By Osas Osas
The Network of Civil society Organizations of Nigeria (NOCSON) has issued 48-hours ultimatum to the Nigeria police over the escape of some detainees from the Edo State Criminal Investigative Department (CID) at police headquarters in Benin City on January 1, 2021.
President of NOCSON, Comrade Ogbidi Emmanuel and the Director of Publicity, Comrade Bevy Efe disclosed this at a Press Conference on Thursday in Benin City where it vowed to “ruffle feathers of those who hate progress in Edo State” no matter how highly placed.
The group stressed that failure by police authorities to publish the names, photographs and information of all escapees on local and national Media Organizations within the period, the body will explore legal instrument to compel the law enforcement agency to pursue their demands.
While recalling its fact-finding mission to police headquarters under the watch of the State Commissioner of police Johnson Kokumo who has just been promoted to the rank of Assistant Inspector-General of police (AIG) shortly before the “avoidable incident”, the duo, described police explanation as unacceptable.
“These findings beat the imagination of our Network (NOCSON) and remain a bitter pill to swallow. Why should we allow Edo people to suffer further insecurity as a result of the actions and inactions of some unpatriotic police Officers” to undermine the peace and security of the State?
The body further warned that the investigation must not be swept under the carpet; just as it expressed its readiness to follow the investigation by the police to a logical conclusion by ensuring that the culprits to book.
“If criminals can escape from the State police Command, which is regarded as the most secured police cell in Edo State, it therefore suggest to us that there is note revelations to be uncovered as it concerns the security situation in Edo State under the watch of the CP, Mr. Johnson Kokumo”, it quarried.
NOCSON also called on the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki to urgently constitute a panel of inquiry to investigate the circumstances surrounding the two facilities of the Nigeria Correctional Centres during the EndsSARS protest in October last year.
“This raises questions about the alleged jail break in the two Correctional Centres in Edo State. NOCSON will not tolerate act or action of persons within and outside the security establishment to jeopardize the security in Edo State or allow terrors to walk freely in the Street of Edo…”.
But the Public Relations Officer of Edo State Police Command, Mr. Chidi Nwabuzor who confirmed the escape of ten suspected criminals from the police Cell on Monday in a statement.
He alleged that two out of the ten suspects have been re-arrested and brought back to custody, adding that efforts are being made to arrest the fleeing suspects.
Nwabuzor also said in the statement that the “policemen who were responsible for for the safe custody of the escaped suspects have been identified, arrested and detained for departmental disciplinary process”.