Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, Wednesday, directed the dismantling of Police road blocks across the country, warning that Commissioners of Police (CP) and other senior police officers in whose jurisdiction such illegal posts still exist would be held ‘vicariously liable.’
Arase who spoke in Abuja at his maiden meeting with officers on the rank of CP and above, rolled out his agenda as the IGP.
According to him, issue of corruption, which had negatively impacted on professional and operational efficiency of the police, as well as training and properly equipping the police were his major planks while in
He stated that the meeting was to peer review their crime management ability, evaluate police performance
at the general election, evolve plans for seamless handover on May 29 and lay out the policy thrust of his administration.
Arase noted that the issue of corruption had negatively impacted on police efficiency, but warned that, henceforth, concerted efforts have been put in place such that both the giver and the taker of bribes would be adequately punished and prosecuted.
In reiterating his resolve to ensure swift investigation and prosecution of suspects, the acting IGP reinstated the Judges Protection Unit and reduced the number of policemen attached to civil commissioner.
Said he: ”I wish to state in clear terms that police road blocks remain banned. They are public nuisance, points of corruption and source of police – citizens’ frictions.
“The Commissioners of Police, Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers in whose jurisdiction illegal road blocks are detected will be personally or vicariously held liable and strict and swift disciplinary actions will be initiated against such officers.
“My administration intends to pursue a two-way approach in addressing the menace of corruption in the Police. In this regard, official factors like logistics and welfare challenges which create grounds for corrupt
tendencies by police officers will be vigorously addressed.
“The second approach is to pursue a very robust anti-corruption enforcement and strategy that will
leave no serving police officer and citizens under any illusion about its integrity and firm commitment to national ethical rebirth and development.
“The drive will be clear, coordinated, massive, firm and sustained and it will target and tackle issues relating to commercialization of bail process , the nuisance of road blocks; abuse of police powers, particularly in relation to pre-trial detention.
“The new anti-corruption crusade of the Force will take full cognisance of the appropriate sections of our criminal laws and hold both the giver and the taker of bribes accountable. Corrupt members of the public are sternly warned to refrain from corrupting the police system as they will soon be brought to the justice they equally deserve”.
Arase equally promised to entrench human rights driven policing, intelligence-led investigation/ operations and community partnership, fast-track trials and restorative justice and engagement of cutting edge technology and best practices at all levels of police functions in the country.
He also said that the X-Squad, IGP Monitoring Unit and Force Provost Marshall have been motivated and
charged to embark on massive anti-corruption enforcement operations.
Similarly, he added that “the Nigerian Police Intelligence School, Enugu which has been closed to academic activities for over a year is to immediately re-open and commence training activities for intelligence operatives, analysts and strategic intelligence managers, so as to support the intelligence-led leadership of his vision.
The police also intend to relate better with the National Identity Card Management Commission, FRSC and other agencies that have already established forensic data base so as to assist in developing a National Criminal Data Base with the support of state-of-the-art National Forensic Support Centre.