Thumbs Up to the Nigerian Police

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The Inspector-general of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, last week, sacked four policemen attached to the Ijebu-Ode area command in Ogun State for extortion. The affected officers are Mufutau Olaosun, Adebayo Temitope, Bakare Taiwo and Adesoye Ayokunlehin. They were found guilty of extorting N50,000 from a man arrested on trumped up charges.

A statement by the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abayomi Sogunle, who heads the police public complaints rapid response unit, said the men were dismissed after they were found guilty in an orderly room trial at the area command headquarters, Ijebu-Ode. They were charged with discreditable conduct and corrupt practice under the first schedule of police act and regulations Cap. P19 laws of the federation of Nigeria 2004.

Shogunle said the money had since been recovered from the four dismissed officers and given back to the man exploited. Unlike the rabid celebration that greeted the arrest of Mr. Chukwudi Onuamadike alias Evans, a development such as this provides a good ground to launder the battered image of the Nigeria police. Indeed, the news is a breather!

The highhandedness of a majority of policemen, whether at the stations, police posts, checkpoints or during patrol is the last experience anyone, who comes across any of the badly behaved ones wants to take home. But while the attitudinal disposition of a few of the men of the police force cannot be taken in isolation of the corruption that pervades the entire formation, identified cases of good leadership like this one have positive impacts on the image of the force and it is expected that more genuine and conscious approaches such as this are embraced frequently in the overall interest and image of the police force.