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Policing Lagos: Not a tea party – Akpoyibo

OUTGOING Commissioner of Police (CP) of Lagos state,  Mr. Marvel Akpoyibo yesterday revealed that policing the nation’s commercial nerve center was no tea party.

CP Marvel Apkoyibo,Outgoing Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, handing over to the incoming CP Yakubu Alkali Isah, yesterday at the Command Headquarters, Ikeja, Lagos.

The police chief in an emotion- laden speech made this known during a valedictory press briefing at the police command headquarters in Ikeja during which he gave an in-depth account of  of his two and half years stewardship in Lagos.

An elated Akpoyibo who is to immediately proceed on a one year senior officer’s course at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic studies NIPSS in Kuru,  near Jos said he could comfortably beat his chest to say that his tenure restored sanity and peace to the cosmopolitan city adding that crime rate tremendously nose dived while he held sway as the commissioner of police in the state.

He said, “:Today marks approximately two years and six months since I assumed duty as the commissioner of Police in charged of Lagos state police command.  I remember with nostalgia and a deep sense of appreciation to God the brief handing and taking over ceremony that took place on the morning of July 2, 2008, during which my predecessor, CP Audu Abubakar (as he then was) now the DIG in charge of operations at the Force Headquarters, handed over the mantle of leadership of the command to me, effectively heralding my tenure as the substantive commissioner of police in charge of Africa’s most heterogenous and cosmopolitan city.

You will recall that as soon as as I took over the leadership of the command, I rolled out a mission statement for the leadership of the command showed passion, commitment, zeal and dedication to the realization of this mission statement.  Our policing style was proactive, innovative and intelligence-driven, leaving little or no room for crimes and acts of criminalities to thrive unchallenged.

The state was made undeniably hot and uncomfortable for criminal elements, thereby triggering a wave of migration.  In fact, the period under review witnessed massive exodus of criminally minded elements from the state, with a corresponding influx of peace-loving and law abiding citizens.”|

Continuing, Akpoyibo said, “Although the task of policing and maintaining public peace in the state has been a highly challenging one, it is our humble view that the command has done creditably well in discharging its statutory and constitutional roles.

A summary of the command’s achievements over the past three years have shown a steady decrease in crime and a continuous improvement in the overall security situation in the state.  Specifically, between 2008 and 2009, the general crime rate in the state recorded a significant drop, estimated at about 75%.

In 2010, efforts were further made to consolidate and improve on our previous achievements.  Bank robbery which had hitherto remained one of the greatest challenges of the command was systematically tamed, with the command recording a nil bank robbery for the three years.  Kidnaping and hostage taking were contained and made an unattractive criminal venture in the state.  Lagos has since remained at peace with trade and tourism at its peak.

Key tourist events like the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, the Eyo Festival and the Black Heritage culture events were held without any security breach or negative incident.  Night life has fully returned to the streets of Lagos and business men are smiling to the banks,.

For the period under review, that is, the duration within which I held sway as the commissioner of police in charge of the state, a total of 1,256 suspected armed robbers were arrested, 2, 795 suspected stolen cars recovered, 1,065 assorted arms recovered and 17, 754 rounds of live ammunition of different makes recovered.

The command also recorded significant improvement in curbing the fatality rate among its personnel, with operational-related deaths falling consecutively and steadily from thirty three in 2008 to ten to 2009 and then seven in 2010.  There was also massive improvement in our record keeping and data management system.  The command attained a full computerization of its data base and crime statistics modules during my tenure.

This is predicated upon our desire to produce accurate, trusted and reliable data for effective planning, research and public consumption.  We also embarked on massive capital projects amiemd at improving the welfare of personnel as well as that of detainees with the our custody.

The projects includes an ultra-modern office and detention facility at the command headquarters, a multi-purpose POWA office complex at Oduduwa street, GRA-Ikeja and the commissioner of police official quarters located close to the police officers Mess on Sobo Arobiodu street GRA Ikeja.

These projects are entirely financed through individual and collective efforts of the personnel of the command with support from civic-minded citizens within the context of community policing and public private partnership.  I am glad to inform this distinguished audience that work on all the three projects are already at advanced stage of completion.

Thanking the media for its assistance and cooperation during the period under review, CP Akpoyibo said, I am particularly grateful to members of the press whose constructive and collaborative approach in crime reporting helped in constantly re-appraising and refocusing our crime fighting machine.  Your daring and insightful write-ups were not only educative, but played significant roles in exposing the ills of the society through a subtle act of naming and shaming the deviants and perpetrators of crimes in our midst.

This in itself served as a strong deterrent to other potentials criminals, thus qualifying you all as worthy crime fighters.  We are eternally grateful to you.”

The outgoig CP, Marvel Akpoyibo was born January 15, 1954, at Ugono-Orogun in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State.

Akpoyibo is regarded in the force as a highly cerebral officer.

He attended the University of Benin, Benin City between 1976 and 1979, where he studied Sociology and graduated with a Bachelors of Science (BSc) degree, Second Class Honours, Upper Division.

Due largely to his strong passion for excellence and unquenchable quest for knowledge, CP Akpoyibo, as a serving police officer, enrolled at the University of Lagos, Akoka between 1993 and 1997 to study yet another course, this time Law.

CP Akpoyibo has served the Nigeria Police in various capacities including working as the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Anambra State Police Command between 1984 and 1985, Divisional Police Officer, Fegge Division, Onitsha, Anambra State (1987-1988) and Officer in Charge, Special Enquiry Bureau (SEB), Anambra State (1988-1989). He also served as a Provost Officer at the Zone 4 Police Command, Makurdi in Benue State between 1989 and 1990. Thereafter, he served as a crack detective at the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), Alagbon between 1990 and 1993 before being deployed to Lagos State Police Command, among other strategic positions he held before becoming CP.

His replacement, Yakubu Alkali Isah, who hails from Niger State a moved in from Delta State where he was the CP
He was posted to Delta State command from  the Force Headquarters.

He holds a Masters Degree in Strategic Studies from the University of Ibadan.

He is also a fellow of the National Defence College.


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