Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Mr. Ekpo Nta to “urgently and thoroughly probe the spending for police trainees’ welfare for the past 10 years.”

The organization said that this will “help to establish whether the money budgeted to improve the infrastructure and conditions of police colleges and trainees’ welfare across the country have been spent as allocated or simply stolen, misused or mismanaged.”

In a petition dated 18 January 2013, and signed by SERAP executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni the organization also asked the agency to “ensure that any suspected perpetrators are brought to justice.”

According to the organization, “Recent investigation and documentary by Channels TV show among others that training facilities are in terribly bad shape; that the college is overcrowded (housing 3000 people instead of 750); that student hostels are in dilapidated conditions and lack beds, mattresses and decent and functioning toilets.”

“The poor, dehumanising, and deteriorating conditions of the Police College Ikeja and other police colleges across the country seem to explain why the force has been unable for many years to provide adequate security for the common man and to effectively tackle crimes. The inhuman and degrading treatment of police trainees as shown by the Channels documentary also illustrates the deep rooted corruption in critical institutions of government and public services that have been completely neglected for several years,” the organization said.

The organization also said that, “Unless budgets for police colleges are transparently spent as allocated, these institutions cannot effectively perform the crucial function of training quality officers that will be able to maintain law and order, and contribute to the efforts to improve the safety and security challenges facing the country today let alone win public trust and confidence.”

“SERAP believes that the investigation by the ICPC into the management and spending of budgets meant for police colleges across the country would provide the much needed accountability and put a stop to the apparent mismanagement of public resources in that sector. What Nigerians saw in the documentary cannot be justified legally or morally; and makes nonsense of Nigeria’s international anti-corruption and human rights obligations and commitments,” the organization added.

According to the organization, “The efforts to fight corruption in Nigeria will not achieve the desired result if there is no proper, transparent and accountable management of public wealth and resources.”

The organization therefore urged the Commission “to exert its mandates, power, and influence to ensure that the truth is known in this matter.” It asked the commission for the following reliefs:

The Commission should fully and transparently investigate the management and spending of the budgets for police colleges for the past 10 years, and to establish the use to which the budgets have been put.

The Commission should make public the findings of its investigation.  

The Commission should ensure that the police authorities faithfully and consistently implement the government’s anti-corruption initiatives and international anti-corruption obligations including under the UN Convention against Corruption.

The Commission should establish a mechanism to monitor the use of funds meant to improve the conditions of police colleges across the country.

Signed
Adetokunbo Mumuni                    
Executive Director
20/1/2013
 http://www.serap-nigeria.org" www.serap-nigeria.org

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