By Soni Daniel, Regional Editor, North
ABUJA — Unending public outcry over the monumental rot in police training institutions across the country may compel the Presidency to summon the Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Captain Olubolade Caleb and the Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, to explain their roles in the festering conditions of the institutions.
Meanwhile, the Police Affairs Minister, yesterday, set up a high powered committee to examine funds appropriated and donations received by the Nigeria Police Force for renovations and upgrade of its institutions between 2009 and 2012.
This is just as a forum, organised by Channels Television, scheduled for yesterday where issues arising from the deplorable conditions of the training institutions were expected to be discussed, has been postponed.
Vanguard investigation revealed that the Police Affairs Minister and the Inspector General of Police as well as their subordinates are not comfortable since President Goodluck Jonathan made an unscheduled visit to the Police College, Ikeja in Lagos where he was confronted with an eyesore in the name of a police training academy.
Minister ready to defend self
Sources close to the minister said, yesterday, that he was ready to defend himself over the decay in the police colleges across the country as he had no hand in the running of the institutions.
The minister is reported to have been preparing his defence ahead of Jonathan’s return to the country to prove to the world that neither himself nor the Ministry of Police Affairs has anything to do with the running of police training institutions in the country.
According to the source, the minister is willing to prove to the world that all monies approved for such colleges are controlled directly by the Force Headquarters and not the Ministry of Police Affairs, as insinuated by uninformed persons since the visit of the President to the Ikeja College, last weekend.
The source said: “What most people do not understand is that the police colleges are directly under the Force Headquarters and money appropriated for them is given to them directly.
“Contracts for the running and renovation of the colleges are controlled by the Inspector General of Police and not the minister, who simply monitors the use of such funds,” adding that the minister was not afraid to defend himself before the President.
IG also preparing defence
However, given the embarrassment and the outcry that have continued to trail the President’s visit to the Lagos police college, the Office of the Inspector General of Police is said to also be preparing its defence.
The IGP’s defence is said to be predicated on the fact that the police establishment has been denied of funds meant for its development and training programmes by the ministry and the Police Service Commission.
A source, who spoke in confidence, sympathised with the IGP, saying he had condoned several man-made challenges since he took over the mantle of policing in Nigeria, not wanting to expose those who were making things difficult for the Force.
The source noted: “This IG has consistently stated that it is only in Nigeria that policing is done with bare hands and that should explain to Nigerians his frustration with certain offices related to the work of the police force in Nigeria.
The Osayande c’ttee report
A senior police officer, who did not want to be named, said that it was a welcome development that the Parry Osayande Committee recommended the scrapping of the Police Affairs Ministry to give unhindered access to police funds and equipment and enhance performance.
But the officer said the Presidency appeared not serious to address the rot in the police force by not implementing the Osayande’s report months after it received the report.
He wondered why the President turned round and appointed the Police Affairs Minister and the Attorney General of the Federation to study Osayande’s report and make recommendations.
“How can the Police Affairs Minister, whose office was recommended for scrapping, be made to sit as a member of the White Paper Committee? the officer asked.
During his brief unscheduled visit to the college, weekend, President Jonathan was jolted by the high level of decay that had set into the institution which prompted him to ask: “Why do you treat human beings as poultry?”
Minister sets up c’ttee
The committee which is headed by the Director, Special Duties, and a representative of the Nigeria Police Force as Vice Chairman has nine others as members. They are: Director, Finance and Account; Director, PID; Director, PSD; Representatives of NPF; Legal Adviser; Head of Budget Division; Head of Internal Audit; Head of External Audit; and PRS as Secretary.
The committee’s term of reference include: “To ascertain the amount of funds appropriated by the Federal Government of Nigeria to the NPF for renovations/upgrade of the Nigeria Police Institutions between 2009 and 2012 and total donations received in the period under review;
“To examine the budget proposed/appropriated by NPF for the Training Institutions between 2009 and 2012;
“To verify the utilization of the appropriation to the NPF for the upgrade of facilities in the following Police Training Institutions: Detective College Enugu; PMF Training Schools Gwoza and Illa Oragun, ATS Training School, Nonwa Tai; Police Colleges Ikeja,
Kaduna, Maiduguri, Oji-River, PTS Iperu.
The committee has up to Tuesday, January 29, 2013 to submit its report.