Lawyers berate Anambra CP over involvement in investment club

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Some legal practitioners, on Monday, criticised the Commissioner of Police in Anambra State, Aderemi Adeoye, for engaging in business activities that could bring disrepute to the Nigeria Police Force.

This is just as the force continues to keep mum over the allegations levelled against the CP by some aggrieved members of ATIC Enterprise.PUNCH Metro learned that the club is fashioned in a cooperative society model and is said to be an online investment set up by Adeoye, whereby members invest money to create wealth for themselves.PUNCH Metro had reported that some aggrieved members of the club said they made investments in the purchase of landed properties but were yet to receive allocations after five years of payment.

In separate interviews with PUNCH Metro, they also accused the CP of premeditated fraud, a claim Adeoye denied in another telephone chat with our correspondent.Adeoye had told PUNCH Metro, “We bought land as a cooperative. And we have one document for it in the name of the cooperative for each purchase. Am I supposed to tear the document into pieces and then begin to share them? We are an online investment platform. We published all the receipts and payments on our page, and every member sees them.”

The members had earlier petitioned the Inspector-General of Police on February 1, 2024, detailing their grievances. However, since the acknowledgement of the petition on February 5, 2024, which was sighted by our correspondent on Monday, the members claimed they had yet to receive any correspondence from the police force.

When PUNCH Metro contacted the Force Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, he neither returned his call nor replied to the message sent to his mobile about the status of the petition.Meanwhile, in a telephone interview with our correspondent, a human rights lawyer and chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Public Interest and Development Law, Monday Ubani, faulted the CP for violating the law that set up the police force, adding that the allegation could throw the force into disrepute if not properly dealt with.

He said, “I am not too conversant with the rules of the police, but I have never seen a police officer leave his official job to engage in things like this before. This is news to me that a senior police officer will be engaged in a business outside his police work.“And now that he has not even done it in such a manner that portrays him in a good light, being a police officer in the first place, the name should be associated with integrity and honesty. Guilty or not, this may have even brought the police into disrepute.“It is no longer about himself now. It is the Nigerian police force that is being brought into disrepute as a result of the allegation. That is why it is even advisable for him not to have indulged himself in such activities.”

Another rights lawyer, Collins Aigbogun, said the Act that established the police force did not give officers the liberty to indulge in such business endeavours, adding that it would be a violation of the enabling Act if an officer was found culpable.Aigbogun said, “This is not a constitutional matter. It is an administrative matter, statutorily. There is an Act establishing the police called the Police Act, which was amended under Buhari’s administration. Even going by the public service rule, a police officer is not expected to engage in such an enterprise, let alone while you’re serving as a commissioner of police. If you do so as a police officer, you have violated the enabling Act that established the Nigeria Police Force.”

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