The Police have condemned reports in the media that it has ordered the closure of the Ondo State House of Assembly complex.
A statement from the Force Headquarters, signed by the Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, described the report as misleading and malicious.
The statement reads: “The attention of the Nigeria Police Force has been drawn to a report on page 40 of the Nation Newspaper of 7th February, 2017 credited to one Damisi Ojo captioned “IG Orders Closure of Ondo Assembly”
“The report was misleading, malicious and capable of misinforming members of the public on the statutory roles of the Nigeria Police Force to restore law and order, and guarantee the protection of lives and property throughout the country.
“The story is absolutely a shadowy imagination of the writer and should be disregarded.
“It is pertinent to state that there was no time that the Inspector General of Police ordered the closure of Ondo State House of Assembly as alleged by the writer.
“It is suffice to state that on the 30th January, 2017, there was a report of pandemonium, confusion and disorder in the Ondo State House of Assembly as a result of fracas between two (2) factions who are honourable members of the Assembly over purported change of leadership of the Ondo State House of Assembly.
“Police personnel from Ondo State Police Command were promptly deployed by the Commissioner of Police Ondo State to restore normalcy and prevent total breakdown of law and order in the Ondo State House of Assembly and the attendant anarchy and chaos that may occur in Akure town and other parts of the State.
“For the avoidance of doubt, it is imperative to remind the writer and members of the public who might have read the story that, Part II S.4 of Police Act and Regulations among other things states that: ‘The Police shall be employed for the prevention and detection of crime, the apprehension of offenders, the preservation of law and order, the protection of life and property…’
“Therefore, the deployment of Police personnel to restore normalcy and prevent further breakdown of law and order in Ondo State House of Assembly was in the discharge of its constitutional responsibilities.
“The Commissioner of Police, Ondo State is in charge of all operations of the Police in the State and does not need to wait for the order of the Inspector General of Police before taking appropriate action in ensuring law and order and protection of life and property.
“The Police personnel deployed at the House of Assembly complex in Ondo State are to maintain law and order and not to close down the Assembly. They are under instructions to be civil, firm and strict in the discharge of their duties.
“To this end, the Nigeria Police Force wishes to assure the media of its support and cooperation to ensure crime free society and credible reportage. The print media are implored not to allow the pages of their esteemed newspapers to be used by mischievous persons to publish story that are capable of causing disaffections.
“The Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris will not be distracted or deterred from carrying out his statutory responsibilities for the benefit of good people of Ondo State and all Nigerians.”