The Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Alhaji Abubakar Muhammed Adamu, on Monday visited Lagos State where he vowed that police officers in the state who are involved in killing of innocent people would face the wrath of the law.
Adamu, whose visit came after series of extra-judicial killings by officers in the state, warned Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) that, henceforth, they would be held liable for the professional misconduct of officers under their charge.
He also paid a courtesy call on Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, where he said “I came to Lagos to talk to the officers basically to ensure they embrace good behaviour. I also reminded them to embrace the ethics of the job which is they are to serve the public. We are servant and not masters of the people.”
The IGP during the visit said: “The officers have been doing good job in fighting crime in the state. But the act of few others in Lagos are denting the good job others have done. Recently, we have had cases where some police officers had gone out of their way to shoot a lady who later died.
“We felt that such is unacceptable and unbecoming of the police officers in the state; that is why I decided to come down and talk to the police officers, reminding them of their duties. I also remind them that anyone who engages in extra-judicial killing is on his own. He will face the wrath of the law. And in these cases, the officers involved have been arrested and have been tried. They will be charged to court.”
Responding, Ambode commended the IGP for taking it upon himself to promptly address the extra-judicial killings in the State personally, despite his responsibilities across the country, saying it showed responsiveness and seriousness with which the issue was being handled by the police chief.
“I want to commend the IG for this visit. Beyond the fact that this is a courtesy visit and like he has said, he is coming promptly to address the issue of extra-judicial killings that have actually taken place in the last few weeks.
“So, for the IGP to come promptly himself to address issues that relate to public feelings about SARS and actually talking to the officers and men, that means he is taking the responsiveness within the Nigerian Police seriously before we start to address extra issues that border on the citizens. So, I like to commend him on that act of responsiveness and also say that it is what we should emulate in dealing with management issues that relate with our officers.
“I empathize with the IGP because last week, he was in Zamfara; today he is in Lagos and tomorrow he would be in other places. Policing Nigeria is a big challenge but again, he is up to the task and we wish him well in his assignment,” Ambode said.
He said with just 33,000 officers policing a population of about 24 million in Lagos, the police was already overstretched, but assured that the state government would continue to support the Police and other security agencies to ensure that they carried out their duties lawfully and also to have the human face needed to continue to uphold peace and unity in the country.
Besides, Ambode commended the police chiefs and officers in the State, saying it was on record that they had contributed to the massive improvement in making the State safe in the last four years.
“When we came in May 29, 2015, we had a tripod that we actually believed this government would work on – security, job creation and then infrastructural development. It is on record and I want to make it clear also that the Nigerian Police and other security agencies have actually contributed successfully to one of those tripod and you would have seen that there has been a lot of improvement in the security of lives and property in Lagos State in the last four years,” he said.