The newly posted Commissioner of Police in Akwa Ibom State, Mr Donald Awunah, says he will consolidate on the successes recorded by his predecessor to ensure continued peace and security in the state.
Mr Awunah made the remark while addressing journalists as he arrived at the Police Headquarters in Uyo, the state’s capital where he officially resumed duties.
He was welcomed with cheers from officials of the command, obviously because he had earlier served in the state as an Assistant Commissioner of Police, CID Department from 2011 to 2013.
The Police Commissioner said that the command, under his leadership, would undertake a people-oriented policing with emphasis on community and democratic policing.
He assured the people of the state that the police would remain apolitical in the discharge of its duties and also appealed for the support of personnel of the command and the public in ensuring the safety of lives and property across Akwa Ibom State.
“My dear colleagues (and) gentlemen of the press, I’m happy to be back in Akwa Ibom; It is a good place to be. I appeal for your support to enable us succeed.
“It is our collective responsibility (and) I cannot do it alone. Let us work together to ensure that the state continues to (be in) peace.
“I count on your support and cooperation,” the Commissioner said, adding that “the police will remain apolitical in the discharge of its duties”.
Mr Awunah succeeded Mr Murtala Mani who was recently transferred from the state.
The Benue State-born officer was until this appointment, the Police Public Relations Officer at the Force Headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
The Akwa Ibom State governor, Udom Emmanuel, has attributed the low crime rate in the state to the commitment of the state command of the Nigeria Police Force to ensuring a crime free society.
Governor Emmanuel made the remark at the Police Officers Mess, Wellington Bassey Way in Uyo, when he took time off to interact and unwind with Officers and Men of the Nigeria Police Force in their get together party to usher in the New Year.
He said the Police and other security agencies in the state had demonstrated sincere commitment to assigned responsibilities by keeping crime at bay, noting that, in recent months, the state has witnessed a large traffic of investors who have arrived in the state to carry out various businesses.
He stressed the importance of peace to development, while maintaining that no investor would risk his investment in a crime and violence prone environment.
Governor Emmanuel urged the Police to step up their surveillance and sustain the feat recorded.
The governor also sympathised with those who lost their loved ones in the course of duty and prayed to God for the the officers’ renewed vigor and prosperity in the New Year.
The State Police Commissioner, Mr Muritala Mani, who was represented by Assistant commissioner of Police, Yekini Anyaoku, said event was organised at the instance of the police commissioner, to create a platform for the security personnel to interact, unwind and brace up for their responsibilities in the New Year.
He expressed appreciation to governor for partnering with the Police Force to ensure crime control in the state and canvassed for more of such collaboration, assuring that the state Police Command is poised to bring criminality to a zero percent in the state.
The Nigerian police say it needs over 20 billion Naira to cover the insurance claims of over 3,000 police officers who died in active service.
The force insurance officer, Mr Isyaiku Mohammed, gave the figure when he appeared before the ad-hoc Committee of the House of Representatives investigating alleged illegalities between government officials and insurance companies charged with insuring fixed assets of the Federal Government.
Members of the committee also heard from the Head of Service and officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) who were at the investigative hearing.
The hearing was in continuation of an investigative hearing authorised by the House of Representative.
The first agency to appear before the committee was the NNPC, but their response did not please the committee.
After the NNPC delegations briefed the House, it was the turn of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita.
After she explained the procedure followed by her office, she was asked by the lawmakers to submit more documents to the committee.
When it was time for officials of the Nigeria Police Force to brief the committee, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Isyaiku Mohammed, who is the force’s insurance officer, gave the committee figures that painted a picture lawmakers found disturbing.
Honourable Emmanuel Oghene, raised concerns over the figures listed as outstanding needed to clear the insurance claims of late police officials.
The committee, which will continue with its sitting next week, also received documents form the Federal Inland Revenue Service.
Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has flagged off the campaign tour of Local Governments (LG) in preparation for the LG poll into the 20 LGs and 37 Local Council Development Areas of the state.
