Monday, January 21, 2013

President Goodluck Jonathan shocked at decrepit state of police college in Lagos

Shocking discoveries by President Goodluck Jonathan during his unscheduled visit on Friday to the Police College, Ikeja, may lead to a major shake-up in the Nigeria Police Force and the Ministry of Police Affairs, findings by The PUNCH have revealed.

A Presidency official, who spoke to one our correspondents in confidence, on Sunday, said, “The picture being painted is that of total neglect of the police training colleges, including the one in Ikeja.

“But the fact is that some money was budgeted for those colleges. How has the money been spent? There will be a probe and anybody found wanting will be sacked.”

Already, sources said top officials at the Ministry of Police Affairs, the Police Service Commission, and the office of the Inspector-General of Police have been put under scrutiny over the condition of the PCI.

It was also gathered that the DIG ‘E’ Department, Mr. Marvel Akpoyibo, who oversees training in the Nigeria Police, might be called upon to give explanations on the “unacceptable magnitude” of rot in the police training schools.

Jonathan, who could not hide his anger during the visit to the PCI en route Cote d’Ivoire for the ECOWAS Summit on Mali, said that the rot , being televised as a documentary on a Lagos-based privately-owned Channels Television, was meant to tarnish the image of his administration.

The documentary was said to have informed his unscheduled visit to the college.

“This is a calculated attempt to damage the image of this government. The Police College, Ikeja, is not the only training institution in Nigeria,” he had said.

His questions on who got Channels to film the depreciation in facilities caused by years of sustained decay were not answered by the embattled commandant of the college.

A confidant of the President said that Jonathan was of the view that those appointed to occupy sensitive positions had failed to do their jobs.

The President’s visit coincided with a wedding reception being held at the Police College.

There were fears that the police college had long deviated from the standard norms associated with a police formation .

It was learnt that the field of the Police College was being rented out to the public for ceremonies ranging from weddings, funerals and sundry social activities. The proceeds from such rentals hardly appear in the college’s books nor do they reflect in the maintenance of facilities in the school.

Also, those in charge of the PCI were alleged to place priority on such rentals at the expense of serious training programmes in the school.

The Police Public Relations Officer of the PCI, Mr. Agu Genny, however, said he did not know if money was paid to the college for renting the field as it was not under his responsibility.

“I don’t know how much or if money is paid for using the field because it is not my responsibility. That question should be directed to the officer in charge of finance or the commandant of the college”, he said.

Like the proceeds from the rentals, monies realised from billboards, including spectacular boards that are rented by advertising agencies, are not accounted for.

An officer, who declined to give his name because of the sensitivity of the scandal, said, “Look, for many years outdoor advertising agencies have always erected their spectacular billbords in our premises.

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