International Centre, ICIR Petitions Tinubu Over Harassment Of Staff, Demands Suspension Of Police Commission Boss, Arase

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Sequel to the detention of its executive director, Dayo Aiyetan and a reporter, Nurudeen Akewushola, the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) has petitioned President Bola Tinubu.

The petition was written against the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbedokun and Solomon Arase, chairman of the Police Service Commission.

 

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Afam Osigwe

Chukwuemeka Mbamala

Chukwuemeka Mbamala

The petition specifically called for Arase’s suspension from office.

 

In the petition dated June 6, 2024, and signed by the ICIR Executive Director, Dayo Aiyetan, the organisation noted that the move followed the intimidation of ICIR staff members by the police under Egbetokun, after an investigative report published by The ICIR, linked Arase to a shady land deal involving the sale of police residential quarters when he was the IGP.

Copied in the petition are; the National Security Adviser; Minister of Information and National Orientation; Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs; Chairman, House of Representative Committee on Media and Publicity; Chairman, National Human Rights Commission; President, International Press Institute; President, Nigerian Union of Journalists; and President Nigeria Guild of Editors.

 

The ICIR made four demands to include;

 

“The institution of an independent investigation devoid of police involvement, into the allegations of fraud and corruption running into billions of naira in the sale of Police property.”

It further sought an instruction to the Inspector General of Police to desist from allowing the NPF-NCCC (Nigerian Police Cyber Crime Centre) or any other arm of the Nigeria Police to intimidate, molest or threaten the ICIR, its Trustees and reporters, for pursuing their legitimate duties as mandated by section 22 of the Constitution.

 

The ICIR also demanded that the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Mr Solomon Arase, should be instructed to desist from further abusing and using his office to intimidate, harass, or threaten the ICIR, its Trustees, and reporters who are engaged in legitimate duties as mandated by Section 22 of the Constitution.

 

One of the key requests included; the suspension of Solomon Arase from office as Chairman of the Police Service Commission to pave way for an independent investigation of abuse of office and corruption against him as contained in the petition and the ICIR investigative report.

The ICIR investigation revealed that some police officers assisted a contractor and Managing Director of Copran international Limited, Andy Chime, to forge the signature of a deceased Deputy Inspector-General of Police Saleh Abubakar to secure a contract.

 

It was further alleged that Chime used the documents to obtain a loan of N573 million from the Nigeria Police Mortgage Bank and also unlawfully used the houses on the land as collateral, thus shortchanging the police.

 

According to the report, two former Inspectors-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and Solomon Arase, currently the chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), were accused of receiving house allocations worth over N200million as incentives for awarding an estate development contract to Copran International Limited owned by Chime, for land originally meant to be used as police barracks.

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