Falana condemns arrest, parading of Peace Corps Commandant by Police

Femi Falana
Femi Falana [Photo credits: Newsbreakers]

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has condemned the recent arrest and parading of Dickson Akor, the national commandant, Peace Corps of Nigeria, by the Nigerian Police.

Mr. Falana spoke with journalists on Saturday in Abuja after securing the release of Mr. Akor from police custody.

The police in a combined operation with the State Security Services and the Nigerian Army on February 28, raided the headquarters of the Peace Corps of Nigeria in Abuja.

During the operation, they arrested Mr. Akor and 48 other members of the corps.

A statement issued by the police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, said intelligence reports showed that the Peace Corps and other similar groups were acquiring weapons and conducting covert trainings in different locations across the country.

Mr. Falana, who described police invasion of the headquarters of the Peace Corps of Nigeria as illegal and unconstitutional, said the organisation was not operating illegally.

He said, “generally, the parade of criminal suspects in the country by the police is illegal.

“In this case, apart from the registration of its trustees under the Companies and Allied Matters Act, there are two judgments of the Federal High Court restraining the police from harassing and intimidating members of the organization.’’

The human rights lawyer said he was also negotiating for the re-opening of the office of the Peace Corps of Nigeria.

“They must be allowed to operate under the law and we will get to that state where the police will appreciate that Nigeria is under-policed.

“We need volunteers, young men and women who should be organised by the state to handle those duties that will not require the intervention of the Police,’’ he said.

The human rights lawyer emphasised that crime like terrorism, herdsmen attack, armed robbery and kidnapping thrive in the country because the country is under-policed.

“As at 2011, the Federal Government of Nigeria decided to engage the services of 380,000 police personnel, between then and now, only 10, 000 are being employed.

“There is no way you can police about 180 million people with barely 380, 000 police personnel out of which about 120, 000 are guarding the elite and corporate bodies in the country.

“I thought the police should have embraced a body like the Peace Corps of Nigeria to make their job easier because the Nigerian Police operate under very difficult situations.

“Most communities are not policed, so herdsmen move into farms and kill people.

“Nigerians have not developed a litigation culture of challenging the killing of every citizen either directly or indirectly for which the government can be blamed,’’ Mr. Falana said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the National Assembly on Nov. 24, 2016 passed a bill, which gives approval for the establishment of the Nigerian Peace Corps as an agency under the Ministry of Interior.

The Nigerian Peace Corps Bill seeks to empower, develop and provide gainful employment for the youths.

(NAN)


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  • Joe

    Idiots, u couldn’t track the activities of Fulani herders with weapons in southern Kaduna, but u can have intelligence report on peace Corp. U guys are useless.

  • JasV

    No matter what, setting up of any para-military outfit must be according to law

  • AFRICANER

    Southerners, shame on you all for being cowardly, and letting a bunch of marauding terrorists and Chadians, even Nigeriens, occupy and terrorize you everyday. Something has to be done, and it involves WAR!

    • thusspokez

      Read the report and give us your view about it.

  • nkosi

    Police should praise peace corps for its establishment. And not being factionaly confuse

  • thusspokez

    … [public] parading of…by Police

    This is an insane and dangerous idea, and I don’t know why the Nigerian police always do this. One day, there is going to be an attempted escape or rescue which will lead to a major battle and blood baths.

  • thusspokez

    The Peace Corps is redundant. There is no demand yet for another law enforcement agency to do jobs already being done by existing agencies. It should be disbanded.

    But I can also see why like the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), this so-called Peace Corps is eager to arm itself. It wants to command respect from the public and equality with the other forces; and believes that it can only accomplish these objectives by arming itself.

  • TONYE

    Greetings all.
    I am nit contributing to support or antagonize anybody. However, the last paragraph of the reported stated that the body was approved by Avt of the Nationational Assembly as stated below:
    ‘The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the National Assembly on Nov. 24, 2016 passed a bill, which gives approval for the establishment of the Nigerian Peace Corps as an agency under the Ministry of Interior’.
    If the report is true what then is the business of those that went to harass the body? It is high time we remind all of us especially those that arrogate powers to themselves that judgement day shall come. A word is enough for the wise. Finally, projecting Certificates in the name of having attended a School is not enough prove that somebody actually went to School. Knowing the consequencies of your actions should be part of such assessment. Please we should look before we leap.

  • Netanyahu

    There is no doubt that the IGP, like his oga who is hiding in the UK where amenities are available and functioning has no entry requirements for joining the police. He must have problems understanding what the roles of the police are and the laws establishing other agencies. In all his gra-gra, no one has shown proof of the so called peace corps bearing arms. So where are the arms?