Sunday, March 29, 2009

Police orderlies: FG reverses order on judges, lawmakers

The Federal Government seemed to have bowed to pressure from the public as it announced on Saturday that judicial officers and those in the legislative and executive arms of government should continue to use their police orderlies.

The government’s new position negates the decision announced at the end of the Federal Executive Council meeting last Wednesday, which was made known by the Minister of Police Affairs, Dr. Ibrahim Lame said that these categories of officers should continue to use their orderlies since they were approved by the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro.

It will be recalled that the Federal Executive Council, after its meeting last Wednesday announced the withdrawal of police orderlies from certain categories of public officers, including judges, commissioners, members of the National Assembly, local government chairmen and others.

This has, however, drawn the ere of the public, who had described the directive a misconceived and capable of endangering the lives of these category of workers.

But government said the directive had been misinterpreted and this was why it was making the clarification.

In a press statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the minister, Mr. James Odaudu, government explained that the need to sanitise the Police profession necessitated the early order, adding that it had observed that rather than do their normal security job, many policemen were in the habit of engaging in an unprofessional job for their masters.

This, it said, undermined discipline and provided cover to criminals to shield their nefarious activities and to commit unpardonable crimes against the society

It called on Policemen who were not officially attached to government officials and individuals to return to their respective commands with immediate effect.

The FG, in the statement, called on individuals and corporate bodies that need the services of policemen to apply to the IG, who it said is in the position to approve such request.

The statement read, ”In response to the misinterpretation of the position of government regarding the use of Police men and women as Guards, Orderlies and Escorts which recently attracted some major headlines in the print-media, the Minister of Police Affairs, Dr Ibrahim Lame has deemed it necessary to make the following clarifications:

”The position of Government is that it frowns seriously at indiscriminate and unauthorized use of Police officers and men being attached to private individuals in the society.

”It is quite disgraceful to see Police officers and men performing demeaning and unethical jobs for their principals. This is identified as one of the major factors that debase the professional values and ethics of the Nigeria Police Force.

”It also undermines discipline and provides cover to criminals to shield their nefarious activities and even to commit unpardonable/unforgiving crimes against the society.

In light of the above, a directive was issued to the Nigeria Police Force for the immediate withdrawal of all police officers and men attached to private individuals and organisations without due authorization.

It should be noted that only those approved by the Inspector-General of Police should be given Police escorts or orderlies, while stern disciplinary measures will be taken against erring officers and men on such unapproved duties.

”Meanwhile, any person or organization needing such services should seek appropriate authorization from the Inspector General of Police. This will provide accountability and ultimately reduce the pressure on the force to provide such services.

”The Federal Executive Council has deliberated on this issue, noted the pressure on the Force and instructed that all unauthorised orderlies and escorts be withdrawn.

”It is important to note that this directive does not involve persons in positions in the Judiciary, Legislative or Executive arms of government. These categories of officials should continue to retain their orderlies if such orderlies were duly and officially attached.

”All police officers not officially attached to persons with whom they are currently performing such duties have been directed in their own interest to return to their respective commands immediately.”

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