Police Commission implicates corrupt officers as reason for #EndSARS protests

Police Commission implicates corrupt officers as reason for #EndSARS protests

The Chairman, Police Service Commission, Musiliu Smith, has explained that the misconduct of officers of the Nigeria Police Force triggered the #EndSARS protests in October 2020.

Smith, a former Inspector-General of Police, also decried the level of misconduct in the police force; saying his office was always inundated with complaints from Nigerians.

This was contained in a statement issued by the PSC chairman at a retreat with the IG and his police management team, in Abuja on Tuesday, February 23.

Smith’s statement contradicted claims by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed that the October protests were instigated by political and religious leaders.

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He also said the demonstrations which were subsequently hijacked by hoodlums; leading to widespread violence and looting, were aimed at overthrowing the Federal Government.

However, in a counter-opinion, the retired IG said, “We are always having a lot of complaints from the members of the public against police officers. I believe that #EndSARS resulted from serious misconduct of some of our personnel.

“I want to advise that we review the arrangements we are making for investigating such cases. Let’s ensure that investigations are thoroughly conducted; and whoever is the police officer that has been indicted will be punished according to the law. If we are doing that, some of the public complaints will go down.”

Smith, who had been at loggerheads with the police leadership on the recruitment of police constables; also admonished IG Mohammed Adamu to work closely with the commission on the recruitment of credible Nigerians into the force.

He added that the number of court cases against the police was alarming; stressing that the force may not be able to pay the damages awarded against it.

In his remarks earlier, the IGP noted that the retreat was to bridge the communication gap; and engender a better understanding and working relationship between the force and the service commission.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubukar Malami, SAN, who also spoke at the retreat, harped on the need for a harmonious working relationship among all the agencies of the government.

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