24th August, 2011
Â Samuel Jinadu, Lagos State police spokesman,in this interview speaks with EMMANUEL UDOM on the fate of the four MOPOL men arrested in connection with bank robbery, what the police is doing to checkmate the recurring violence in parts of the state, the ant-crime records of the command in the last six months and the fate of incoming police officers, who are presently undergoing screening
How has it been in the last six months as the image maker for the Lagos State Police Command?
Well, it has been quite challenging and exciting at the same time. The Lagos State Police Command with Yakubu Alkali as commissioner has performed creditably well in the last six months
Why do you say so, even as Mushin, Shomolu, Agege and Fadeyi are noted for reccurring bloody violence?
You see, there are lots of factors that contribute to violence. Some of these factors are political, economic, social and religious among others. But let me assure you that as far as these areas are concerned, the police are on top of the situation.
How do you mean?
Let me tell you that a number of persons have been arrested, investigated and prosecuted in connection with the violence virtually in every part of the state. And as I am speaking with you now, the police are not resting on their oars in ensuring that the crises in these areas are checkmated
In specific terms, what is the anti-crime record of the police in Lagos like?
In the last six months, 149 arms were recovered from suspected armed robbers, even as 72 of them were killed, 1,703 ammunition recovered and 201 criminals arrested during a bloody clash with the police. . These figures represent an appreciable improvement of the 2010 records. As at January to May last year, 128 arms were recovered from robbers, while 75 of the criminals were killed and 202 of them were arrested and 275 vehicles impounded
Okada riders in Lagos are complaining that the police are trying to run them out of business with their indiscriminate arrest on flimsy excuses. What is your take on this?
Yes, the police have impounded quite a number of motorcycles and arrested some riders. The reason, which you know is that they should not operate beyond 10pm daily, since our crime records in recent times show that robbers use okada to carry out their criminal activities, especially in the night, since it is a lot easier to escape with okada. We are not really trying to run okada riders out of business, but are simply enforcing the law. Riders, who work within the legal time will not are be arrested. But some okada riders are also complaining that some police officers are using the opportunity to extort money from them. I am not aware of that. In any case, any police officer caught extorting money from okada riders will certainly face the full wrath of the law.
Recently, 4 MOPOL officers were arrested in connection with a bank robbery at Ikorodu. What is the situation on the matter?
The Lagos State Police Commissioner, Yakubu Alkali, recently said the Nigeria Police Force is not a criminal institution and breeding ground for robbers. Any officer, no matter how highly placed that is involved in crime or criminal activities will certainly face the music
How is your relationship with journalists in Lagos?
Very cordial, but atimes challenging and demanding. As you know Lagos is the headquarters of the media. So, the pressure is high on both the journalist and the office of the police public relations to deliver timely information. Therefore, I work to serve the public through the media 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Journalists call me even at 2 a.m. for information on crime and I must answer them. They also call the police commissioner, who is ever ready to clarify any crime-related matter every day.
The screening exercise for incoming ASPsand police inspectors is almost getting to an end. Has any of them been discovered to have presented fake certificates?
Yes, some of them have been arrested for alterations in their documents. We have not gotten to the verification of their certificates yet. But those arrested for alterations are being quizzed.