Coalition writes IG of Police, seeks redeployment of Command CP
Civil society organisations (CSOs) have urged the Acting Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, to urgently effect the removal of the Imo State commissioner of police, Mohammed Ahmed Barde as announced in June.
The CSOs comprising the Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre, Lagos, One Love Foundation, Delta State, Citizens Center for Integrated Development and Social Rights (CCIDOSOR) Imo State made the recommendation in a statement they jointly signed on Wednesday.
Others are International Peace and Civic Responsibility Centre (IPCRC), Anambra State, Human Rights Social Development and Environmental Foundation (HURSDEF), Rivers State, Media Initiative against Injustice, Violence and Corruption (MIIVOC), Rivers State, COMPPART Foundation for Justice and Peacebuilding, Akwa Ibom, Initiative for Public Safety, Security and Educational Development in Nigeria. (IPSSED NETWORK); Enugu State, Nigeria amongst others.
They condemned the failure of the police hierarchy to deploy Mr Stephen Olarenwaju who was announced as Barde’s replacement since June 30th, 2023 but has not been allowed to resume duty.
They queried the continued interest in Barde by Governor Hope Uzodimma saying it may be connected to allegations surrounding the November governorship election in the state.
The groups stated that to continue retain Barde as Imo CP or to shield him from appropriate punishment in accordance with legal and statutory stipulations and in line with institutional disciplinary standards for his alleged discreditable conducts amounted to grave disservice to Imo people and Nigerians, saying it will extend the misery of the people who had suffered unmitigated oppression and subjugation for long.
They alleged that Barde’s tenure had been “characterised by incompetence, partisanship and unabated insecurity and human rights violations. Police harassment and intimidation of governor Uzodinma’s political opponents, and violence against the citizens.”
They described the conduct of Barde during the Adamawa governorship election as disgraceful as he allegedly connived with the embattled state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commissioner (INEC), Hudu Yunusa-Ari to declare the APC candidate, Binani, as the winner of the poll before the conclusion of collation of results, as well as elections in Imo state.
According to the CSOs, under Barde as the Imo state Police Commissioner, scores of citizens were arrested, most of them arbitrarily, and illegally detained in police cells in some notorious police units in Imo state Police Command. One of the most notorious is the Anti-Kidnapping Unit at the Tiger Base”.