THE blame game over the circumstance surrounding the death of Olaitan Oyerinde, private secretary to Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole continued yesterday with the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar faulting the governor’s assertion that the police high command did not do a thorough investigation into the incident.
Oshiomhole, during a keynote address at the launch of Code of Conduct for the police in Abuja on Thursday, had accused the police high command of a shoddy investigation into the matter and asked for the sack of all the officers, including the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Peter Gana, who took part in the investigation.
In his reaction to the governor’s claim, Abubakar, who noted that he would not give a detailed response because the case was already in court, remarked that the governor’s claim was unfounded.
“If you were at the summit, you must have heard my reaction. In the first place, this case is in court; it will be subjudice for me to be discussing it.
“But, we are going to reply that comment at the appropriate time, and soonest, because he made allegations that are unfounded. But we will reply appropriately,” he said.
On the code of conduct launched for the police, Abubakar, who used the occasion to address senior police officers, including DIGs, Assistant Inspectors General (AIGs) and commissioners of police, said the code would be faithfully adhered to and warned officers and men of the consequences of breach.
He charged them to carry the campaign to all police formations in the country.
“You are aware that we just had a summit and launch of a code of conduct. Our meeting here is to evaluate and reassess the security situation in Nigeria, vis-à-vis the performance of our officers and men, particularly the zonal AIGs and command commissioners of police, area commanders and Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) in the respective zones and commands in the country in the area of safety and security of our nation and the citizens.
“Having just launched the code of conduct, zonal AIGs and commissioners of police should take this as a directive to go back to their respective commands and organise workshops and seminars for this code of conduct, with a view to bringing it to the knowledge of all officers and men under their zones and commands for compliance,” he said.
The police boss advised members of the public to take advantage of the initiative to monitor the performance of the force.
He, however, cautioned against its abuse by the public, saying: “The conduct of officers and men would be watched very seriously and focus will be given to each of these officers and their areas of responsibility.
“We do equally expect members of the public to support and assist the police in respecting this code of conduct.
“At the same time, members of the public can make observations and complaints to the highest authority of the police. That means that the conduct of officers can be reported at the divisional, area, command, zonal levels and at the Force headquarters.
“There is a channel of communication and we do expect that when Nigerians are making these observations and complaints, they should be genuine and honest and they should be fair to these officers and men.”
Abubakar acknowledged obvious handicap in the Force, in terms of logistics and welfare, but urged officers and men to put in their best, as efforts were being made to address the challenges.
He said: “Despite the fact that we know the inadequacies, in terms of logistics and equipment, we, as members of this noble profession, have all agreed to comply with this code of conduct, believing that government is making efforts at providing all that we need to be professionalised and to be more effective and more efficient than we are today.
“So, members of the public should take very serious note of all these shortcomings, but notwithstanding, we pledge to do our best in the service of this country.
“Like it has been said, the highest sacrifice any Nigerian can make for this country is to give his life in the service of the people and the country, and that is what officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force are doing and we shall continue to do.”