Extra-judicial killing: Affected officers to face prosecution, IGP vows
Visits Ambode, thank him over massive support to police, others
The Acting Inspector General of Police, Mr Adamu Mohammed, on Monday in Lagos paid a courtesy visit to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode over recent cases of extra-judicial killings recorded in the state, vowing that all the affected officers would be charged to court and made to face the full wrath of the law.
Mohammed, who was accompanied on the visit to Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja by top police chiefs, disclosed that the affected officers had already been arrested and tried internally, saying they would also face criminal prosecution for such act, which according to him, was against ethics of the Force.
This was just as he said available record showed that police officers in the state had been performing creditably well, but that the activities of few unscrupulous ones were denting the good work of others.
The police boss said he came to the state to see the officers and men of the Force and equally to address them on good behaviour and to remind them of ethics of the job, added that officers of the Nigeria Police were to serve members of the public and should not regard themselves as their masters.
“I came to pay a courtesy visit to the Governor because I am in Lagos State to see the officers and men of the Nigerian Police. I came to talk to them on good behaviour and to remind them of the ethics of the job. We are to serve members of the public; we are not their masters, we are their servants.
“The officers and men in Lagos State have been doing a lot of good job in fighting crime and they have been succeeding but the acts of few officers out of many in Lagos State are denting the good works that others have done.
“Recently, we have had some overzealous officers who went out of their way in the course of performing their duties; they shot a lady and she died and we felt that that is not acceptable.
“It is unbecoming and I had to come down to talk to officers and men to remind them of their duties and to tell them that anybody that goes out of his way to commit extra-judicial killing, such a person is on his own and he has to face the wrath of the law and in this particular case, the officers that were involved have been arrested; they have been tried in our internal way of dealing with such issue and at the same time, they would be charged to court,” he said.
Speaking further, Muhammed commended Governor Ambode for the massive support to police and other security agencies in the state, saying the successes recorded in keeping the state safe would not have been possible if not for his support.
“I want to thank Governor Ambode for all his support to the members of the Nigeria Police in Lagos State. Without the support of the governor, I think the successes we recorded in the state, would not have been possible.
“The governor is the Chief Security Officer in the state and all his policies towards fighting crime have been implemented by the Nigeria Police Force and we felt this is the time to come and thank him,” the IG said
Responding, Governor Ambode commended IG Muhammed for taking it upon himself to promptly address the extra-judicial killings in Lagos personally, despite his responsibilities across the country, saying it showed responsiveness and seriousness with which the issue was being handled by the police chief.
“I want to commend the IG for this visit. Beyond the fact that this is a courtesy visit and like he has said, he is coming promptly to address the issue of extra-judicial killings that have actually taken place in the last few weeks.
“So, for the IG to come promptly himself to address issues that relate to public feelings about SARS and actually talking to the officers and men, that means he is taking the responsiveness within the Nigeria Police seriously before we start to address extra issues that border on the citizens.
“So, I like to commend him on that act of responsiveness and also say that it is what we should emulate in dealing with management issues that relate with our officers.
“I empathize with the IG because last week, he was in Zamfara; today he is in Lagos and tomorrow he would be in other places. Policing Nigeria is a big challenge but again he is up to the task and we wish him well in his assignment,” Governor Ambode said.
He said the police was already overstretched with just 33,000 officers policing a population of about 24 million in Lagos, but assured that the state government would continue to support them and other security agencies to ensure that they carry out their duties lawfully and also to have the human face needed to continue to uphold peace and unity in the country.
Besides, Governor Ambode commended police chiefs and officers in the state, saying it was on record that they had contributed to the massive improvement in making the state safe in the last four years.
“When we came in May 29, 2015, we had a tripod that we actually believed this government would work on – security, job creation and then infrastructural development. It is on record and I want to make it clear also that the Nigeria Police and other security agencies have actually contributed successfully to one of those tripods and you would have seen that there has been a lot of improvement in the security of lives and property in Lagos State in the last four years,” the governor said.