Who is Lagos Police Commissioner? – Nigeria Latest News Headlines

By Ifeanyi Okolie

Uncertainty, yesterday, trailed the reported redeployment of Fatai Owoseni out of Lagos State as the Commissioner of Police by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, as Owoseni told newsmen at the Police Officers Mess, Ikeja, that he remains the substantive CP of the state.

The Inspector General of Police had, through a police wireless message with number DTO: 29817/18/2017, ordered Owoseni out of Lagos State.

Owoseni & Imohimi

He was posted to the Force Headquarters, Abuja, where he will work at the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department, FCIID. The signal also ordered the posting of Imohimi Edgar to take over as the new Commissioner of Police, Lagos State.

However, Owoseni told newsmen at the Lagos State Police Command, Ikeja, that he was yet to receive any directive concerning a new Police Commissioner in the state.

He was quoted as saying: “When we get the information, we will let you know.”

When asked about the development, Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, a Chief Superintendent of Police, refused to comment, but a highly-placed officer, who pleaded anonymity, hinted that Owoseni had been recommended for a course by the Police Service Commission.

The rumour over Owoseni’s redeployment has raged for a while.

Profile

Edgar, the supposed new CP is a seasoned police officer, who was until his promotion, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in-charge-of Operations in Lagos State. He was instrumental to curbing the activities of the dreaded Badoo cult and militant kidnappers within Ikorodu axis.

He was enlisted into the Nigeria Police Force as a cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police, on February 2, 1986, serving in various commands and formations in several capacities, spending most of his days at the Lagos State Police Command.

A 1984 graduate of Art at the University of Jos, who went on to bag a master degree in Public and International Affairs at the University of Lagos in 2004, Edgar is highly trained on Community and Intelligence Gathering Policing, and organised the first Community Policing summits in Ikeja GRA, Lagos State.

It is on record that Edgar, who served as the Divisional Police Officer of Shomolu Police Division, Seme Police Division, Ikeja and Surelere Police Divisions, between 2003 and 2011, as a Chief Superintendent of Police, before he was promoted and appointed the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of the Area ‘A’ Command, Lagos, obtained a diploma degree in Police Science.

Education

He also obtained a certificate of National Security for Nigeria Defense Intelligence at the Centre of Strategic Studies, Galilee International Management Institute, Israel, and the Defense Intelligence College, Abuja, in 2015, which necessitated his appointment as the ACP in-charge-of the Intelligence at the Police Force Headquarters, Abuja.

An expert in Community Policing, Edgar attended several courses organised by the Department for International Development, DFID, United Kingdom, in Lagos, Awka, Anambra States and Staff College Jos, Plateau State.

In 2010, Edgar, as DPO, Ikeja Division, launched the first Community Policing in Ikeja Lagos State. He hosted security stakeholders in Ikeja, and lectured participants on how to assist the police on Community Policing.

Achievements

Following his promotion to the rank of a DCP and his appointment as DC Operations, Lagos State, Edgar, through his community policing experience, mobilised a joint security operation, involving members of the Oodua Progress Congress, OPC; Ikorodu Local Vigilante, Oyebo, the Department of State Services, DSS; Lagos Neighborhood Safety Corps, traditionalists and some local chiefs in Ikorodu, in tackling the menace of the Badoo cult group, which had killed several persons in Ikorodu and Ogijo areas of Lagos and Ogun State.

He was also said to have played a huge role in the successful rescue of the six kidnapped students of Lagos Model College, Igbonla, Epe, who were abducted on May 25 by gunmen, who invaded the school.

Edgar was said to have mobilised policemen from the Anti-Robbery and Kidnapping units of the Lagos Command and their counterparts at the Marine Police in attacking and killing members of the kidnap gang, when they attempted to snatch some police gunboats, from the Marine Police Post in Ajah.

The leader of the kidnap gang, known as America, was killed in that operation, his death and the subsequent arrest of relatives of his gang members compelled members of gang to release the kidnapped students in Ondo State.

Edgar hails from Eme-Ora town in Owa West Local Government Area of Edo State, while his mother is an indigene of Usi in Ekiti State.

 

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Ogun State and lopsided revenue sharing formula – Nigeria Latest News Headlines

OGUN State has always been alive to the need for an enabling and investor-friendly environment that is able to attract capital and foster economic growth. It has recorded many achievements over the past six years of the Senator Ibikunle Amosun’s administration. Ogun is one of the five states that attracted fresh investments into their states between January and June this year, an analysis of a capital importation report obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has shown. The report revealed that only five states within the first six months of this year recorded any form of fresh investment inflow in key sectors of the economy. According to the report, Ogun State attracted fresh investment inflow of $5.31 million. In its report for the first quarter of 2017, the NBS listed Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Ogun, Oyo, Rivers states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja as the most investors-friendly destinations in the country.

