigerian courts including the Court of Appeal have recently rested the controversy as whether police lawyers can prosecute felonious cases including armed robbery and murder in courts of superior records. The Court answered yes. Referrals to DPP should be made optional and the issue of Holden Charge, already outlawed by some decided cases, revisited.
In all, Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s position that killers of Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde have not been fished out by the Police, may or may not be correct. Since the criminal investigations can last up to seven years, all hands should be on deck to ensure that the Comrade’s murderers including those that perfectly murdered our own Comrade Chima Ubani in September 2005 in Borno State, are fished out and made to face the law. Instead of capitalizing on the poor public image of the NPF to further vilify the Force in matter of innocence and job fairly done well, the NPF should deserve commendation where necessary and bashing or condemnation where necessary as well. For us at Intersociety, the DIG FCID team deserves commendation, not vilification, over its handling so far of the late Oyerinde Olaitan’s murder investigation. Calls for the sack of the duo of DIG FCID and the DCP, F-SARS are, therefore, ill-conceived and condemnable. We hope that those that the Edo DPP says have a case to answer in law court should be diligently and timely prosecuted.
The Bad & The Ugly In The NPF (Nigeria Police Force):
Killer-DPO Temitope Fasugba Of The Onitsha CPS & Torturer-DPO John Mark Of Fegge Division:
On 18th December, 2012, Citizen Chuka Nwankwo, residing at Umusiome Village, Nkpor, Anambra State, was shot twice and battered at close range, at leg region by the DPO (Divisional Police Officer) for Onitsha CPS, SP Temitope Fasugba. Citizen Nwankwo is a commercial bus driver in Onitsha usually hired and paid on daily basis by the management of the Anambra State Traffic Control Agency (ASTA). Citizen Nwankwo and other field officers of the State Agency were at the Onitsha Upper Iweka, controlling traffic to ensure a traffic-free movement for Xmas returnees. Conversely, three women police officers were busy engaging in collection of bribes from motorists and allowing them access to wrong routes. As a result, one of the motorists who offered them N500.00 was refused access by the ASTA field operatives to ply wrongly. The vehicle, a four-runner jeep was impounded and toed to the Agency’s office at the Onitsha GRA, under the police jurisdiction of the Onitsha CPS and the Onitsha Area Command. The toeing of the vehicle was resisted by the three women police officers, who felt slighted and followed them to the Agency’s office. The DPO was contacted and he stormed the Agency’s office in a commando style with his armed personnel at about 4: pm same day and opened fire, shooting indiscriminately in the air. As the personnel of the Agency were scampering for safety, the DPO went straight to where Citizen Nwankwo was surrounded by the three women police officers, pulled his service pistol and shot him. He went closer again to him and shot him the second time, after which he picked him, took him in the booth of his official vehicle and dumped him at his Station to bleed to death. Citizen Nwankwo bled profusely until about 8: pm same day when the night duty officers became afraid of his possible death and alerted the killer-DPO, who had left his office since over two hours. For fear of his possible death at the Station, the killer-DPO directed that he should be taken out of the Station and he was finally dumped at the Multi-care Hospital; an Onitsha based private hospital. On Thursday, 20th December, 2012, the killer-DPO sent a cash of N20, 000 as treatment deposit to the management of the hospital.
From the foregoing, therefore, it is obvious that the bad & the ugly abound in the NPF. DPO Fasugba is one of such bad eggs polluting the NPF with utter alacrity. The above criminal conduct by a senior police officer is not an isolated case; a lot of such go unreported on daily basis. Killer-DPO Temitope Fasugba, before his recent posting to the Onitsha CPS as the DPO, was formerly of the B Division at the State Command Headquarters at Awka as well as the 2i/c Operations at the State Command. The said DPO is a bad news in all its ramifications! He expressly represents the dregs of the NPF or the black sheep of the NPF. If a DPO of his standing cannot understand common theories of use of force, proportionality of defensive force to the proportionality of attacking force, code of conduct and ethical dilemma management, then the NPF is doomed if his likes are allowed to remain in the Force one bit. Killer-DPO Temitope Fasugba and John Mark, the torturer-DPO, Fegge Division of the NPF represent the opposite of the new Nigeria Police Force (NPF). It is correct to say that when IGP Abubakar and his team struggle to re-build; the likes of Supols Fasugba and John Mark struggle to destroy anything needing re-building including NPF image and integrity.
