THE Federal Government is set to launch an investigation into the activities of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS).
Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Dingyadi, said all victims of FSARS’ excesses will get justice; erring officers will be dealt with.
The police in Lagos released numbers through which complaints against officers can be made.
They are 09057597931 (WhatsApp), 09010512350, 09010512348 and 09090003792.
Press Secretary of the Minister, Osaigbovo Ehisienmen, in a statement in Abuja, quoted the minister as urging the police leadership to strengthen oversight mechanisms.
The minister added that the ministry’s newly inaugurated Servicom Unit has been mandated to work closely with the Police Public Complaint Unit and relevant department of the Police Service Commission to fast-track resolution of all cases of infraction against policemen and bring erring officers to book, to serve as a deterrent to others.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, warned that any policeman caught violating any citizen’s right will be promptly arrested, dismissed and prosecuted.
Addressing police personnel deployed for election security duty in Ondo State, Adamu said he was deeply concerned about the re-surging trend of unprofessional conducts by some police personnel.
“I am in this instance, referring specifically to the excesses of personnel in the Federal and State Anti-Robbery Squad and other special units that operate in mufti.
“I am, therefore, sounding this note of warning loudly and clearly. Henceforth, any police personnel that insists on being incorrigible by engaging in abuse of his or her powers in a manner that degrades, endangers or threatens the life and other fundamental rights of the citizens shall be promptly arrested, processed through our internal disciplinary machinery and if found culpable, shall be dismissed from service.”
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) praised Adamu on his decision to ban men of the FSARS and tactical squads from routine patrol and stop and search duties.
The NGF, in a statement by its Chairman, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, issued through NGF spokesman, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, sought appropriate sanctions against law enforcement officers who have been lawless.
“The IGP’s instructions could not have come at a better time when a majority of Nigerians are unhappy with this cohort of police officers who have routinely engaged in unlawful killings and torture, thereby giving the Force a bad name.
“It is helpful to recall that SARS has been cautioned in the same manner before only for it to go back to its old ways.
“Our young people should not be criminalised simply on account of how they look or their mode of dressing or the cars they drive, the type of phone they carry, etc. This is an assault on their fundamental human rights.
“We think this is a timely clinical response by the leadership of the Nigerian Police Force and must specially commend IGP Adamu for his promptness and boldness.
“However, we hope that the announcement this time will promptly be followed by action and that there will be no reversal to the unorthodox enforcement practices being complained against.
“We call for appropriate sanctions against law enforcement officers that have been lawless and irresponsible in the exercise of their duties against ordinary Nigerians,” NGF said.
The Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, during a visit to Adamu, expressed concern about the criminalisation of youths by men of the FSARS.
He told the IGP: “The youth of this country are not all criminals. Profiling should stop.”
The Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu, said contrary to claims on the social media, nobody died in the incident in Ughelli that sparked an outrage.
Also, the state police command spokesman, Onome Onomewakpoyeya, said the viral video of SARS Operatives purportedly shooting a young man and leaving with his Lexus Jeep was misleading.
He said in a statement: “On 3rd of October, 2020 at about 1600hrs, operatives of Safe Delta Squad in Ughelli, while on patrol along Warri/Ughelli by Wetland Hotel Ughelli, observed a white Lexus Jeep without registration number that suddenly parked by the roadside, which on sighting police patrol team, zoomed off at high speed in a suspicious manner.
“It could be recalled that it is under similar circumstances that some kidnappers recently kidnapped a woman who was with her two children in her car in the same Ughelli…before they were later arrested in Patani.
“Consequently, the team gave them a hot chase and they successfully intercepted the vehicle and arrested the two occupants.
“On their way to the station with the arrested suspects inside the police patrol vehicle, one of the suspects jumped out of the moving vehicle and sustained body and head injuries.
“While trying to rescue him, an angry mob came out to attack the policemen which made the team leave the scene with the other suspect in their patrol vehicle to their office to avoid a violent confrontation with the mob.