It listed Ogun as an investment-friendly state with a capital importation of $5.351 million in the first three months of the year, while Oyo and Rivers came next with $3.419 million and $550,000 respectively. According to the report, the largest chunk of the imported capital, $302.47 million, representing 33.5 per cent, came in from the United Kingdom, while the second largest, $215.66 million, came in from the United States of America. The Bureau noted that this year’s record showed a 27.75 per cent improvement over the country’s achievement last year. Another data provided by the NBS shows that Ogun has recorded the highest amount of mining activity in the country in the last three years.  The statistics indicates that it accounts for about 40 per cent of the mining resources in the country, which makes it the leading state in the mining sector in Nigeria.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo recently noted that two of the 914 people who paid between N10 million and N20 million tax annually are domiciled in Ogun State. Regrettably, while Ogun is among the few states that produce the wealth that sustains the country, it is among the states that receive lower allocations from the Federal Government. Ogun is next to Lagos State in terms of non-oil revenue generation such as VAT, among others, for the Federal Government. Unfortunately, it is still placed 25th in terms of revenue sharing in the country based on indices generated several years ago and not on present contribution to the Federation Account.

Last year, the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of all the states in Nigeria for 2015 was released by the NBS. The statistics showed a decrease in the total IGR of all the states of the federation by comparing the IGR of 2014 and 2015. The IGR of 2014 was N707.8 billion while that of 2015 stood at N683.6 billion. Even in the face of this decline, Ogun State still recorded one of the highest increases in IGR (49.42%). In 2016, the 36 states and the 774 local government councils in Nigeria shared a total sum of N2.6 trillion from the Federation Account in spite of the prevailing economic recession. The total figure was payment made to the two tiers of government between January and December 2016 at the monthly meeting of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC). The total gross federal allocation to Ogun state in 2016 was N57 billion.

The statutory revenue received by the Ogun State government for the months of January, February and March 2017 from the federation account has been put at N4.98 billion. The N4.98 billion revenue was paid to the state, after deduction of N3.64 billion from the total allocation for debts and other financial obligations entered into by the previous administrations. Ondo State during the three months period, received N10.2 billion, after deduction of N3.19 billion; Oyo State (N8.9 billion, after deduction of N2.2 billion); Osun State (N1.1 billion after deduction of N7.22 billion); Lagos State (N19.03 billion, after deduction of N8.5 billion) and Ekiti State got N4.97 billion after N3.08 billion deduction. The top 10 recipients of Federation Account allocation in Nigeria are Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Delta, Bayelsa and Lagos States. Others in the top 10 bracket include Kano, Katsina, Oyo, Kaduna and Borno States. One of the perennial problems which has not only defied all past attempts at permanent solution, but also has a tendency for evoking high emotions on the part of all concerned is the issue of equitable revenue allocation in Nigeria.

It is an issue which has been politicised by successive administrations in Nigeria, both military and civilian. The imperative of competition over sharing of the commonwealth in the context of a plural society like Nigeria has resulted in a lot of contradictions. An acceptable formula that would foster a more balanced development and harmonious fiscal federalism among the component groups in the country is very fundamental. Governor Amosun has, on several occasions, advocated an overhaul of the existing revenue allocation formula in the country to make it fairer and equitable. At a time most states in the country are groaning over dwindling resources and are unable to pick their wage bills, Ogun State, under Governor Amosun, has recorded an increase in internally generated revenue to the tune of N6 billion per month.

Although the governor is not in support of the restructuring of the country, he welcomes anything that will allow for the equal distribution of projects and dividends of democracy. Amosun’s request for a special status in the federal revenue allocation is borne out of the fact that Ogun State has been officially acknowledged as the industrial hub of the country, adequately remitting excise duties to the coffers of the Federal Government. Due to prudent husbandry of the scarce resources of the State and his less reliance on the monthly Federal Allocation, Governor Amosun has not defaulted in the payment of salaries. Amosun has realised the importance of partnering with the organised private sector towards boosting the potentials of the state. There are about 423 companies in Ogun State with a minimum of over $2 billion investment capital base. In view of the new business investments trooping into Ogun State, the government has continued to complement their investments by maintaining and expanding on the existing infrastructure with the little revenue allocation it receives, just as new ones are being constructed.

  • Durojaiye is the Special Adviser (Information & Strategy) to Governor Ibikunle Amosun.

