Monday, February 13, 2012

IG withdraws police escorts from individuals, firms

14 February 2012

Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, has ordered the withdrawal of all approved police escort from private individuals and corporate bodies across the country.

The affected personnel include those from Special Protection Unit, the Mobile Police Force and conventional policemen posted as guards to companies and individuals.

Abubakar also directed that all intra-state and highway checkpoints which he said constituted nuisance on the roads of Lagos, Edo and South-Eastern states be dismantled and collapsed and brought them under the original structures recognised by police standards.

The acting IGP said in a statement in Abuja on Monday that the directive was aimed at restoring professionalism, efficiency and integrity in the performance of all police duties, adding that the withdrawal would ensure service delivery to the people.

Over 100, 000 policemen were believed to be attached to individuals and corporate organisations as guards.  Abubakar’s predecessors had issued the same directives on assuming office, but the orders were never obeyed as policemen remained on guard duty for firms and politicians.

By law, only the President, Vice-President, state governors, local council chairmen, magistrates and judges were entitled to police guards.

However, the privilege had been abused by senior police officers in charge of police commands and formations who assign junior officers to individual.

While addressing Assistant Commissioners of Police in charge of operations and Criminal Investigation Departments of all zonal and state commands in Abuja, Abubakar emphasised the need to restore professionalism and integrity to all police duties.

He stated that every policy statement would be pursued with all seriousness, adding that the time for rhetorics was gone.

He ordered the immediate release of all persons detained in police cells without lawful jurisdiction and reiterated his directive that no person should be detained beyond 24 hours, except otherwise permitted by law.

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