“However, other police patrol teams were promptly mobilised to the scene but were informed that the victim had been rushed to a private hospital in Ughelli by passers-by.
“The patrol team immediately visited the victim in the hospital where he is being treated and saw him alive and recuperating.”
A member of the House of Representatives, Akin Alabi, filed a motion for an urgent dissolution of SARS.
In the document sighted by The Nation, Alabi, the lawmaker representing Egbeda/Ona Ara Constituency, said there was enough evidence to proscribe SARS immediately, warning that the unit has committed enough atrocities.
“Policing in Nigeria continues to fall short of modern practices where citizens should be treated with utmost respect and decorum, therefore making it very difficult for an average citizen to truly trust that the police are their friends,” Alabi said.
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The Lagos State Government has completed more than 1,097 school projects covering 970 schools across the State, just as it has also ensured the upgrade and rehabilitation of 322 dilapidated public schools and the furnishing of Primary Schools with 87,000 dual composite unit of chairs and desks in two years.
The State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, disclosed this while representing the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at the commissioning of the completed school infrastructure projects at Ogudu Junior Grammar School, Ogudu on Friday.
According to him, the project being commissioned is inline with the “Education and Technology” pillar of the present administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda, saying that “If we must actualise our Greater Lagos vision, quality education must remain one of our most solid building blocks”.
While commenting on the vital role of education in the growth and development of a megacity like Lagos, Mr. Omotoso stated that it has become imperative for the government to ensure that the children have access to quality education and an enabling environment for excellent learning.
His words: “In order to accelerate our children’s access to world-class pedagogical learning, we have aggressively embarked on the provision of blocks of classrooms, administrative offices, school furniture, laboratories, modern toilet facilities and security across the six Education Districts and Local Government Councils. Therefore, our children have access to quality education irrespective of their location”.
The Commissioner averred that the Lagos State Government was convinced that teaching and learning could only take place effectively in an atmosphere that is conducive to learning, hence the government’s commitment to the provision of new infrastructure and the rehabilitation of existing ones.
“I am glad to note that our investment in the education sector has been yielding positive results. Our students’ performance has improved tremendously in examinations, national and international competitions. They have also improved in morals, etiquette and confidence in public speaking”, he said.
Omotoso further noted that other gains of the investment in the education sector by the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu led administration include the Lagos State team emergence as winners at the 2021 National Junior Engineers, Technicians and Scientist (JETS) competition, which took place at the National Mathematical Centre, Kwali between February 21 and 27, 2021.
The Commissioner, therefore, urged community leaders, school administrators, staff and students of Ogudu Junior Grammar School to take ownership of the project and ensure that miscreants do not destroy or cart away the property of the school.
In her welcome address, the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, represented by Mrs. Oluranti Olagbaju, stated that the school infrastructure projects were evenly distributed across the Local Government and Local Council Development Areas.
“There is hardly any school in the State that was not touched by either a new school building, new classroom block, hostels, security structures, school fence, toilets, furniture and boreholes among others”, she said.
The vision for the actualisation of the education sector was made possible through the effective collaboration of the Lagos State Ministry of Education, Lagos State Universal Basic Education (LASUBEB), the Special Committee on Rehabilitation of Public Schools (SCRPS), and the Lagos State Infrastructure and Assets Management Agency (LASIAMA).
Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Unit (Taskforce) has dislodged squatters, removed shanties and evacuated the abandoned vehicles under Iganmu Bridge after expiration of the three-day notice served on the illegal occupiers of the area on Monday.
The Chairman of the Task Force, CSP Shola Jejeloye, speaking after the exercise on Thursday, disclosed that the State Government intends to put the location to good use immediately in order to ensure illegal squatters do not return to the place.
He recalled that during a visit by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu it was agreed that the location should be decongested as part of efforts to remove the traffic gridlock in Apapa.
Jejeloye explained that the occupants of the Iganmu Underbridge had been informed to leave the area six months ago before they were served the 72-hour removal notice on Monday.
