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Govt okays N2.8 trillion to lift Police

By John-Abba Ogbodo (Abuja), Alex Olise and Sunday Odita (Lagos)   |   24 December 2009   |   6:30 am  

He added that a committee comprising representatives of federal and state governments chaired by Vice President Goodluck Jonathan was already working out the modality for utilising the fund. Lame also said that the money would not be part of the 2010 budget for the Police. “The Federal Government is committed to improving the Police Force and that is why the recommendation of the Police Reform Committee that a special fund of N2.8 trillion be provided for the Police. It was accepted and an implementation committee under the Vice President was set up. We are reviewing the figure to see the contributions of the states. This does not include the annual budget for the Police,” he said.

 

He added that under the reform, the major area of attention would be the divisional headquarters which are very close to the people, stressing that when the people start experiencing positive changes at that level, their attitude towards the Police would change and it would get to the larger society and invariably, crime prevention by the Police would be much easier.

The minister, who appeared with the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ogbonna Onovo, said the ministry, Police Pension Office and NPF have a total budget proposal of N219.39 billion made up of personnel cost of N176.17 billion, overhead cost of N1243 billion and capital cost of N3079 billion.

According to the team, there is also a provision of N4.33 billion for payment of pension and gratuity to personnel of NPF to be drawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Speaking earlier, Chairman of the House Committee on Police Affairs, Abdul Ningi, expressed the concern of the House over the state of Police detention centres which, according to him, are deplorable. He said a situation where armed robbery suspects and traffic offenders are put in the same cell should not be allowed.

“Police detention centres all over the country are in terrible state. The detention centres are horrible. Maybe, it is because the Police themselves do not enter the place because they only arrest people and keep them there but they do not stay there. And that is why they do not care about it. You have armed robbery suspects, people arrested for assault and domestic violence detained in the same cell. This is not good enough,” he remarked.

The committee, however, commended the Police for reducing the incidence of kidnapping, particularly in the South Eastern zone.

The Lagos State Police command yesterday identified the carrier of the explosives that created tension at Logemo House, Lagos last Tuesday as one Olayiwola Ahmed.

The command urged Lagosians not to panic as everything was under control.

Lagos State Police boss, Mr. Marvel Akpoyibo, who addressed journalists at the comand headquarters yesterday evening said the Police was investigating the matter.

According to Akpoyibo: “On Tuesday, 22nd of December, 2009 about 2:00pm, a young man carrying materials suspected to be Improved Explosive Devises (IED) was arrested after the explosives went off thereby drawing the attention of operatives of Lagos State Police Comand. The materials, neatly wrapped in a Christmas gift pack, went off in the hands of the young man who was later identified as Olayiwola Ahmed, aged 27 years while on the 4th floor of a nine-storey building known as Logemo House located along Ikorodu Road in Onipanu area of Lasgos State.”

He continued: “The building, which is essentially used for commercial purposes, provides office accomodation for many business concerns, including Superscreen Television located on the 9th floor of the edifice. Police officers from Ilupeju Police Station, led by Divisional Police Office, CSP Kunle Ashafa, provided initial response to the distress calls by cordoning the scene of incident and providing immediate perimeter security. Operatives from the Police Bomb Disposal Squad arrived some moments later and a tactical evacuation of all occupants of the building was carried out. The injured suspect was rushed to a government hospital where he is currently being treated in an intensive care unit.”

 

“A thorough search by operatives revealed that the suspect was still in possession of two additional explosive devices which were still very active. These were immediately diffused through a controlled detonation process, after which the premises was certified safe and fit for normal business transactions. The command has since commenced investigations into the incident and is indeed determined to get to the root of the matter.”

He said Lagosians should go to bed with their two eyes closed as the Police were on the alert this Yuletide to ensure adequate security.



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