Reduce Checkpoints On Federal Highways, Senate Tells IGP

A file photo of IGP Mohammed Adamu. PHOTO: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun

 

The Senate on Thursday urged the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, to as a matter of urgency reduce the number of checkpoints on Federal Highways in the country.

The upper chamber also urged the IGP to direct officers of the Police Force to eschew all forms of extortion on motorists as alleged, while carrying out stop and search to establish validity of vehicle particulars.

This was disclosed in a statement signed on Thursday Ezrel Tabiowo the Special Assistant (Press) to the Senate President.

He added that the Senate said this has become necessary to reduce the gridlock on the roads.

The resolutions were reached following the consideration of a motion brought to the floor by Senator Chukwuka Utazi (PDP, Enugu North).

“Utazi, coming under order 42 and 52 of the Senate standing rules, in his motion titled “National Security versus Disproportionate Road Checkpoints on Federal highways in the country”, said that the National Security architecture of Nigeria has been stretched beyond its elastic limits.

“According to him, acts of criminalities have put untold pressure on the country’s national security architecture, necessitating and compelling security agencies to confront security breaches headlong,” the statement read in part.

Utazi noted that as a consequence, the imposition of road checkpoints on almost all federal highways in all geo-political zones of Nigeria.

The lawmaker stated that while roadblocks are necessary to curb criminal activities, its abuse for unintended purpose is reprehensible.

He stated that the Senate “will not renege in our responsibilities when the masses of this country complain that government police meant to protect them has been turned into an oppressive conduct by those concerned and which the IGP and people of his ilk may not be aware.”

Meanwhile, the Senate has referred President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for the confirmation of the appointment of the Chairman and Members of the National Hajj Commission to its Committee on Foreign Affairs.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, referred the request to the committee shortly after the commencement of plenary on Thursday.

The nominees for screening and confirmation are: Zikrullah Olakunke Hassan, Chairman, Osun State, South West; Abdullahi Magaji Hardawa, Executive Commissioner – Operation, Inspection and Licensing; Nura Hassan Yakassai, Executive Commissioner – Policy, Personnel, Management and Finance, Kano State, North West, and Sheikh Momoh Suleman Imonikhe, Executive Commissioner, Planning, Research, Statistics, Information and Library, Edo State, South-South.

Part-time Members are Halimat Jibril, Niger State, North Central; Abba Jato, Borno State, North East; Garba Umar, Sokoto State, North West; Ibrahim Ogbonnia Amah, Ebonyi State, southeast; Sadiq Oniyesaneyene Musa, Delta State, South-South, and Akintunde Basirat Olayinka, Ogun State, South West.

Representatives of Ministries, Departments and Agencies are: Shehu Dogo, Ministry of Aviation; Nura Abba Rimi, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Rabi Bello Isa, Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Zainab Ujudud Sherrif, Ministry of Health; Aminu Bako Yarima, Nigeria Immigration Service, and Ibrahim Ishaq Nuhu, Central Bank of Nigeria.

Military Battles Boko Haram Near Bauchi

Boko Haram Attack GombeNigerian troops on Sunday engaged scores of Boko Haram fighters in a fire fight near the city of Bauchi, North East Nigeria.

The AFP reports that Soldiers supported by two fighter jets intercepted the militants who were in 20 pick-up trucks at Dungulbe village, seven kilometres from the city, and engaged them in fierce fighting.

The Bauchi battle comes after militants attacked polling stations in Gombe and Yobe States on Saturday, killing at least 11 people.

A resident who fled to Bauchi said the terrorists arrived in Dungulbe village around 10:00 am and set up camp in preparation for an attack on Bauchi.

The militants were believed to have come through the town of Alkaleri. The gunmen in several vehicles attacked public buildings and security checkpoints.

Bauchi State police spokesman, Haruna Mohammed, was quoted to have said that gunmen also attacked some polling stations and destroyed ballot boxes in Bauchi on Sunday.

Police officers undergo trial for disregarding IG’s order on checkpoints

Police officer at a checkpoint; the acting IGP had ordered men of the force to remove checkpoints for the roads.

Eight police officers of the Abia State Command are undergoing trial for allegedly disregarding the Acting Inspector General’s order banning police from mounting check-points and individual patrolling on highways.

The officers were caught by the AIG’s monitoring team while visiting commands to ascertain compliance with directives on illegal detention and long detention without trial.

In response, the State Police Commissioner, Bala Hassan insists that his Command has fully complied with the acting IGP Mohammed Abubakar’s directive, saying that the AIG’s directive did not imply that policemen should not be seen on the roads.

In his words, “It is not true that there should be no police patrol on the roads. Only roadblocks are banned, vehicular and foot patrols are not affected”.

Mr. Hassan implored members of the public not to harass the police on the roads, noting that their presence is for the security of every law-abiding Nigerian. He also noted that since the IGP directives against roadblocks took effect, there had not been any robbery or criminal attack incidents recorded in the state.

Police Checkpoints returning Gradually to Lagos

It seems police officers decided not to comply anymore with the AIG’s (Mr. Muhammed Abubakar) order on the removal of all checkpoints across the country following the mounting of a checkpoint by some policemen at the Berger end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on Tuesday night.

Before the acting AIG’s order, police officers mounted roadblocks on both sides of the expressway resulting in heavy traffic, extorting money from innocent Nigerians.

The order was initially adhered to for some weeks as the policemen are now back on the road, but mostly at night.

Commercial and truck drivers plying the road stressed that they were the targets of the policemen as they extorted money from them under the cover of the night.

Meanwhile, The Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of operations, Lagos State Command, Mr. Tunde Sobulo, said at a press briefing recently, that there was no way the police would dismantle all checkpoints.

In his words, “In the past, armed robbers were using Lagos and Edo states as their base in the South-West and that has long been checkmated since the police force got a wind of the information by beefing up security through checkpoints at these border towns.