Two civil society organisations in Nigeria, Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre and the Social Intervention Advocacy Foundation have asked the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to investigate Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Michael Ogbizi, over allegations of corruption, abuse of power and gross misconduct.
In a joint statement on Thursday signed by Okechukwu Nwanguma for RULAAC and Segun Awosanya for SIAF, the groups said they were concerned that Ogbizi unduly interferes in cases reported to the police, derailing and compromising investigations for pecuniary gains and perverting justice to shield and protect the interest of his influential and wealthy friends accused of crime, thereby leading to denial of justice for victims, who are complainants to the police.
Citing a recent example, the groups said, “One recent case concerns a petition addressed to the AIG, Force CID Annex, Alagbon Close, Ikoyi Lagos, by a distraught 70-year-old woman from Enugu State, who through her son, Ekene Nwatu, based in Lagos, petitioned against one Emeka Nwatu, a wealthy and influential politician from the same family in Agbani, Enugu State.
“They informed the AIG FCID, Alagbon, that Emeka pulls the weight of his wealth and political influence to constantly intimidate, harass and assault the old woman using thugs recruited by himself in a bid to throw her out of her late husband's family compound.
“The elderly woman further complained that the said politician had also been using the same thugs to threaten, intimidate, assault and scare away her children from their father's compound whenever they dared to return home.
“It was also claimed that he allegedly uses thugs to molest them and deploying personnel of the Agbani Police Station and others at the state CID, Enugu to arrest, detain and maltreat them.
“Having known that she had no chance of getting justice from Agbani Division and the state CID, Enugu since they are at Emeka's beck and call, she decided to petition the said Lagos FCID office in Alagbon hopeful of a fair investigation. The AIG in charge ordered immediate investigation and made some arrest.
“However, upon learning about the petition against him at Alagbon, Emeka travelled to the Force Headquarters, Abuja where he met with DIG Michael A. Ogbizi, following which, the DIG ordered the release of two arrested suspects (who were Emeka Nwatu's thugs) the same day they were brought to Alagbon and hastily ordered the Alagbon FCID to transfer the case to his office in Abuja.
“Indications later showed that there were plans to twist the case and turn the victims/complainants to the accused in a bid to further victimise them.”
RULAAC and SIAF said many more cases of similar nature abound and therefore called on the Inspector-General of Police to diligently investigate the allegations against DIG Ogbizi in the sake of justice.