By Evelyn Usman
Lagos— Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, Fatai Owoseni, yesterday took a swipe at Divisional Police Officers in the state, warning them to sit up and fight crime or leave the command for good.
His reaction was not unconnected with the alleged killing of a fashion designer, by a Divisional police Officer, DPO Yakubu Mohammed, last week in Ijeshatedo area of the state.
Addressing Area Commanders and DPOs at a special lecture tagged ‘ Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officers’ in Ikeja, a visibly angry Owoseni warned that the era of impunity by policemen was gone, threatening that DPOs and Area Commanders would henceforth be held responsible for any act of misconduct committed by their subordinates.
He warned that the command would not tolerate any act of accidental discharge from any policeman, especially senior police officers, whom he said were supposed to lead by example, citing the incident at Ijeshatedo as an example.
Owoseni, who also frowned at the act of detaining suspects for more than 48 hours, disclosed that a committee would be constituted to check all police cells under the command and bring any defaulting DPO to book.
He further warned against the use of batons and hand cuffs on pregnant women, the aged, the sick, the disabled and children, except when they posed danger to other people’s lives.
He also called for the need to provide medical aid to any member of the public who sustained gun wounds from policemen, adding that relatives and friends of such victims should be contacted and a full detailed report of the incident channelled to him.
He attributed occurrences of crimes in some areas of the state to laxity on the parts of DPOs , part of which he said was their failure to carry out night patrols.
Expressing his disappointment, Owoseni said: “ I am tired of cases of shooting or killing of innocent persons. No one has the right to take another man’s life. Just know that you are causing pains for tax payers if you are intimidating them and collecting bribes from them. Such money is a curse.”