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PSC probes police chiefs amid protest against Edo CP

By Segun Olaniyi and Otei Oham (Abuja)
10 October 2017   |   4:34 am
A statement by the Head, Press and Public Relations of the PSC, Ikechukwu Ani, said a Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the commission, Musa Istifanus made the disclosure yesterday in Abuja.

Nigeria Police Force

• Denies protest of personnel against unpaid salaries
• Calls mount for release of kidnapped zoo’s boss, indigenes petition N’Assembly

The Police Service Commission (PSC) has disclosed that some commissioners of police (CPs) were being probed over alleged abuse of office in their various commands.

A statement by the Head, Press and Public Relations of the PSC, Ikechukwu Ani, said a Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the commission, Musa Istifanus made the disclosure yesterday in Abuja.

He spoke when a group from Benin City, under the aegis of Concerned Citizens of Edo State lodged a complaint against the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Haliru Gwandu.

The decision to probe them came against the backdrop of recent official complaints and petitions against commissioners in various commands. The group had stormed the commission to protest against what they called “continued underwhelming performance of the commissioner of police in the state.

Istifanus said the commission had since received several complaints and petitions against some commissioners of police for allegedly going against the laid down rules and regulations.

He promised that the commission would take serious action against any of the CPs, if they were found to have compromised their offices. He said the commission was serious in dealing with issues of abuse of office, especially from state CPs, a situation, he said, could lead to anarchy.

Meanwhile, the police high command yesterday denied media reports that personnel of the force had protested against the non-payment of their salaries, adding that the force was committed to the regular payment of its personnel across the country.

A statement by Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO) Jimoh Moshood, stated this in Abuja. He explained that some policemen had gone on inquiry to the Mechanized Salary Section (MSS) in Kaduna State Police Command over complaints of under-payment.

He added that they also complained of omission of their names on the salary payroll, due to the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) handled by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.

According to him, the personnel were immediately attended to and addressed by the officer in charge of the MSS, adding that their problems had been taken up by the Force Headquarters.

“It is not correct and it is misleading to state that police personnel protested anywhere in the country. No policeman protested against unpaid salaries or went on rampage in Kaduna State or anywhere in the country as reported in the media,” he said.

Meanwhile, the family of the kidnapped Managing Director of Ogba Zoological Garden and Nature Park, Benin City, Andy Ehanire, has pleaded with his captors to release him.

A statement by the head of the family, Harrison I. Ehanire, said the entire family, including the wife and children were heavily traumatised by the kidnap.

The family appealed to the kidnappers to free their son unharmed, even as he urged the general public to join them in praying for the prompt release of their son.

Also, the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), a body, where Ehanire was a former Vice President, South South, called on the Federal Government to act fast in the interest of tourism.

The President of the tourism body, Saleh Rabo, has expressed concern that his continued detention was not good for tourism business in the country, as it would portray the country’s tourist sites as unsafe.

Rabo said the only way to instill confidence in the industry and assure tourists and operators of their safety is for the security agencies to quickly nib this ugly incident in the bud.

He called on the Federal Government to give the inspector general of police a marching order to move to Benin City with his rescue team to take over the case.

The Bini monarch is perturbed by this incident, as Ehanire’s wife is a Bini princess. Security has been tensed in the state since the kidnap of Ehanire, as three other persons have also been kidnapped. While a kidnapped priest has regained his freedom, a popular Bini musician, Joseph Osayomore is yet to be released.

However, a lecturer at the University of Benin, who was also kidnapped, has been reported killed. Although information regarding his kidnap has been scanty, the police disclosed that militants kidnapped him. A source close to the family disclosed that the kidnappers are demanding over N1 billion before his release.

Meanwhile, a group under the auspices of Edo State Concerned Citizens yesterday petitioned Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara decrying the ‘worsening’ security situation in the state.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja, the group called for the immediate deployment of the state Commissioner of Police, Haliru Gwandu, for what they termed ‘lacklustre, weak, incompetent and grossly ineffective leadership of the Edo Police Command.”

The group coordinator, Henry Okpamen, also took their demands to the Police Headquarters and Police Service Commission (PSC). They urged the commission to ensure immediate deployment of the police commissioner.