The acting Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun yesterday told Nigerians that they should henceforth report police infractions to the appropriate quarters as he officially launched the much anticipated Lagos State Police Command Complaints Response Unit (CRU) at Lagos Command Headquarters, Ikeja on Wednesday, 23rd August, 2023.
The CRU project was initiated and implemented by the impressive leadership of CP Lagos Command, CP Idowu Owohunwa. CRU is a highly sophisticated technology-driven unit saddled with the responsibility of receiving, analysing and handling complaints lodged by members of the public against police personnel and general crimes within their neighbourhood with a view to having expeditious response, National Association of Online Security News Publishers, NAOSNP can report.
Further, during the maiden visit of IGP Egbetokun to Lagos State Police Command HQ, he launched a state-of-the-art Hospital within the premises of the 22PMF Lagos Mobile Police Force, Oduduwa, Ikeja GRA, Lagos. This infrastructure which will enhance the welfare of Police officers was initiated by the Squadron Commander, ACP Braide .I. Elekima.
In his speech during the event, the IGP remarked that the Complaints Response Unit is to provide police-citizens accountability, build confidence among members of the public, engender information sharing between the police and the citizens and also make the police to be transparent. ‘We don’t want actions of the Police to be reported on social media, but to the CRU, Officers that will man the CRU will be of impeccable character. They will be trained and get to be trained overseas. I urged everyone to support these efforts and ensure that the CRU is established in their states. It is good for the Police and for the citizens.’
Addressing the senior Police Officers present, the IGP added: ‘No Police Force can succeed without support from the People. Our new policing is intelligence-based and technology-driven. We are ready to win the minds of the people. We are shifting to community policing, which entails taking into consideration each community, everything is about results. We must shun extortion, which is giving us a bad image. I used to tell police officers that God loves Policemen and always looking for a policeman to bless. If you do your work well, God will bless you.’
He then praised the Federal Government for supporting the Nigeria Police Force, ‘President Tinubu is committed to the welfare of the Police and he’s going to do everything to improve your (Police) welfare. We will get support from the government, but you must be professional in everything you do and be transparent. Once we can do all these, we will get the support we need.’
The Commissioner of Police in Lagos, CP Idowu Owohunwa speaking on the milestone achievement noted: ‘In line with the provisions of Sections 131-133 of the Police Act, 2020 and in compliance with the directive of the IGP, therefore, I am proud to confirm that Lagos State Police Command has taken the lead to establish the State Compliant Response Unit (SCRU) as a framework for promoting Police-Citizens’ accountability and as a center for the receipt of complaints on police officers’ service inadequacies from the public, coordinate immediate response, facilitate the investigations and disciplinary processes where necessary, and render feedbacks to the citizens.’
On the purpose and objective of this first-of-its-kind CRU, CP Owohunwa added: ‘I must clarify that this initiative is not meant in any manner to witch hunt our officers as they will also be duly protected, and their rights fully asserted if their dignity is also violated or false and malicious information passed against them by misguided members of the public in the line of their official engagements. The establishment of the center is, from all intents and purposes, a fulfilment of statutory provisions that is intended to enhance police accountability and engender professional police service delivery, rather than witch hunt or unduly malign our dutiful officers. In addition to its ethical complaint functionality, the Lagos State Complaint Response Unit has applications for e-crime reporting which enables citizens to report crimes from the comfort of their homes or offices without necessarily coming physically to the Police Stations. The process is that the Lagos State SCRU model will act as a central criminal complaint clearing house which will electronically receive such complaints and process them to the relevant police Division, Department or Unit within the Command who will in turn contact the complainant to whom a reporting code would have been generated and issued, for investigative actions to commence.’
‘We are proud to note that the establishment and commissioning of the Lagos State Complaint Response Unit today positions the Lagos State Police Command as the first and, so far, the only Command of the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT to give effect to the provisions of the Police Act 2020 and the directive of the IGP in this regard. For this historic attainment, I wish to appreciate the IGP for his vision and direction towards bequeathing to the nation a Police Force that is citizens-friendly and ethically driven’, National Association of Online Security News Publishers, NAOSNP gathered from the Lagos CP.
Also, during his tour of facilities in Lagos, IGP Kayode Egbetokun inaugurated some projects built by Mobile Police Force No 22 Squadron under the leadership of ACP Braide Ibiye Elekima.
Such projects included the remodelled and furnished administrative building; newly built and equipped Police Clinic, ICT Centre, Tailoring workshop and 14 Bed Transit Camp.
Others were the newly installed 10 Solar light units; newly built Gate/Security post casting of 304 Square Metres parking space and Parade Ground.
Earlier in their goodwill messages by Mr. Femi Falana, Mr Olumide Akpata, former President, Nigerian Bar Association, pledged support to ensure that CRU is activated in other states of the Federation.
According to Mr Akpata, he promised make resources available to establish CRU in Edo and Delta states Command just as he did in Lagos, while Mr. Falana vowed to sponsor Abuja, and three other states CRU centres.
Also, the Convener, Women Arise for Change Initiative, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, Head of Security, Airtel, Dr Seyi Adetayo, while commending the police for their work but called for their proactivity.
In attendance at the event are the DIG in charge of Southwest, DIG Sylvester Abiodun Alabi, AIG in charge of Zone 2 (Lagos and Ogun), AIG Mohammed Ari Ali; Commissioners of Police of various commands in Lagos; the Commander, 9 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Ikeja Cantonment; Commander, NNS Beecroft, Apapa and Nigerian Air force counterpart; Oniru of Iru Land, His Royal Majesty, Oba Abdulwasiu Omogbolahan Lawal, Abisogun II; frontline lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, SAN; the immediate past President of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Olumide Akpata; the President of Women Arise group, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin; Dr. Seyi Adetayo from Airtel; Mr. Kenneth Chukwu Ofili of 9Mobile, Director, Department of State Security (DSS) Lagos Command; Commandant, NSCDC, Lagos Command, Director, CLEEN Foundation among a host of other dignitaries.
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