•Pledges to restore security to troubled areas
The acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, yesterday, warned officers and men against extortion, unethical and unprofessional conduct.
The IG, gave this warning after his maiden visit to the Lagos Police Command, Ikeja, where he also unveiled the Complaint Response Unit (CRU), a hospital and other projects within Lagos area.
The CRU was built with support from former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Olumide Apata (SAN), Airtel Nigeria and 9Mobile.
He also assured Nigerians that security would soon be restored to troubled areas of the country.
Aside from being a platform for complaints against police operatives, it would serve as a veritable channel for people to report crimes with incident numbers generated to enable tracking of such issues.
Assuring operatives that the CRU was not to witch-hunt them but to promote accountability and transparency, he said it would build confidence in the members of the public.
“We want to enhance police/community collaboration and the CRU is needed to achieve all of these. At least, members of the public, who have complaints against the police now have a place to lodge their complaints.
“I want to assure Nigerians that we are going to make the CRU functional in all the states of the federation. Lagos State has started. We just commissioned that one today. We inspected the facilities and they are excellent.
“Officers that would be deployed to man the CRU will be carefully selected officers with impeccable integrity. They will be so well motivated with opportunities for training overseas if necessary,” said Egbetokun.
Reiterating his warning against extortion, unethical and unprofessional conduct, he reminded them that policing actions must be geared towards building trust and getting necessary support needed from the people.
In his remarks, rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN) lauded the initiative, stressing that it was in line with the provisions of the Police Act, 2020.
He promised to sponsor the establishment of four CRUs in four different states including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), praising the IG for being an exemplary officer in the 34 years he had known him with no negative report heard.
“Torture has become a serious offence. It now attracts 25 years imprisonment and if the suspects dies, whoever is involved will be charged with murder.
“Very soon, we are starting visitations to police stations. Every month, the Chief Magistrate will visit every police station in Nigeria. And during the visit, the Magistrate can grant bail, order the arraignment of a suspect or ask the suspect to go home completely,” he said.
Akpata, who solicited more support for the police to effectively execute their jobs, pledged to build two more CRUs at Delta and Edo State Police Commands.
President Women Arise, Dr. Josephine Okei-Odumakin, also keyed into the partnership, promising that her organisation would undertake the training and retraining of the personnel to be deployed at the CRU.