Ag. IGP Deploys X-Squad, Monitoring Units to enforce anti-corruption directives

Solomon AraseThe Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, has directed the IGP Monitoring Unit (X-Squad), and the Force Provost Marshall, to start enforcing anti-corruption directives in order to check corrupt practices among police personnel.

Arase gave the directive shortly before his maiden closed-door meeting with senior officers in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said the measure became necessary to restore the image of the police.

“Any officer caught either through whistle-blowing framework or direct operations of the enforcement units of the force will be appropriately dealt with in line with established disciplinary procedure”, he said.

Arase added that such an officer might face prosecution in the “swiftest fashion”.

He said the public had lost confidence in the police because of corruption, adding that it had also hindered the force from tackling crime in the most ethical and professional manner.

“This administration intends to address the menace of corruption in the police by developing frameworks and interventions that will address root causes of corruption.

“In this regard, official factors like logistics and welfare challenges that create grounds for corrupt tendencies by police officers will be vigorously addressed.

“The second approach is to pursue a very robust anti-corruption enforcement strategy that will leave no serving officers and citizens under any illusion about its integrity, and firm commitment to national ethical rebirth and development.

“Very soon, the nation will witness a massive and sustained deployment of the anti-corruption action units of the force for enforcement functions”, he said.

Arase said the enforcement would be laced with in-house and national public anti-corruption enlightenment with whistle-blowing mechanism.

“The new anti-corruption crusade of the force will take full cognizance of the appropriate sections of our criminal laws and hold both the giver and taker of bribes accountable”, he said.

According to him, the drive will be clear, coordinated, massive, firm and sustained, target and tackle issue relating to commercialization of bail.

He also said road blocks, abuse of police power, particularly in relation to pre-trial detention, would be tackled.

Arase restated the ban on road blocks nationwide and described it as public nuisance, points of corruption and a source of police-citizens frictions.

“The Commissioners of Police, Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers in whose jurisdiction illegal road blocks are detected will be personally or vicariously held liable”, he said.

He added that strict and swift disciplinary actions would be meted out to such officers found culpable.

The acting I-G explained that the purpose of the meeting was to ensure professional interaction between the management team and field officers to create peer review platform for crime fighting.

He also said that it was to evaluate performance of officers in the just-concluded general elections and evolve plans for seamless inauguration of elected office holders on May 29.

The meeting, he also said, was to lay out his policy thrust and clear strategies to achieve them. (NAN)