The Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of zone ii, Onikan Lagos, AIG Bala Hassan has warned police officers in the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) including those on SAFER Highway Patrol (SHP) and others who are dealing with suspects that committed felonious offences to desist from carrying out extra-judicial killings warning that the Inspector General of Police, IGP Solomon Arase has banned extra-judicial killing in all police formations.
He warned that any police officer caught will not be spared and cited what happened to the police officer who allegedly killed an innocent citizen at Idimu area of Lagos without provocation. He said the officer was instantly tried, dismissed and charged to court.
AIG Hassan emphasized on this during a visit to the Lagos state police command headquarters in Ikeja.
He said, “extra-judicial killing must stop. You don’t have to catch a thief and leave him like that, if you charge him to court, you must follow it up to reduce the rate at which we lose cases in court. If you kill an armed robber, we will recommend your promotion but if you kill an innocent citizen, you will be dealt with. We are not happy arraigning our men in court.
We are happy if it does not happen at all. The human right is sacred. The human right commission is there, so if you do anything wrong, the officer in charge of legal will not follow you to Abuja. So be careful about extra-judicial killing. The IGP is highly against it.”
Speaking on distress calls, the AIG Hassan said the response time to any distress call should be within five minutes latest.
He warned that if there is any crisis, the police officer that is responding to the distress call must be there within five minutes. He also warned police officers about collecting money on the pretext that they would in turn send the money to their Divisional Police Officers, who will in turn send it to the Area Commander and up like that.
He stressed, “This is not true. Don’t believe anybody making such claim.”
On police officers furthering their education, AIG said they are free to enlist at the National Open University and that they don’t need a study leave rather they should write to him through the command commissioner of police.
On police officers whose children or relatives have terminal diseases and could not afford the medical bills that run into millions, he said that the IGP have decided to take over the medical bills but that whoever wants to benefit should submit his sick children’s names from now till December 31, 2015.
He also revealed that the IGP has formed a scholarship trust for children of rank and file and that examinations would be conducted to qualify them for the scholarship as only those who pass would be awarded the scholarship.
He warned that it is not a bonanza to marry extra wives or have more children than necessary. On bail, he said, “bail is free and money should not be offered to any police officers for bail.”
On jurisdiction in times of distress call, the AIG made it clear that if one is in a position to respond to distress call, he should not mind that he has been transferred out of the area because Nigeria police is a federal entity and should respond to the best of his ability.
He cited an example how people in distress in Edo State where he was a commissioner of police before called him and he responded by making calls which does not reduce him to a commissioner of police rather solved the problem which is more important.
He also talked on how people used to test the commissioner or IGP.
He said one lawyer even called the IGP complaining that he detained him when he did not detain him, and that he himself is a lawyer and there was no way he would do the wrong thing and advised police officers to be careful when dealing with the public.
On the massive transfer of officers from Lagos, he warned that those the transfer affected should be doing their duties until the commissioner of police releases them. He advised them to continue to put their best until they are released.
The AIG also advised the DPO’s and Area Commanders to be holding meetings regularly with community leaders, Motorcycle Riders Associations, the members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers and everybody in the community for effective community policing.
For those selling exhibit vehicles anyhow, the AIG warned that those investigating cases and in the process, sell any of the recovered vehicles unofficially or steals part of the money recovered during searching of houses, the person should count himself as having lost his job.
Same with those who recover five vehicles and hide two or recover five million and say three million was recovered. He cited a case in Kaduna where one IPO collected money and did not allow the DCO and DPO to know until there was trouble.
On the incessant robbery in Lagos and Ogun state since he arrived as AIG zone ii, AIG Hassan said he called the CP Lagos and CP Ogun state on the matter concerning the zone especially in crime.
They mapped out strategy on how to solve the problem and the zone even arrested six robbery suspects and that he also identified bad spots where the hoodlums operate and gave his Anti- Robbery Squad to assist the commissioners.
AIG also said he has identified the 24 water ways for proper manning and that proper arrangement has been made to check the infiltration of insurgents in Lagos and assured that his zone is ready for any challenge. He emphasized that if the military is dealing with the insurgents in the North, they can infiltrate to nearby states but that the zone is equal to any challenge from the insurgents.