The police on Monday decried public comments linking President Muhammadu Buhari with the ongoing saga over a dog named “Buhari” in Ogun State.
A 40-year old trader, Joe Chinakwe, was recently arrested and arraigned in court for allegedly naming his dog “Buhari.” He has since been granted bail.
Some members of the public have however associated the president with the matter.
The Ogun State Police Command and Zone 2 Police Command, in separate statements, said series of uncomplimentary remarks against the president over the case were uncalled for.
In the statement by the Zonal Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, the police said the matter was grossly misconstrued, explaining that the president has nothing to do with it as it was erroneously perceived.
The police explained that the case before it showed that one Alhaji Buhari, the father of the complainant, Haliru Umar, both of who live in Ketere Area of Sango Ota in Ado/Odo-Ota LGA of the state, were involved.
The statement said, “The attention of the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 2 Command, Lagos, AIG Abdulmajid Ali, has been drawn to series of uncomplimentary comments and publications in respect of the case of a man, Joe Chinakwe, who was arrested and charged to court by the Ogun State Police Command for naming his dog “Buhari” and wishes to state categorically that the matter was grossly misconstrued.
“The Zonal Command wishes to clarify and set the records straight that the case, as it was erroneously perceived, has nothing to do with the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, but with one Alhaji Buhari, the biological father of the complainant, Alhaji Halilu Umar, all of Ketere Area, Sango Ota in Ado Odo Otta Local Government Area of Ogun State.
The police explained that Mr. Chinakwe was not charged to court for naming his dog “Buhari” but for his behaviour and that the suspect had been having conflicts with Mr. Umar, which made him to name his dog after the latter’s father.
“Also, it’s fundamental to state that the man was not charged to court for christening his dog Buhari, but for the behaviours of the suspect and circumstances surrounding the matter when Mr. Joe, who had been having conflicts with his neighbour, (complainant) named his dog Buhari, his neighbour’s father’s name, inscribed Buhari on both sides of the said dog, and started parading the dog with swagger amongst his neighbours and/ traders who are mostly northerners,” the statement added.
“The said Joe was actually attacked by the people around for his action before he was rescued by the police. The timely intervention of the police prevented a crisis or inter-tribal crisis in the area.
The zonal police command called for the understanding of members of the public on Mr. Chinakwe’s action, which it said was capable of causing a breach of public peace.
It said the suspect was charged under section 249(d) of the Criminal Code.
“The Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 2 Lagos, AIG Absulmajid Ali, appeals to the general public to understand the action of the police in the matter, which is in consonance with the primary duties of the Nigeria Police Force as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and accept it as a professional way of preventing total breakdown of law and order,” the statement said.
On its part, the Ogun State Police Command, in a statement by its spokesperson, Abimbola Oyeyemi, also said the president had no connection with the matter.
“The attention of Ogun State Police Command has been drawn to a story in some section of the media regarding the case of Joachim Iroko who named his dog Buhari and was subsequently arrested and charged to court,” the police command said.
It said Mr. Umar reported the matter at the Sango Police Station to report claiming that Mr. Chinakwe provoked him by inscribing his father’s name ‘Buhari’ on both sides of his dog knowing fully well that it was his father’s name.
“The suspect was invited and he did not deny the allegation. All efforts to resolve the matter amicably between the two parties proved futile and it was about to degenerate to a serious crisis within the area, hence, the command took a proactive step by charging the case to court in order to avert unnecessary blood shedding,” the statement said.
“The command wants to make it clear to members of the public that the case has nothing to do with the President as some media are painting it to be. It is a clear case between the complainant and the suspect whose action was seen as one that is likely to cause breach of peace.”
The state police command said it was its duty to protect life and property, as well as to guard against anything that could lead to the breakdown of law and order “which is exactly we did in this case.”