Leading other members of the State Executive Council, party official and supporters, Governor Amosun thanked supporters of the All Progressives Congress for their support for his administration’s policies and programmes.
He also assured the residents of more developments, saying that all ongoing projects will be completed before the end of his administration.
The Governor warned against any form of violence before, during and after the polls, urging residents of the state to come out and vote.
The Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC) announced October 8 for the conduct of the elections in the state.
The Chairperson of the OGSIEC, Mrs Risikat Ogunfemi, also admonished politicians to play by the rules of the game, just as she asked youths in the state not to allow themselves to be used as instrument of violence by politicians.
Meanwhile, the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Zone 2, which comprises of Lagos and Ogun States, Mr. Abdulmajid Ali said that the Police would not condone any forms of irregularities and indiscipline during and after the polls.
Representing the Inspector General of Police (IGP) at the stakeholders meeting held with members of political parties and security chiefs in Abeokuta, the state capital,the AIG also warned men and officers against all forms of indiscipline and unprofessional conducts.
The State Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Iliyasu, expressed the readiness of the Police for the Saturday polls, saying that about 5,000 Police officers would be deployed for the exercise.
The efforts to end crime and bring criminal elements in Anambra State to book are still on, as the police have demolished two kidnappers’ dens in Umueri, Anambra East Local Government Area of the state.
The Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr Joseph Agugoesi, led the group that demolished the buildings.
He narrated the ugly activities of one Mr Solomon Chibuzo Morah, alias Mmili, one of the most notorious kidnap kingpins in the state who had been on the Police wanted list for many years. He is now in police custody.
Mr Agugoesi said the suspect had terrorised his community and environs and had in one kidnap activity with his gang collected about 70 million Naira from a victim as ransom.
Kidnapper’s ‘Charm House’
According to him, Morah’s building and another kidnap den had been demolished, as he had confessed using proceeds from his nefarious activities to erect the structure.
The Assistant Commissioner reiterated the commitment of the State government to ridding the State of crime and criminality, by dealing decisively (according to the laws of the state) with anyone caught perpetrating crime.
At the site of the demolition, inside the fenced compound was a completed building filled with all kinds of fetish materials which, according to some villagers, was the kidnapper’s ‘charm house’.
The villagers also said the suspect was a lay-about, who had no clear means of livelihood, but suddenly started living big before they discovered he was into kidnapping activities.
According to Mr Agugoesi, the action taken by the Police was not meant to punish the innocent, but the offender, as the building of Hyacinth Chibuodu, another kidnap suspect from the same Umueri, was spared for the day, to allow tenants move their property.
However, another structure belonging to one Mr Matthew Nwankwo, a gang leader from Nteje in Oyi Local Government, who is presently on the run, was completely crushed.
Addressing reporters after the demolition, the State Governor, Willie Obiano, reiterated his commitment to fighting crime, stressing that the huge benefit of having a crime free environment had earned the state over $2.4 million in investment.
Over 500 houses illegally built on a land owned by the Police at Atipolome community in Mowo area of Badagry, Lagos State, have been demolished.
The land covering over 64 hectares was acquired by the Police in 2006 and a Certificate of Occupancy was issued in 2008.
Although members of the community admitted they had no government approval on the land, they explained that they bought the property from land grabbers, popularly known as “omo onile.”
It was gathered that the land grabbers started encroaching on the land when the Police authorities failed to put the land to use. However, on noticing the encroachment, the Police in 2011 issued a quit notice to the illegal owners of the houses to vacate their land.
Series of quit notices came after, with the last one served to them two weeks preceding the demolition ordered by the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, after the illegal occupants refused to heed the quit notice.
Over 200 armed policemen and seven bulldozers took part in the demolition operation which was led by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Osu Ekpo.
The exercise caught some of the occupants of the houses unawares, as many of them could not retrieve their properties while a few others were only able to recover a few of their belongings.