Three months after the Nigerian Police Force Headquarters in Abuja directed the Kwara State Police Command to respond to a petition over the illegal trial and dismissal of Shola Akano and Glorious Babatunde, the Command has failed to act on the directive.
In March 2020, Shola and Glorious were tried at the orderly room in ‘A’ Division at Kwara State Police Command for allegedly extorting a crime suspect. They were subsequently dismissed from the police even though the allegations against them were not substantiated with evidence.
FIJ exclusively gathered that in February 2021, the Force Headquarters sent two separate wireless messages also known as ‘signals’ to the Kwara Command in response to the petition by the two dismissed policemen but the Administrative Office of the Command, headed by Adegboyega Emmanuel Oyeleye, the Assistant Commissioner of Police (Admin), refused to draw the attention of Mohammed Lawal Bagega, the new Commissioner to the signals.
The signals ordered the Kwara Police Command to submit the proceedings and other documents on the dismissal of the policemen in order to facilitate independent investigation into the case by the police headquarters.
A source confirmed to FIJ that the parcel containing the two signals was sent from the Force Provost’s office in Abuja on February 12, 2021 and that it arrived at the Kwara Police Command on February 15 Inspector Taiwo Abioye was said to have received the parcel on behalf of his boss, Oyeleye.
“The admin is not ready to respond to that signal,” the source told FIJ. “They are claiming only one of the signals was seen therefore they can’t act over just one person’s case. The new commissioner is also not aware of this development.”
FIJ understands that if the Kwara Command had responded to the signals from Abuja, the policemen illegally dismissed are likely to have been reinstated, but the Admin office intentionally tagged the signals as “keep in view”. Meanwhile, FIJ’s investigation in February had established the complicity of the Assistant Commissioner of Police (Admin) and some others in the events that led to policemen’s dismissal in March 2020.
On different occasions that FIJ engaged Ajayi Okasanmi, the Kwara Police spokesman over this case, he had invited our reporter to a meeting at the Command in Ilorin, the capital of Kwara state.
As of press time, he still hasn’t responded to the text message sent to him for clarification on the signals.
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