The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on Monday warned Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers that, henceforth, they would be held liable for the professional misconduct of officers under their charge.
Mr Adamu spoke during a visit to the Police College in Lagos, following a spate of extrajudicial killings by police officers in the state.
“It is with a deep sense of professional concern that I visit you here in Lagos state command to address you on the state of affairs for the past few months,” Mr Adamu said.
“This visit has become expedient in view of the recent threat of unprofessional conducts of some police officers.
“Our visit is to reinforce the extant Force Accountability Policy which holds any officer professionally and criminally liable for the consequences of their actions, particularly if such misuse of power resulted into death, injury or indignity of citizens.”
“The line supervisors of such officers including the area commander, divisional police officer shall be held vicariously liable for lacking supervision and shall, be similarly sanctioned.”
Last weekend, police officers shot and killed a 20-year-old lady who was reportedly returning from a club with her partner. Her partner is still hospitalized for gunshot injuries.
The police chief said in order to reduce the extrajudicial killings, the police would now use “technologies and weapons systems” instead of firearms for law enforcement.
“This will include the use of electro-muscular disruption technology which is commonly known as Taser or stun guns by police for patrols,” he added.
Zubairu Muazu, the Lagos police commissioner, while welcoming Mr Adamu, said it was unfortunate the IGP was visiting the state “on such a bad note.”
“The command would have loved to welcome the IG’s official visit to the command on a better note than the one that brought the IG,” he said.
“It is sad and unfortunate that the IGP is visiting Lagos command due to insistent misdemeanours of the Nigerian Police Force, Lagos State.”
Mr Adamu condoled the families of victims of misuse of firearms and other forms of abuse of powers by the Lagos police. He assured that the police would not condone the abuse of power resulting in misuse of firearms, overzealousness, and unprofessional conducts of police officers.
After the meeting with police officers in the state, Mr Adamu; Frank Mba, the force spokesperson; assistant inspector-generals present; and other officials went into a closed-door meeting.