Following the recent trend of dismissal of police personnel for gross misconduct, some Nigerians have demanded further prosecution of deviants to serve as a deterrent to other officers.
Their submission followed the public dismissal of two officers attached to Kogi and Akwa Ibom commands following their contravention of extant laws.
The Kogi and Akwa Ibom officers were dismissed for exalting extortion and brutality respectively. Both incidents were captured by members of the public and shared on social media.
The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba said such an action was imperative to ridding the system of negative elements that deviate from the standard operating procedure of the police.
The development was applauded by some Nigerians on the macro blogging App, Twitter while many noted that dismissing deviant officers was ineffective in addressing the ills within the system.
Reacting to the situation, Tweeps took to the handle of the Police Spokesperson, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi to demand further consequences for officers that have erred.
They noted that a dismissal may be a good step in the right direction but addressing its root cause would further stop incessant misconduct, and serve as a deterrent to other officers.
Many alleged that some officers behave unruly due to ‘substance intake’ that leaves them under an influence. Some of the tweets are highlighted below:
A tweep, @AzubuikeTobi said, “Outright dismissal doesn’t mean he won’t do worse after this. A few months after being without a job, he may go around parading as a police officer. He should be jailed for some months, at least it will register in the minds of a few Nigerians around him.”
Another tweep @Iyaboawokoya said, “Sir, I know you will be doing this, but let me say it, how frequently do you conduct drug tests on policemen? A lot of these aberrant behaviours can’t just be indisciplined. I suspect ‘policing under the influence’ sir. Before we dismiss all of them, can we also try some ‘help?”
Also, @TheSCANDENTco noted, “Dismissal can’t be the end. Criminal charges need to be filed and a public trial needs to be held. That wasn’t gross misconduct but reckless endangerment of life.”
Similarly, @AdemuyiwaOba added, “Well deserved, but I hope he’ll be disciplined properly and charged to court because leaving a man like this to roam the streets is dangerous. He’ll only continue to harass people, and might even take to criminality to fend for himself.”
On his part, @DeeNero56 said, “It’s so nice that we have been hearing of dismissal lately awarded to deserving officers who carry out their policing outside the law of the NPF. Now I’m convinced that this IGP really wants to earn the public trust again towards the @PoliceNG.”
Another Twitter user @MoyowaPeters4 said, “Prince, if possible, there should be names and pictures of dismissed and demoted officers and their offences, on notice boards at all police stations monthly or quarterly. Seems lots of your men do not know of the steady sanitising revolution. Kudos to the IGP and the PPROs.”
Also, @arroshyd stated, “I get the intent behind this, but is dismissals the best punishment for this? These guys are already trained to use firearms. How do you plan to manage them? And I’m not sure the force is really ready to hire and train enough new guys since many are already attachés.”
In his submission, @akin_akins said, “I’m just wondering, Prince. Are there some programmes/action points to ensure that dismissed officers are fully integrated back into the society? Are they being monitored to ensure that they don’t resort to full-scale criminals taking out their frustrations on the same society?”
In October 2020, part of the demands of the ENDSARS campaign was to carry out a psychological evaluation, and retraining of operatives disbanded from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) before they are redeployed to other units.
Recall that Nigerians demanded the abrupt end of the Force SARS unit following recurring complaints of extortion, gross misconduct and extra-judicial killings.
The heated campaign got the federal government to yield to their demands while Nigerians further asked for an improved salary structure and compensation for officers to boost productivity.