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Poor recruitment policy contributes to extra-judicial killings — Odita


A retired Commissioner of Police, Mr. Frank Odita, says the rise in extra-judicial killings by police could be due to recklessness on the part of officers and poor supervision. He spoke with ONYEDIKA AGBEDO.

There have been rising cases of extra-judicial killings by the police of late. What do you think is responsible for the ugly development?
YES there have been some unfortunate and embarrassing cases of extra judicial killings by Olivemen recently. The incidents are due to recklessness on the part of the officers and possibly as a result of lack of supervision. 

There have been cases where officers found culpable for extra-judicial killing were subjected to orderly room trials and summarily dismissed. Many Nigerians think the punishment is not enough for that kind of offence. What’s your view?
It is customary in adherence with the Police Regulations to first dismiss the culprits to delist them from the payroll and then arraign them for murder. Any departure from that will amount to miscarriage of justice. No Command Commissioner will shy away from that at the risk of his career. 

Do you think this problem has anything to do with the recruitment process in the force?
Poor recruitment policy may be attributed to it considering the Nigerian factor since some recruitment officers may not have the courage to say no to candidates presented by big people coupled with inability to resist corruption. The way out is to handpick capable officers with the fear of God, well-motivated and able to turn down unqualified candidates; their source not withstanding. 

How can this problem be addressed to ensure that the statement, “the Police is your friend” becomes a reality in the country?
To be candid, it is difficult to understand why it is a problem to proffer solutions for the present day policemen recruited from the pool of citizenry from where they are drawn. 

In actualising the slogan “Police is your friend” we have to deploy the words from the holy book, describing peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God. Being sons of God, they should treat their public as good friends.

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