No fewer that 108 police officers have been disciplined by the Lagos State Police Command between January and July.
The state’s commissioner of police, Edgal Imohimi, stated this on Wednesday in Ikeja at the launch of a forum to improve accountability of the police in the state.
According to Mr Imohimi, the sanctioned officers included eight dismissed for various criminal offences, six demoted, and 54 officers who faced serious disciplinary actions.
Three other officers were remanded, four were given extra fatigues and 28 were given warnings.
Mr Imohimi, however, said five officers accused of various infractions were discharged and acquitted for want of evidence
The gathering, “Stakeholders Forum on Police Accountability” was the brainchild of Network for Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN) and had representatives from government agencies, community-based and non-governmental organisations present.
It was organised to create public enlightenment on police complaints systems and on citizens’ human rights and responsibilities in their relations with the police.
Okechukwu Nwanguma, the National Coordinator of NOPRIN, said the aim of the meeting was to provide a platform for regular engagement and interaction with the police.
“The platform is to stand as a liaison between the police and the communities, and this is with a view to deepening partnership between the police and the communities they serve to improve public safety and security,” he added.
He said the meeting would further promote accountability among police officers.
“Not only will erring officers be punished, the good ones will also receive incentives and reward for exceptional good conduct,” Mr Nwanguma said.
Commenting on measures taken by his command to improve accountability among police officers, the police chief said accountability is important for building trust between the police and citizens.
He said because the number of personnel available to the police is insufficient to provide adequate security, the police need the help of the community for a more effective policing.
“The entire police strength in Lagos which is 28,000 including specialists is not sufficient for the over 23 million population in Lagos State, which is why the Lagos State Police ensure partnership and the participation of people in the community. Also, to win back the trust and confidence of Lagosians, the police take accountability serious as erring officers are disciplined”, he said.
He said due to some of the measures he has put in place since his appointment as the state police chief, members of the public were beginning to trust the police again.
A representative of National Human Right Commission (NHRC), Nneka Anigbo, said the meeting was commendable and enjoys the support of the agency.
She said accountability among police officers and the respect for the rights of the citizens are at the core of the aim of the NHRC.