•Lauds force’s launch of Code of Conduct
From MOLLY KILETE. Abuja.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State yesterday betrayed emotions when he broke down and cried openly at the launch of the Code of Conduct for officers and men of the Nigerian Police, accusing the force of being responsible for the death of his Private Secretary, Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde.
Oshiomhole specifically accused the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (IGP) in charge of Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) and the Deputy Commissioner of Police in Edo State as being the main culprits in the murder of his former aide.
The governor who wept while presenting his keynote address on the occasion, lamented that if he, as a governor, could not get justice for the injustice done to him over the death of his aide, then the common man was finished.
Oshiomhole, while commending the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar, for his decision to reform the police by launching a new Code of Conduct for officers and men, said: “Lastly, IGP, you know I am aggrieved.
I am aggrieved over the murder of my Private Secretary and the way in which your men trivialized it. And in my view and I am saying it knowing that the Vice President is here and I hope he doesn’t see it as a comment, it is something I want him to take home that my secretary was murdered in cold blood and you dispatched a DIG to supervise that investigation because even the President publicly ordered you to do so and you acted properly.
“DIG is a sufficiently senior officer. They came to Benin and they did what the late Fela would have called police magic. In the end, they went for a civil rights activist and charged him with the offence of murder. “Number one, they wrote a report which is their own report under their signature in which they said and I like to quote, that the man who was involved in the murder according to the record of the police including the entry made by the DPO in a police station, was already under police detention at the time my Private Secretary was murdered.
“Number two, the weapon that was used for the murder, was used for armed robbery and earlier recovered by the police and was under police custody at the time my Private Secretary was murdered. “So, the man who murdered my secretary was in police custody. The gun he used was in police custody and these are the findings of the police.
The only conclusion that can be reached is that the police ordered the killing of my Private Secretary. And if they did that, the officer went on and this is in black and white, I asked you to read it that they have done a thorough job under a very skillful DIG in charge of Force CID, and the sky is their limit. “He also commended himself. IGP with every sense of responsibility, because the least obligation I owe to my secretary who was murdered, is to tell the truth, even if that will cost me my office. “The DIG Force CID, has a case to answer.
It is either he is guilty of conspiracy to murder or he is guilty of conspiracy to shield murderers or both. In which case, he cannot wear the police uniform. He must be dismissed. DIG Force CID, the Deputy Commissioner of Police that he used, who claimed they have done a thorough job, he has no business wearing police uniform because in my judgement by his own narrative, he is a criminal and I ask the Vice President to report to the President that if they do not find the killers of Oyerinde, he can’t expect the people of Edo State and all those who know Oyerinde to have confidence in the security agencies.
“I feel terrible that as a governor, I cannot get justice. If I cannot get justice, then the average Nigerian cannot expect justice and we can’t have justice if we can’t tell the truth and that is why I said there is no better place than here to cry aloud to the President as a governor that I can’t even get justice for my own Private Secretary. “The SSS paraded those who killed Oyerinde, and I believe that, they are the ones who killed him.
But the DIG Force CID, working with another junior officer conspired to shield the actual murderers and parading an innocent civil rights activist. Detained him for two months without trial in clear disobedience to court order.
“This country cannot be reduced to Banana Republic and everyday that we allow this sense of impunity we are joking and I do not intend to joke for as long as I remain governor of Edo State. If I cannot tell the truth, God should take my life.
“I want to thank you for the invitation and I do believe that we have every reason to reform this Code of Conduct, but there would still be criminals but we will be able to deal with crimes as at when they arrive and I thank you for the courage for inviting me to speak,” Oshiomhole said. In his address, President Goodluck Jonathan, while commending IGP Abubakar on the launch, said he would monitor the strict accompliance of set rules of conduct of the police force as they discharge their duties.
Jonathan, who was represented by Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, said: “I expect a quarterly assessment of compliance to be at my desk to enable me monitor overall improvement or otherwise”, and charged the Police High Command to ensure that, “all police officers must be fully aware of its provisions and strive at all times to live up to its standards.” He described the code as simple and easy for all police officers and members of the public to understand, which reflects international conventions for law enforcement agents.
The President assured of his administration’s continued support to the police, urging the force to enforce the law politely and properly without fear or favour, never employing unnecessary violence and never accepting inducements.” The President also commended the police for their loyalty and courage, saying: “I am delighted that the leadership of the Nigerian Police is taking positive internal steps to complement our efforts as exemplified by today’s launch.” Earlier, IGP Abubakar said that the code would instil discipline and accountability in the Nigeria Police Force to ensure public trust and confidence.
He assured that the rules would be strictly adhered to and implementation monitored to the letter. He noted that the code highlights the ethical standard expected of all officers and men irrespective of their ranks, saying it could be described as an Article of Faith.
The IGP, while noting that the police have suffered numerous challenges that made it almost impossible for the force to deliver on its mandate of protecting lives and property, however admitted that some of the challenges facing the police, were external and others institutional.
He said the launch of the Code of Conduct for officers and men will among others resuscitate the fallen standard of discipline, adherence to extant rules and regulations, loyalty, dedication to duty and commitment to ethics.
According to him, “there is no gainsaying that the effectiveness and efficiency of any police organization globally is a direct outflow of the level of discipline amongst the officers and men, it is our belief that a disciplined and accountable police force is a catalyst to economic and social developments of our great nation Highlight of the ceremony was the launch of a police magazine, Dan Sanda.
Present were the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Maryam Mukhtar and Governors of Rivers, Kano, Anambra, Gombe, Abia, Katsina, Kaduna, Benue and Acting Governor of Taraba State. Others were the Minister of Police Affairs, Service Chiefs, serving and retired top police officers, members of the diplomatic corps and several others.