PSC demands different uniforms for constabularies over extortion, others

THE Police Service Commission (PSC) has condemned some activities of constabulary officers in Nigeria.

The PSC specifically frowned at extortion among the officers.

It has, therefore, recommended a total overhaul of the unit, including giving its officers a new uniform.

A statement released by the head of the press and public relations unit of the PSC, Ikechukwu Ani, on Thursday, December 28, said the commission demanded that constabularies be given different uniforms from the conventional Police for better identification and tracking of its officer’s activities.

“The commission calls for an entirely different set of uniforms for officers of the outfit that should be easily differentiated from that of the regular Police officers.

“This, it noted, will help to track appropriately the conduct of men of the outfit and that of the regular Police officers and free the Nigeria Police Force from blames associated with the misconduct of men of the outfit,” Ani noted in the statement.

He also disclosed that the PSC had contacted the Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, about the need to effect these changes and disband the unit in states where its officers are unpaid.

The commission condemned the non-payment of salaries to the officers, describing it as a dangerous move to deprive people given access to arms of payment.

“The Commission has observed that these set of men have descended on innocent Nigerians for their daily upkeep through forceful extortion and intimidation.

“Chairman of the commission  Dr. Solomon Arase, CFR, retired Inspector General of Police, said the commission will work with the leadership of the Nigeria Police Force to sanitise the organisation and operations of the outfit,” the statement further read.

In 2019, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) introduced the idea of the constabulary to state governors and other stakeholders across the country.

The unit was formed to assist with community policing in Nigeria, with plans to recruit about 20,000 personnel into the unit within five years.

By 2020, the unit deployed its first set of constables to local governments after they had gone through some training.






     

     

    Although the NPF had said the unit was meant for respectable members of society like religious leaders, teachers and journalists, 50 thugs were recruited into the unit by the Kano State Police Command in October 2023.

    While extortion and brutality have been an age-long problem associated with the NPF, constabulary officers were recently indicted for bribery.

    In the first week of December, a Dutch tourist was making her way to Abuja on her motorcycle when she encountered two officers of the unit in Oyo state, later identified as Jimoh Lukman and Kareem Fatai, who insisted that she handed them some money before continuing on her journey.

    The officers were recorded, and the video went viral, which led to their arrest and dismissal.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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