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IGP to CPs: Arrest any party candidate using state security outfit for campaign

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.Meets with DIGs, AIGs, CPs and other strategic Police managers on polls

.Condemns assault on orderly, orders prosecution of case

.Prof. Zainab Duke arrested

Jonas Ezieke, Abuja

The Inspector-General of Police IGP Usman Alkali Baba on Thursday directed the State Commissioners of Police CPs in the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory FCT to immediately arrest any political party candidate using state government security outfit for any task during the campaigns ahead of the 2023 elections.

 

The IGP also directed the Commissioners of Police CPs to ensure effective deployment of security personnel in all the campaign grounds throughout the period of campaign adding that the should draw up a time table on venue and time of campaign of political parties in consultation with its leaders.

The Police boss gave the order at an opening speech of the IGP’s Conference with Strategic Police Managers from the rank of Commissioners and above at the Force Headquarters in Abuja.

He said that the conference is in demonstration of his leadership standard of engaging all strategic leaders of the Force from the rank of Commissioners of Police CPs and above in order to seek feedbacks on policing and internal security developments.

The conference he further said also provides a unique opportunity to the leadership of the Police  to dissect current law enforcement realities and engage an all-inclusive approach to re-evaluate the policing strategies against the backdrop of the dynamics of crime in the country.

According to him, the overall goal is with a view to re-energising the Force in sustaining a stable internal security order.

 

The Police boss also said that main purpose of the meeting is to review the evolving political programmes as laid out by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and chart clear pathways to ensure a smooth electoral process in the countdown to the 2023 general elections.

 

He said:             “As you are aware, in compliance with Sec. 94(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, INEC has confirmed that electioneering campaigns by all political parties would officially commence on 28th September, 2022.

 

“The import of this is that the national political space will soon become active and the possibility of increase in politically related offences may become heightened across the country.

 

“As the lead security agency in the election security process, the political campaigns security governance is, primarily, the statutory obligation of the Nigeria Police Force”.

 

He reminded the senior Police officers that the provision of the requisite professional leadership to achieve an election security mandate rests squarely on their shoulders adding that in the performance of this strategic role, the Electoral Act 2022 and the Code of Conduct as well as the

Rules of Engagement for Security Personnel on Electoral Duty which was issued in 2020 by the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) must remain their guide.

The IGP also charged the Police officers to ensure the safety and security of all persons and properties that will be involved in the entire electoral process without bias is maintained by the officers, rank and file

He also called for a very strict enforcement of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Criminal/Penal Code as well as the Electoral Laws without fear or favour with regards to security, traffic, and crowd management at venues of political parties’ campaigns, rallies and other activities relating to the elections.

He said that the Force should ensure the security of the public space towards guaranteeing a crime-free and enabling environment for the political campaigns and other components of the electoral process to thrive.

On deployment of personnel during the campaigns he said that they should exhibit a high degree of professionalism and fairness in dealings with all parties.

He added that such Force personnel are also expected to adopt a professional orientation that emphasises democratic values, and respect for human rights and dignity.

The IGP while calling for a free and fair polls said that the process, the outcome and  the credibility of the 2023 general election will be measured by the extent to which the officer abide by these professional and legal standards as well as the nature of their decisions and actions with respect to their interface with political parties in emplacing appropriate machineries to guarantee a peaceful electioneering campaign process.

We must leave no citizen in doubt of our commitment to national peace and security, as well as our unwavering determination to advance the democratic and national security interests of our beloved nation.

The Police highest officer also asked that the officers familiariz themselves fully with the Electoral Act and the Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement for Security Personnel on Electoral Duty and situate all their decisions and actions within them as well as your legal obligations under the Constitution, Nigeria Police Act, and other extant laws.

Speaking further on political party campaigns, he said that all quasi-security outfits that were established by the various State governments and local communities and which are operating under different nomenclatures, structures, and orientations have no legal roles under the Electoral Act 2020 and within the electoral process.

The IGP further said that the Commissioners of Police CPS are charged to ensure that they are not in any way or manner utilised by any political or community actor for any role during the electioneering campaign and other electoral processes in the countdown to the 2023 general elections.

He said that such acts will amount to acts in illegality, and a potent threat to national security which could be inimical to our nation’s democratic interest.

 

The Commissioners of Police across the 36 states and nation’s capital are to liaise with the Resident Electoral Commissioners and the leaderships of all the political parties in various Commands towards mutually coming up with a campaign timetable that will address possible conflicts both in date, time, and venues.

 

He added that the political campaign timetable for each state should be forwarded to the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Department of Operations who will collate and forward the comprehensive layout to his office not later than 27th September, 2022.

 

 

The senior officers are also directed to submit an Election Security Action Plan that will detail the deployment plans for the security of all the venues of the political campaigns as they affect Policd Commands.

 

 

The Police helsman also said that the Commissioners of Police CPs should convey the decision banning all quasi-security outfits in the various states and local communities from electioneering campaigns and other politically related activities to the State Governors, Local Government Chairmen, Community leaders, and leaderships of all political parties in your Commands for their guidance.

 

He added that it should be clearly emphasised to them by such officers that any unauthorised quasi-security agent found to be engaging in any election or political activities faces the risk of being arrested and prosecuted along with their collaborators.

 

The officers are further enjoined to direct activities towards monitoring of possible elements that might be attempting to threaten the electioneering campaign process, promptly isolate them, and frustrate their illegal and undemocratic intentions.

 

The Police authorities are also asked to ensure  that they upscale their  deployments to dominate the public space to ensure that criminal elements do not take advantage of the active political space to manifest their criminal intents

 

While appealing to media practitoners to place national security interests above other sentiments and avoid news items that could engender tension, he  advised all political actors to subsume their campaigns within extant legal frameworks, avoid actions or speeches that could inflame the political order.

 

He assured the Nigerian citizens and the international community of the optimal preparedness of the Nigeria Police Force to support the Independent National Electoral Commission in ensuring a peaceful electoral process that will manifest in a credible outcome of the 2023 general elections.

 

In another development, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba has strongly condemned the grievous assault of a female Police Officer, Inspector Teju Moses, by her principal who is a Legal practitioner and human rights activist, Prof. Zainab Duke Abiola and her domestic staff comprising the house maid, one Rebecca Enechido and a male suspect currently at large.

 

Zainab Duke, an Mbaise born activist, grievously assaulted her orderly in company of some accomplices on Tuesday 20th September, 2022 at her residence in Garki, Abuja, due to the refusal of the orderly to breach professional ethics by carrying out menial and domestic chores at her house.

 

The IGP has directed the express prosecution of the arrested suspects who are currently in Police custody, as the preliminary investigation shows overwhelming evidence of culpability on the part of the Professor and her domestic staff.

 

The IGP has according to a release by the Force Spokesman CSP Muyiwa Adejobi equally tasked the investigative team to ensure that the fleeing suspect is arrested and made to face the wrath of the law.

 

The statement said that it is pertinent to clarify that the suspect, Prof. Zainab, who name-drops the IGP, his family members, and other officers in the top hierarchy of the Force has no acquaintance with the Police in any form as erroneously peddled on social media.

 

The Inspector-General of Police who similarly ordered the withdrawal of all Police personnel attached to the Professor, expressed consternation at the fact that an individual who claims to be an advocate for Human Rights could stoop so low to violate the rights of another individual, a police officer tasked with ensuring her protection.

 

 

 

 

 

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