The Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, CP Abiodun Alabi, on Wednesday, said that there was a partial lockdown of the state by security agencies due to the threat of attacks by unknown gunmen.
Alabi disclosed this in Lagos during the Lagos State Stakeholders’ Forum on Police Accountability (SFPA)’s quarterly meeting and awards.
Alabi gave a keynote address on “Police Community Partnership: Panacea for Effective Police Performance” at the event supported by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).
Alabi said that the partial lockdown was for a purpose, stressing that the police and other security agencies in Lagos were ready for any intruders.
He said that there were stop-and-search points at different places that had become part of the security architectures in the state to combat any likely intruder.
The Lagos police boss who said that though the number of police personnel in the state was inadequate, added that with community/police partnership, the current number could tackle all crimes and criminality.
Alabi said that the force was committed to accountability, where those with excellent performances would always be rewarded amongst the personnel, and sanctions would be meted out to erring and unprofessional ones.
He noted that all the statutory duties of the police were about the protection of lives and properties.
He called on the various community stakeholders: traditional rulers, community leaders, religious leaders, and transporters to always engage the police in their areas for better policing.
The CP urged communities not to be afraid of giving information about crimes and criminality in their areas to the police and other security agencies.
He also implored them always to be interested in the activities of the police and see the police as their family members, not mere friends.
Earlier, the Coordinator of SFPA, Mr Okechukwu Nwanguma, said that the forum was established in 2018 as an outcome of CSOs and other stakeholders’ engagement with the police command in Lagos on issues of police accountability.
Nwanguma, who is also the Executive Director of the Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC), said the forum had been and would continue to offer formalised and structured engagement with the various complaints and disciplinary units in the society.
He added that it would also stand as the liaison between the police and communities in Lagos state.
“Accountability is not an easily acceptable issue in the NPF. This is why we are happy that the current police leadership under I-GP Usman Baba has embraced and prioritised accountability as an essential means of rooting out corruption and abuse in the force,” he said.
Nwanguma commended the I-GP for punishing those involved in various unprofessional conduct in the past , stressing that this action was an indication that the I-GP was ready to combat corrupt practices and unprofessional conduct.
On the attack on some policemen by soldiers where an Inspector was killed, Nwanguma called for justice for the dead officer.
He urged the police command and the Nigerian Army to be responsible for the welfare of the widow and the children of the deceased officer.
Four police officers, two from Lagos State command and two from Oyo State Command received awards for outstanding performances.
The Division Police Officer of Anthony in Lagos State Command, CSP Patricia Amadi, was honoured for “Effective Community Engagement, courageous and Exceptional Performance”.
Amadi through her community engagement with the people in her division was able to prevent the police station from being burnt down during the Endsars protests in 2019.
It was reported that the protesters only demanded water to drink when they met her face-to-face at the gate of the station then.
Another police officer, ASP Adeyemi Ogunyemi, from Oyo State Command, was honoured for exhibiting uncommon professionalism and restraint in the face of a provocative attack while on duty during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
Ogunyemi was said to have received 13 slaps from a woman while on duty, but never retaliated nor allowed his men to rough handle the woman.
The woman was said to have been later arrested for assaulting an officer.