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Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Sagay, Ali hail withdrawal of policemen from VIPs

Sagay, Ali hail withdrawal of policemen from VIPs

Professor Itse Sagay

* Ozekhome doubts implementation

Two Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), Prof. Itse Sagay and Yusuf Ali, have hailed the decision of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, to withdraw police officers attached to Very Important Personalities (VIPs), political and public office holders across the country.

According to them, the withdrawal will put an end to the incessant abuse of such arrangement. But, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) said the policy will be difficult to implement.

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Speaking on the issue, the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), while expressing his support for the IGP’s action, however calls for caution in its execution.

According to him, the IGP should make a distinction between those that genuinely desire police protection due to nature of their work and others who only want to show-off because they are wealthy.

He said: “I am aware that there has been some abuse of that arrangement. However, the withdrawal cannot be wholesale, otherwise it would be over-reacting.

This is because there are people who actually need police protection. These are individuals who are actually working and making sacrifices for this country and, in the process, endanger their lives.

“These people, in the course of their assignment, step on toes and consequently make enemies with people in high places who have the capacity to harm them. In such instances, the police have a duty to protect such people.

“What I am saying in essence is that in carrying out the order, the police authorities should do a caseby- case examination of the situation.

They should distinguish cases of someone just showing off with police protection because of his or her wealth and those that genuinely desire police protection because of the nature of their work.”

On his part, Ali threw his weight behind the IGP’s decision, saying it will help in achieving proper policing of the citizens. “At the moment, we don’t have the required policemen that can adequately police the citizens.

Sadly, in the midst of this inadequacy, almost one-quarter of the total number of policemen in the country are devoted to VIPs assignment.

I think it is better for the society to be appropriately policed than for certain categories of individuals to be enjoying police protection at the expense of the masses.

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“If the society is better policed, there would be no need for certain individuals to be making private arrangements for police protection,” the silk said.

The President of Public Interest Lawyers League, Dr. Abdul Mahmud, said the withdrawal is the most sensible thing to do, considering the huge security challenges we are confronted with as a country. However, Ozekhome said the policy will be frustrated.

His words: “He cannot do it. The elitist system in Nigeria will frustrate it. We have heard that before, again and again. Every IGP has made such lofty promises about withdrawing police officers from VIPs, he said.”
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