Need To Sanitise The Police


Since he was appointed the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Hafiz Ringim has been  taking measures to improve the image of the force. His utterances and actions, we  have observed, are geared towards repositioning the outfit as an effective crime  fighting force with a human face.

In his latest attempt to sanitise the law enforcement arm of the government, Ringim  last week redeployed all police commissioners from their present positions. The  move, we were told, was informed by the need to ensure a free and fair election next  year by preventing the police commissioners from influencing the outcome of the  elections based on their familiarity with politicians in the states.

Perhaps to support the IGP in his moves to to instil discipline in the police, the  Ministry of Police Affairs recently ordered an audit of police salary and personnel  in the country and the result was what some of us have long suspected.

Announcing the result of the audit on Tuesday, Ringim revealed the massive fraud  perpetrated by police pay officers and accountants in all the states of the  federation, including the Federal Capital Territory.

The IGP also revealed that some pay officers with the Abia State Police Command  have been arrested and are being quizzed over their roles in the financial scam. He  said the audit uncovered thousands of ghost workers in the police and billions of  naira stolen by police pay officers and accountants.

The audit which commenced in September, it was learnt, also uncovered bank accounts  through which monies were being stolen by pay officers and their collaborators.

According to Ringim, over six billion naira have been recovered so far.

The examination revealed that the actual staff strength of the police was not up to  the 377,000 official figure.

“The audit also established the fact that bank officials connive with police pay  officers to steal money…Pay officers often delay payment of salaries unnecessarily  while complaints of variated salaries and allowances by officers in some state  commands are rife,” he added.

The police boss also revealed how N15 million was paid into some accounts monthly  while cheques were cashed in flagrant violation of government regulations.

In all sincerity we have always suspected that this kind of racket was going on in  the police. It is on account of the massive corruption in the police that the  Transparency International, TI, the global anti-corruption watchdog identified the  police as the most corrupt government agency in the country followed by the Power  Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN.

Corruption in the police needs no special investigation to uncover. A casual  observer wishing to confirm this only needs to move onto the roads to see the brazen  manner policemen extort money from motorists all in the guise of stop and search.

Our main concern now is what Ringim intends to do to correct these anomalies. Our  advice to the IGP is not to treat this matter with a kid’s glove because the  problems facing the police are more fundamental. There is need for a fundamental  restructuring and orientation of the police.

We are in an age of enlightenment and law enforcement officers must not only be well  educated, they must also be enlightened to carry out their duties. The lower cadre  of the police must be staffed with well educated personnel with degrees and higher  diplomas. This will apart from helping to reduce unemployment among graduates in the  country also reflect in the quality performance of the personnel.

It is time we do away with mediocres and illiterates who can barely read in the  police. What we need are enlightened minds, well trained in the art of policing to  maintain law and order.

IGP Ringim should focus on retraining and reorientation of his men to achieve the  desired result.

Ringim should also bring all the police personnel indicted by the audit report to  book to serve as a  deterrent to others.

  Copyright protected by Digiprove © 2010 P.M.News

Load more