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Police Sack 31 Officers, Return N55.6m It Recovered To Owners

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Police Sacks 31 Officers, Return N55.6m It Recovered To Owners
IGP Usman Alkali Baba
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The Nigeria Police Force has released documents to the public to show how committed the force is to getting rid of the bad eggs in all its commands.

The document sighted by newsmen revealed that at least 31 officers have been relieved from the force over certain irregularities against the ethics of the security agency, Naija News reports.

Among other commendable acts by the force was the return of N55.6 million it recovered in different operations to its rightful owners. The reported figures according to the force were recovered and returned between 2015 and 2021.

The Complaint Response Unit of the Force was said to have received no fewer than 14,976 complaints against police officers since the inception of the force. The unit, which was established in 2015 to receive complaints from citizens against erring policemen, stated in a report handed to The PUNCH on Tuesday that no fewer than 11,567 complaints have been resolved, and over 258 officers have been punished.

The report noted further that eight other officers are currently undergoing orderly room trials and decisions would be taken against them soon.

In 2021 alone, the unit said it received a total of 1,244 complaints against policemen nationwide. It added that out of the complaints, 876 had been resolved, 351 are currently being investigated and 25 of the complaints, after investigations, were found to be false.

Giving statistics of crime records, CRU revealed that in 2021, the Lagos State Police Command alone recorded the highest number of cases with 327 complaints, followed by the Federal Capital Territory Command which had 210.

Delta State Command recorded 85 complaints while Rivers State Command ranked fourth with 80 complaints.

The document reads further: “Commands/formations with the highest cases of professional misconduct in Nigeria are state headquarters in Rivers State with 16 cases; Federal Headquarters (15); Abattoir in FHQ (15); FCT Command (13); Ikeja in Lagos (9); Alagbon in Lagos (5) Maitama Division in FCT (4); Kubwa Division in FCT (4); FESTAC Division in Lagos State (4) and Chouba Area Command in Rivers State (4).

“The Rivers State Command headquarters recorded the highest cases of demanding money for bail, while the top four formations accused of demanding money for bail were recorded in Rivers State. This indicates the need for review of leadership in these formations.

“The Rivers State Command headquarters recorded the most excessive use of force complaints nationwide, followed by the Meiran Division and state headquarters, Lagos, then FCT.”

In his remark, the Executive Director, Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre, Okechukwu Nwanguma, commended the unit, noting that such reports will further help the police to regain its stand by getting rid of the bad eggs in the force.

He said, “First of all, this would be the first time that the CRU would be publishing and presenting its quarterly report publicly. It is a testament to how transparent and accountable the CRU is under its current leadership.

“You could see that Rivers State has the highest number of complaints. This should send a message to the Rivers State police authorities to look inwards and address this bad record.

“For states that recorded low numbers, it is also important to find out whether this is an indication of low levels of misconduct by police personnel in those states, or low levels of awareness about the CRU or lack of knowledge of how to report complaints.”

On his part, the Chairman, the Centre for Anti-corruption and Open Leadership, Debo Adeniran, charged the police unit to display more patriotic acts to help the police redeem its stained image.

“They are on the right track, not minding the amount being recovered among others. That they recognised that their personnel engage in corrupt practices and other unethical practices is commendable.

“This would make other personnel with the mindset to abuse their position to have a rethink. In general, we need more of this for them to redeem their battered image and restore confidence of the populace in the NPF. We urge them to step up and improve on this internal cleansing,” Adeniran said.