Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has warned against unnecessary arrests and detention of suspects by policemen across the country.
The warning is coming on the heels of the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) disease in Nigeria.
He said detention of suspects must be reduced to the barest minimum and that only very serious cases such as terrorism, armed robbery, homicide and other non-bailable offences should warrant detention.
The IGP has also called on personnel of the Nigeria Police Force to observe all safety precautions to avoid contracting the coronavirus.
Adamu gave the order in a statement signed by Force’s public relations officer Frank Mba.
Mba said in the statement:
“Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) global health threat and the subsequent social restriction orders imposed by governments at all levels, to enable its containment, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Adamu, while enjoining citizens to voluntarily adhere to the orders, directs all Zonal Assistant Inspectors-General of Police and Commissioners of Police nationwide to ensure that all legitimate orders given in pursuant to the containment efforts are strictly enforced within their areas of jurisdiction.
“The IGP, while urging officers to observe personal safety measures, further directs the Zonal AIGs and Command CPs to ensure that cases of unnecessary arrests and detention of suspects are not condoned. He reiterates that detention of suspects must be reduced to the barest minimum and that only very serious cases such as terrorism, armed robbery, homicide and other non-bailable offences should warrant detention. The IGP further directs that adequate measures be emplaced to screen persons to be committed into police custody.
“The IGP enjoins citizens to avoid social visits to police stations and other police offices and minimize official visits, except where absolutely necessary. Meanwhile, the IGP has ordered Command CPs to immediately publicize phone numbers of their Command Control Rooms, Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) and other Tactical Commanders using the conventional and non- conventional media in order to facilitate alternative interacting and reporting options between the Public and the Police
“Also, in compliance with the Federal Government’s directive that all tertiary institutions be shut, the IGP has ordered the immediate closure of the Nigeria Police Academy as well as all Police Primary and Secondary Schools nationwide. Meanwhile, the Force Medical Services has been empowered and directed to step up sensitization programmes across Commands, Formations and Barracks in the country.”