Further, on December 15, 2012, the body including the sensitive body of Mrs. Chika Obikwelu of No. 124 Bida Road, Fegge, Onitsha, was lacerated with a long stick by the DPO, Fegge Police Division, Onitsha, Supol John Mark. The woman, a mother of five, had gone to see one Mrs. Ibe (father’s surname), a heavily pregnant woman, who was arrested and detained on the orders of the DPO over her husband’s alleged involvement in armed robbery, with a view to giving her food. The pregnant woman was detained alongside her brother, Mr. Ibe (an operative of the NPF) on the ground that they must produce the culprit, who is Mr. Ibe’s in-law. On sighting Mrs. Obikwelu at the Station’s counter, the torturer-DPO accused her of being one of them and snatched a long stick from an officer, designed and lacerated her body, after which he ordered for her indefinite detention. Mrs. Chika Obikwelu was released three days after (18-12-2012). The matter was later transferred to the SARS for further investigations, culminating in granting the duo bail on Wednesday, January 16, 2013, after over 30 days in detention. The case of the torture of Mrs. Obikwelu has been reported to CP Bala Nasarrawa and assigned to DC OPS for investigation.
As we speak, every inner corner of Onitsha police jurisdiction is flooded with extortionist police personnel. Our press release of December 19, 2012 with respect to the foregoing is a case in point. It is available on our website (intersociety-ng.org). The most culpable police stations are Okpoko under DSP Joseph Ogunlade, Fegge under Supol John Mark, Onitsha CPS under Supol Temitope Fasugba, Obosi under Supol Emeka Ugwu, Onitsha MOPOL 54 under Supol Hilary Ndoma and Onitsha Area Command under ACP Benjamin Wordu. There also exists police fee of N200.00 forcefully paid daily by every commercial vehicle in Onitsha police jurisdiction, collected by a certain contractor and distributed among police heads in the area. The IGP is called upon to take note of these and arrest same promptly. Killer-DPO Temitope Fasugba and torturer-DPO John Mark should be booted out of the NPF and jailed to serve as deterrent to others. The DPOs/Commanders mentioned above should be seriously monitored and held responsible for those anomalous acts complained of. CP Bala Nasarrawa should be made to sit up to sanitize his Command or be posted out of the State and sanctioned.
Shocking Discovery Of Possible Victims Of SARS Extra-judicial Killings:
IGP Abubakar should also investigate thoroughly and conclusively the recent shocking discovery of dozens of corpses inside the Amansea (Ezu) River, in Awka, Anambra State by the local residents on Saturday, January 19, 2013. The River is located between the borders of Anambra and Enugu States. Since there is no known intra and inter communal violence or conflict in the area, it is most likely that the corpses are victims of extra-judicial killings by SARS (Special Anti Robbery Squad) operatives in Anambra State. More so when little or nothing is heard of the prosecution, conviction or acquittal of those arrested for their involvement in violent crimes such as armed robbery, kidnapping and culpable murder, particularly after they have been paraded. They are rarely arraigned and prosecuted in courts. In November 2005, over 20 detained citizens were massacred by the Awka CPS SARS and dumped in the area (Agu-Awka). Therefore, every logical indication points in the direction of the Anambra State SARS and the Anti Kidnap squads as the source of the dead bodies. The IGP should order that the corpses be pathologically investigated to determine their style of killing and circumstances under which they were killed.
•Photo: Inspector General of Police MD Abubakar presides over an ill-trained, ill-equipped and demoralised Force in need of urged reform.
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