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Making the Police accountable

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THERE has been a raging controversy between Senate Committee Chairman on the Navy, Senator Isah Hamman Misau and the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, over an allegation against the Inspector- General of Police, IGP, Mr. Ibrahim Idris.

Senator Misau is an ex-Deputy Superintendent of Police, DSP, representing Bauchi Central Senatorial District. He accused the IGP of collecting N120 billion annually as bills for special security services rendered to corporate bodies like oil firms and highly placed individuals across the country.  The money, which is allegedly unaccounted for, is part of what he described as “series of fraudulent practices in the running of the Nigeria Police.”

Ibrahim Idris, IGP

He earlier accused the police authorities of collecting money in return for special promotions of personnel. The IGP set up a Special Investigation Panel, SIP, with broad terms of reference to investigate the allegation of bribe for promotions.  The panel was mandated to submit its report within two weeks from August 11, 2017, when it was constituted. Misau shunned invitations to appear and substantiate his allegations.

The Police accused him of unceremoniously leaving the Force when he was to face the Force Disciplinary Committee, FDC, over several serious allegations of misconduct. In response, the senator dropped the N120 billion special security services bombshell.

Senator Misau’s allegations are serious and should not be swept under the carpet. We do not believe it is a matter for internal Police investigation. The IGP cannot be a judge in his own case; neither should he be the judge over his accuser. This issue should be looked into, perhaps by the relevant joint National Assembly Committees.

There is no denying the fact that most moneybags move around in convoys with armed escorts at their service. Though many of the previous Inspectors-General of Police have openly ordered the withdrawal of these escorts for redeployment for regular anti-crime routines, the high and mighty in our society continue to be given exclusive police attention. It is important to find out the level of corruption, if any, that goes with these deployments.

The authorities should pay attention to the Senator’s message and not the messenger irrespective of his motive. As a former insider, his allegations should be taken seriously.

We call on the Federal Government to compel the police authorities to declare any money collected outside their statutory revenue, for the sake of accountability.  For the Force to be effective in the 21st Century policing in terms of crime detection and prevention, it requires proper funding to upgrade its equipment, retrain its personnel and adequately ensure their welfare.

 

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