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Group accuses Police of marginalizing Igbo officers

…Says no Igbo in Police management team

By Anayo Okoli, Regional Editor, South East.

ENUGU-A leading right group in the South East, International Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law, Intersociety, has accused the police authorities of marginalizing the South East region in the promotion and appointment of senior police officers, lamenting that no Igbo man is a member the police management team.

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The group in a statement said that the zone has no Deputy Inspector of Police, DIG, no Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG, few commissioners of police.

“There are no serving Igbo senior police officers in the top ranks of DIG and AIG in Nigeria”, Intersociety lamented and described as unjust a situation where the zone has no person in the Nigeria Police Management Team.

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Signed by the chairman of the group, Emeka Umeagbalasi and other officials, Obianuju Joy Igboeli and Evangeline Chidinma Udegbunam, the statement said “the allocation of zero Police DIGs and AIGs and only six CPs to Southeast Region or Igbo Land is totally rejected”, and called for a proper review of the situation to reflect justice and fairness.

“Out of seven DIGs who head seven key department of the NPF, Southeast must be given at least one DIG. The Southeast must also be entitled totwo Police Zonal Command AIGs, out of the country’s 12 and minimum off our and maximum of five AIGs out of about 20-22 serving Police AIGs.

“In the area of serving CPs, presently numbering about 95, the Southeast must be given at least 15 CPs and not less than six State Command Commissioners of Police.

“The allocation of only six CPs and one Acting CP including a retiring CP is not only rejected but it also grossly undermines the equity and fairness inherent in the six geopolitical zonal arrangements.

“Presently, there are no serving Igbo senior police officers in the top ranks of DIG and AIG in Nigeria. The Southeast is presently not a member of the Nigeria Police Management Team, PMT, composed of serving IGP, seven DIGs and AIGs numbering not less than 20.

“By Section 14 (3) of the 1999 Constitution and the equity principles of regional representation and national integration, the Police Service Commission is tasked to ensure non exclusion of any geopolitical zone in the ranking and promotion of senior police officers and assignment of duties to them. The senior police officers affected are those classified and captured in ‘the Police Officers Senior Staff List: IGP-CSP’, updated monthly.

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“Contrarily, as it stands presently, the authorities of PSC and the NPF are observing the referenced constitutional provision and principles in gross breach; by deliberately and hatefully excluding, if not erasing names of senior Igbo police officers from such sensitive positions.

“For instance, it is factually authoritative that DIG Godwin C. Nwobodo from Aninri, Enugu State; with police appointment number (AP 24188) has retired since 12th August 2019 without replacement. Until his retirement, he was a member of the Nigeria Police Management Team, representing Southeast Zone and DIG in charge of Department ofInformation & Communication Technology (ICT) at Force Headquarters.

“Former CP, but now retired AIG Chris Okey Ezike (AP 24182) from Ogboji, Anambra State was the only serving Igbo AIG as at March 2019, out of 20 serving AIGs then. He later retired in the same March without replacement on 19th March 2019.

“That is also to further say that no senior police officer from the Southeast or Igbo Land is among the heads of 12 Police Zonal Commands in Nigeria, headed by AIGs.

“In all these, it is not as if no promotion exercise had taken place per PSC and NPF since then. As a matter of fact, there was a promotion exercise held on 31st March 2019 by the authorities of the Police Service Commission at its 5th Plenary Meeting that took place on 26th and 27th March 2019.

“During the promotion exercise involving promotion of 8, 916 senior police officers to their next substantive ranks to fill existing vacancies, no senior Igbo police officer was among those promoted to the rank of AIG. This is despite the fact that three CPs, Jona Jackson Mava, Olusola Babajide David and Titus Sumba Larmode, were elevated to AIG while two, Rudolf Echebi Obe and Danladi B. Lalas got confirmed as substantive CPs.

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“As it stands now, there are only six serving substantive Igbo Commissioners of Police and one acting commissioners out of 95 Commissioners of Police”, Intersociety said.

The group accused the Police Service Commission of “targeting to promote Igbo senior police officers to their next substantive ranks only at the twilight of their statutory retirements”.

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