Police IG bans roadblocks
…warns Commissioners, DPOs, others against default
Acting Inspector General of Police, IGP Solomon Arase, yesterday ordered the immediate dismantling of all police roadblocks nationwide, describing them as points of corruption and constituting public nuisance as well as causing police-citizens friction.
He said that the elimination of all forms of corruption among the personnel would greatly enhance the force's image and service delivery.
The Police boss warned that any police commissioner, Area Commander or Divisional Police Officer, DPO, in whose area illegal road blocks were detected will 'personally or vicariously be held liable, while strict and swift disciplinary actions would be initiated against such officers.
'While visible policing will be enhanced, I wish to re-emphasise that police road-blocks remain banned. They are public nuisances, points of corruption and source of police-citizens' friction,' he declared.
The IGP warned corrupt- minded members of the public to refrain from corrupting the police system, vowing to arrest and prosecute such people.
Arase gave the order in Abuja at his maiden conference with senior police officers from the rank of commissioners of police and above.
According to him, the meeting was called to enable professional interaction between the Police Management Team and field officers, in order to create a peer review platform that would strengthen the force's crime management capability.
He said his administration would develop a two-way approach in addressing the menace of corruption in the police. 'The first is to develop frameworks and interventions that would address root causes of corruption. In this regard, official factors like logistic and welfare challenges that create grounds for corrupt tendencies by police officers would be vigorously addressed.'
Arase explained that the drive will be clear, coordinated, massive, firm and sustained and will tackle issues relating to commercialisation of bail process, the nuisance of road blocks, abuse of police powers, particularly in relation to pre-trial detention.
He pledged to also focus on core values of human rights-driven policing, intelligence-led investigations, operations and community partnership. Other areas of focus include case diversion, fast-tracking of trials, restorative justice, human capacity development and engagement of cutting-edge technology in police operations.
While promising to reopen the Police Intelligence School in Enugu, which has been closed for over a year now, the police chief said he would strengthen the 'Judges Protection Unit'.
Consequently, he said police security details attached to civil commissioners and other unauthorised individuals across the country would be reduced or withdrawn. 'The manpower drawn from this exercise will be committed to rejuvenation of the Judges Protection Unit,' he added.