He noted that relevant Government agencies including the Ministry of The Environment and Water Resources, Lagos Waste Management Agency (LAWMA), LASPARK and security agencies have been mandated to take possession of the area for clean up and management.
The Chairman envisaged that clearing of the location and dislodgement of squatters would bring to an end the incessant traffic robberies, indiscriminate parking of trucks, environmental nuisance and sale of hard drugs prevalent in the area.
“The State Government would adequately maintain this place. This will discourage the squatters from returning, especially those who use the area for illegal activities and hideouts”, he stated.
•Says It’s Ploy to Distract LASG, Sanwo-Olu
•Ndigbo Are Not Agents of Destruction
•We’ll Continue on The Path of Progress, Security – Sanwo-Olu
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo has advised Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to ignore the rumour that members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) are plotting to attack Lagos, noting that it is a ploy to distract the State Governor and his administration from providing good governance for all residents of the State.
Speaking during a courtesy visit to Governor Sanwo-Olu at the Lagos House, Marina on Thursday, the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Ambassador (Prof.) George Obiozor, said the “dangerous rumour or statement is aimed to cause division, crises and conflict amongst us.”
Obiozor in his address titled “Violence in any part of Lagos State is violence on all of us” said Ndigbo cannot indulge in any act that will harm the harmonious peace and cordial relationship between Igbo and Yoruba, especially Lagos, which he described as second home of several Ndigbo.
The leader of the Igbo apex socio-cultural organization also commended Governor Sanwo-Olu for the exemplary leadership he exhibited at the peak of COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged Nigeria, especially in Lagos State, adding that the Governor deserved commendation for controlling and restricting the speed of coronavirus with his quick response.
Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, during a Security Townhall Meeting at the Lagos State secretariat, attended by Governor Sanwo-Olu, and other principal officials in Lagos State on Monday, said there were plans by some groups, which include IPOB to attack ‘soft spots’ in the state.
But responding to the statement, Prof. Obiazor said Igbo nation was renowned for being agents of development and not destruction.
“Today, the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, in the company of Igbo Elders and Leaders in Lagos, are here to pay you (Governor Sanwo-Olu) a solidarity visit and to further reassure you that Ndigbo are not violent in nature, neither are we known for acts of violence anywhere we live.
“The constant and periodic dangerous insinuations, rumour, gossips and callous statements that Ndigbo in Lagos or any part of Yoruba land contemplate or instigate violence in Lagos or any part of Yoruba land; we wish to state clearly that anywhere this dangerous rumour or statement is emanating from is aimed to cause division, crises and conflict amongst us.
“We think that this rumour is intended to distract the Lagos State Government from its efforts to provide good governance for all and cause disaffection between Ndigbo who live in Lagos and their host community which is the second home of several Ndigbo.
“The quick denial of this rumour by members of IPOB and Yoruba groups in Lagos and across the South West was a source of relief,” he said.
Prof. Obiozor also reiterated Ohanaeze Ndigbo’s total support for Lagos State Government and the security agencies’ patriotic efforts to keep everyone safe in the State and throughout the country.
“I am aware that the Government and good people of Lagos State under your able leadership, and through their hospitable gestures, have continually kept the trust and friendship between Ndigbo and our host communities in Lagos State alive.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo through this medium reiterates total support to the state government and the security agencies in their patriotic efforts to keep everyone safe in Lagos and throughout the country. The Igbo nation is renowned for being agents of development, not destruction. Ndigbo are builders and their contributions to the development of Lagos State are evident and exemplary,” he said.
Responding, Governor Sanwo-Olu assured Ohanaeze Ndigbo leadership of continuous good governance, security of lives and properties of all residents in Lagos State.
The Governor said he had no doubt that the Ndigbo are great people, noting that his administration would continue to foster harmonious relationships with all the different tribes and ethnic nationalities in the State.
The courtesy visit was at the instance of the Ohaneze Ndigbo, to clear the air on the rumoured attacks on Lagos by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
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