Roadblocks remain banned, IGP insists
AS the fight against corruption deepens, the Acting Inspector General of Police (Ag. IGP) Solomon Arase has declared that roadblocks remain banned throughout the country as they are points of corruption and constitute nuisance to the public.
He directed that the Police Intelligence School in Enugu which was closed in 2014 be reopened by Monday next week for academic activities, even as he promised to take policing away from the lethargic analogue to a technology-driven system.
He also gave an idea into the kind of policing he envisages for the country.
Arase who spoke yesterday at the Force headquarters, Abuja, during the inaugural conference with strategic police managers in Nigeria, explained that policing was a friendly and public-oriented service meant to not only win the confidence of the people, but also give them assurance of safety and adequate coverage from unscrupulous elements that may threaten their peaceful co-existence.
He stressed that the IGP Monitoring Unit, the X-Squad and Provost Marshal sections of the force have being deployed immediately to embark on anti-corruption enforcement operations and that they would be further empowered to ensure they effectively lead the war against graft.
“Any police officer caught either through whistle blowing or otherwise, will be appropriately dealt with in line with established disciplinary procedure and prosecuted in the swiftest fashion.
“While visible policing will be enhanced, I wish to state in clear terms that police roadblocks remain banned. They are public nuisance, points of corruption and source of police-citizen 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.”
Arase, who took over from Suleiman Abba last week, said the vision of his leadership of the police is intelligence led-policing and the need to train intelligence operatives, analysts and strategic intelligence managers.
He stressed that the fight against corruption represents the core of his vision for the police and the fact that “the loss of public respect and confidence in the police as well as our inability to effectively tackle crimes in the most ethical and professional manner have been widely attributed to corruption within the police.
He said a two-way approach of developing frameworks and interventions to unearth the root causes of corruption and strengthening a robust anti-corruption enforcement strategy would be adopted to tackle the menace with 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 commercialisation of ball process, the nuisance of road block, abuse of police power, particularly in relation to pre-trial detention,” he said.
He continued: ‘‘In a bid to give confidence to dispense criminal justice, the Judges Protection Unit of the Police is to be immediately re-constituted and specially equipped to protect the magistrates, judges and justices in the country.
Consequently, policemen attached to civil commissioners and other unauthorised individuals will be reduced or withdrawn as the case may be.”
He said the need to “navigate Police from the current analogue and conventional policing approach to engagement of full policing technology to all crime management and operational activities,” informed the decision to bring on board cutting edge technology and best practices to all levels of policing in the country.”