Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Imohimi Edgal, on Wednesday, said that eight erring Police Officers had been dismissed over “very serious criminal offences”, six others have been demoted in rank and one hundred and eight other officers disciplined for various offences in the Lagos State command between January to July 2018.
Speaking at a Stakeholders’ Forum on “Police Accountability and Presentation of Advocacy Materials” at the Command Headquarters in Ikeja, he disclosed that 58 other officers recorded major entries, six officers reprimanded, 28 officers got warning motors, four officers had extra fatigue, while five others were discharged for lack of evidences against them.
“The days of police officers receiving slaps on the wrist for offences are gone. When you performed excellently well, you will receive a CP’s Commendation Letter.
“I am not happy punishing any officer, but that does not mean we should overlook unprofessional conducts. When I resumed as CP Lagos, I discovered that the public had lost confidence in the police.
“I set up a Citizen Complaint Hot Centre with 10 mobile phone lines through which people can complain about the wrongs of our men. I have received many complaints.
“However, there is no way I would know all that my men are doing if nobody complained,” he said.
The Commissioner stressed that the 28,000 Police Officers and Men in Lagos State were grossly inadequate to effectively police the state and admonished residents to continue to assist the police with information and other forms of assistance.
He stated that community policing efforts in the state has been yielding results as crimes have notably reduced by about 35 percent.
Mr Edgal commended the Network for Police Reform in Nigeria and other Civil Society groups that have jointly organized the forum and encouraged them to assist the police to do better. He also appointed SP Abubakar Aliyah, a Senior Police Officer from the X-Squad as a member of the forum, promising to consistently monitor progress made by the group.
Mr Okechukwu Nwanguma, the National Coordinator for the Network, speaking on “Toward Sustained Community Partnership with the Lagos State Police” opined that regular engagement and interaction with the Lagos State police Command will aid police accountability and improve public safety.
In His words, “The platform is to stand as a liaison between the police and the communities.
“This is with a view to deepening partnership between the police and the communities they serve and to improve public safety and security.
“We want to gain deeper understanding of the workings of the various complaints and disciplinary mechanisms within the Lagos State Police Command and the feedback system.
“We want to have a formalised and structured engagement with them, contribute to strengthening them and promoting police accountability.”
Head of monitoring, National Human Rights Commission, South-West, Mrs Nneka Anigbo and the President of Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria (CRAN), Mr Odita Sunday also lent their voices in support of the forum’s work and promised to assist the group to achieve its objectives.