Rights Violation: Ambode Demands Redeployment of 104 Police Officers

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Gboyega Akinsanmi
The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Tuesday asked the Nigeria Police to redeploy one superintendent of police, assistant superintendent of police and 102 police officers over alleged high-handedness and violation of residents’ rights.

Also, the governor noted that the request became imperative to check the reoccurrence of unauthorised raid and indiscriminate arrest of residents, who he said, were raided Friday night without just cause.

Ambode’s request was contained in a statement the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde issued after a formal request was sent to the state police command, demanding the redeployment of 104 police officers.
The statement said the governor requested the Nigeria Police to redeploy the police officers attached to the Lagos State Task Force on Environmental and Special Offences Unit from the state.

It added that the request came in the wake of last Friday’s authorised raids in different parts of Lagos by officers of the taskforce, leading to a rough treatment and arrests of innocent residents.
It explained that the governor “has sought an immediate redeployment of several of the taskforce officers from the unit and possibly from the state over what the governor called unacceptable conduct.

“Preliminary investigation showed that the unauthorised raid was carried out with the knowledge of the second in command to the Chairman of the taskforce,  Taiwo Adeoluwa, without the approval of the Chairman, Saheed Olayinka Egbeyemi.
“The conduct of the affected officers is not in tandem with the vision of Lagos State Government and is therefore condemnable. Their conduct is also unbecoming of police officers who are expected to protect the citizenry and ensure that citizens and visitors find every part of the state safe and conducive enough not only on Friday nights, but everyday.”

The statement said Ambode’s massive investments in security and Light-up Lagos Project was meant “to create a 24-7 economy that encourages businesses to thrive. The government will not fold its arms and watch any overzealous officers derail the vision that has earned the government applause.”

As indicated in the statement, the state government tendered heartfelt apology to the affected person, noting that the state government “will not condone any act of high-handedness, extortion and disregard for human rights on the side of any of its law enforcement agencies and any public official as the state has sworn to protect and guarantee the rights of its citizens.”
The government assured all residents of its commitment “to providing a safe, secure and friendly environment where every law-abiding citizen can go about his or her businesses and activities without fear of being molested, harassed or intimidated by anyone.”