Police and vigilante crises in Edo
OpenLife Nigeria reports that the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 5 Headquarters, Benin City, AIG Isaac O. Akinmoyede, during the week held a meeting with the leaders and members of the Edo State Security Network (Vigilante) operating In Edo State.
This is contained in a statement signed by DSP Tijani Momoh, Zonal Police Public Relations Officer and made available to NAOSRE.
According to the statement, the meeting was sequel to an unfortunate incident of murder, arson and sporadic shooting at Ugonoba Community in Uhunmwonde Local Government Area of Edo State.
Those in attendance at the meeting were the Commissioner of Police, Edo State Command, all Area Commanders, Divisional Police Officers, Sectional Heads from the Edo State Police Command and the Special Adviser to the Edo State Governor on Security.
Trouble started when on Sunday, 13th June, the Police received information that the house of the leader of Ugonoba Community was set ablaze by hoodlums over the murder of a member of the said community. Police Operatives from Okhauhie Division were immediately mobilized to the scene.
While the Divisional Police Officer was addressing the aggrieved youths of the community, members of the Edo State Security Network (Vigilante) operating in the area arrived in two Sienna buses and a Mercedes Benz car and started shooting sporadically.
In the process, the DPO, two other Policemen and an unspecified number of civilians sustained gunshot injuries.
The AIG directed that the case be thoroughly investigated and all those involved in the shooting incident be brought to book.
He also called for strict supervision and regulation of the activities of the vigilantes operating in Edo State.
He further called on the Commissioner of Police to profile all members of the Edo State Security Network (Vigilante) in order to avoid a situation where criminals infiltrate their ranks.
He informed the gathering that soon, training programme will be organized for the vigilante members to enable them work hand in hand with the Police especially in the area of intelligence gathering and operational duties.
The AIG acknowledged the contributions of the vigilante members in aiding the Police in the fight against crime and criminality and charged them to continue to carry out their duties professionally.
He further warned that the vigilante are not to maintain detention camps, stressing that all suspects arrested should be immediately handed over to the Police for diligent investigation and possible prosecution. He concluded that the Police will not hesitate to arrest and prosecute any vigilante member who involves himself in illegal duty or other criminal activities.