 

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Prison congestion: Community servicing as an alternative – Nigeria Latest News Headlines

PRISON congestion is a social  phenomenon that occurs when the demand for space in prisons in a  jurisdiction exceeds the capacity  for prisoners in that society or country. It arises where the number of inmates at a given period of time exceeds the actual capacity originally meant for that prison. Prison congestion or over-crowding is caused by a variety of factors such  as increasing  crime rates, harsher penalties for criminal activities, high recidivism, needed improvements to the penal system, backlogs and undue delays in the trials of criminal cases  and unresolved civil disputes remain key problems in the justice sector and is one of the main causes of the very high number of awaiting trial detainees and invariably prison overcrowding in most prisons across the globe. Then there is also the non-duplication of case files by investigating Police Officers (IPO’s) and cases of police not bringing of suspects regularly for prosecutions or court trials are among these factors.

According  to the National    Bureau  of  Statistics (NBS),  as  of    February   2017 , 72 per cent  of inmates  in Nigeria   prison  formations    were awaiting  trial persons. The menace of congestion in various prisons across the country has become worrisome and if not promptly looked into, it is capable of defeating  the very purpose of establishing  prisons in any society, principal among which is to serve as a reformative, rehabilitating , correctional and re-integration facility for the betterment of the inmates, the country and society at large and which can never be achieved under  the present condition of our prisons across the country. The   prolonged      trials  and  overuse  of imprisonment   for  minor   offences     have done   more  damage   than  good to  all; they constitute a major threat to the welfare of the inmates and  on  the individual. Most minor offenders during the years or periods of awaiting trials and even after being tried and sentenced are locked up with hardened criminals who in turn influence them, making them become hardened thereby becoming terrors to the society at large after being released from prison.

Also, the  attitude of the society  and the stigma attached to a person who has committed a minor offence and has served a jail term could make him or her feel unwanted in the society leading to his desire to deliberately commit grievous offences that could send him or her back to prison. In order to reduce the rates at which most of our prisons are being congested and to achieve the primary purpose for which most of these corrective facilities were established for, I think it’s high time non – custodial measures such as adopting the “Community Servicing” as alternative to imprisonment  for minor offences was adopted into the justice system as it has being  in practiced in developed countries of the world. Neither the Criminal Code Act nor the Penal Code Act of Nigeria makes provision for community service as a form of  punishment for minor  offences and misdemeanor. But the spate at which our prisons are  being congested with awaiting trial  inmates makes the inclusion of community service in the laws governing crimes imperative. There are many instances whereby community service would be apt as an alternative to prison or jail term.

The term community service, on the surface, is free service or activity that is carried out by someone or a group of people as contribution for the benefit of the public or its institutions. This service can be voluntary in some cases while in others, are compelled by their government as part of citizenship requirements, in lieu of military service, the courts, etc. The  legal  definition  of  community  service refers to “a sentencing  option  for  persons   convicted of  crimes  in which  the court  orders the defendant to perform a number of  hours of unpaid work for the benefit of the public; a  person  convicted of a  criminal  offence  may be  required    to  complete  a sentence of community service directly   or  as an express  condition of probation.” Community service, as pronounced by the courts, is a  form of punishment wherein the offender, usually in cases of minor offences and/ or a first timer is given  a social responsibility in lieu of a jail term. This form of social responsibility ranges from an array of options such as sanitation wise, farming, cleaning public drainages, bush clearing, helping out in other  Local Government functions amongst other activities.  Furthermore, in adopting the community service for minor offences, people convicted of crimes would be required to perform certain services  that would be beneficial to the society  or to work for certain public agencies that need manpower for service delivery. A fine may be introduced in exchange for a prescribe numbers of hours of community service.

Community  service is often  used  as an  alternative  to  imprisonment, with the intent  to  connect  offenders  to the  victims or  society in order to make  them  realise how  their actions    affects   others in   the  society. Community  service  in  the   criminal   justice   system    started  in 1966   as a  way  for  offenders  to work  off   traffic  fines  in   California  and   as a result  of   the success  of  the  program,  community  service became implemented in the United-States as a  meaningful    alternative  to  jail  sentences.  Adopting the  community service   into the criminal  justice  system at the three levels of government in Nigeria   would help the  overhauling of the criminal  justice system  and aid the  fast-tracking of  justice delivery while  giving  room  for  decongestion of  our  prisons. Furthermore, the benefit of adopting the community service into  justice system both at the three tiers of Government is that it would reduce Government’s budget by saving the Government the high cost of maintaining prison inmates while such funds could be expended on  other meaningful developmental projects in the country.

In addition, rather than imprisoning minor offenders and feeding them from the scarce resources of the Government, Internal Generated  Revenue(IGR) can be generated through community servicing.

  • Akinpelu writes in from Abeokuta, Ogun State.

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