Murder of Olaitan Oyerinde: Public Interest Lawyers’ League Calls For Sack of IGP Abubakar

IGP Abubakar Mohammed
By SaharaReporters, New York

The Public Interest Lawyers League (PILL), has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately sack the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), MD Abubakar so as to pave way for an untainted and credible public inquiry of the Nigeria Police Force's investigation of the murder of Olaitan Oyerinde.

Comrade Oyerinde, who was the Principal Private Secretary of Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, was murdered in his home in Benin City last year.  The police arrested Rev Ugolor, a well-known environmental rights campaigner, claiming that he was the mastermind behind the murder of Oyerinde.

Only days after that, the State Security Service frontally contradicted the police when it paraded five men who publicly admitted they had committed the murder.

Two days ago, Governor Oshiomhole blasted the Nigeria Police Force for being complicit in the gruesome murder of Oyerinde, and he called for the sack of the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of the Federal Criminal Investigation Department (FCID).

Reacting to the governor’s position yesterday, IGP Abubakar called the governor’s position an unfounded, and promised to set up a committee to look at the Report of the Federal Criminal Investigation Department.

In a press statement in which it evaluated the story and the latest developments, PILL described the IGP’s remarks as “unfortunate and regrettable.”

It warned: “Nothing prejudices the outcome of his committee, or dismisses a complaint even before it is heard, than [Abubakar’s] unguarded remarks.”

The group recalled that in a previous press statement on August 19, 2012, it had expressed worry over the shoddy way the Federal Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) attended to the Presidential Directive that the killers of the late Principal Private Secretary of Comrade Governor Oshiomhole be arrested and brought to justice.  

In that statement, PILL noted that ‘’nothing exposes the Nigeria Police Force for what it is than the insidious manner with which it treats the well-known environmental rights campaigner, Rev Ugolor.”  It further declared that the answers to the questions thrown up by the murder and the work of both the police and the SSS could only be provided by an Independent Public Inquiry set up for the purpose of looking at the investigations.

Full text of the press statement by PILL:
OLAITAN OYERINDE: SACK THE INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF POLICE NOW!

(Text of the press statement issued by the Public Interest Lawyers League, PILL)
In our press statement of the 19th day of August 2012, we expressed worry over the shoddy way the Federal Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) attended to the Presidential Directive that the killers of the late Principal Private Secretary of Comrade Governor Oshiomhole be arrested and brought to justice. Worried that the Nigeria Police Force presented a Criminal Investigation Report that was in all material particular different from that which the State Security Service (SSS) presented to the Nigerian public on the 1st day of August 2012, we noted in our said statement of 19th August 2012 that ‘’nothing exposes the Nigeria Police Force for what it is than the insidious manner with which it treats the well-known environmental rights campaigner, Rev Ugolor. Rev Ugolor was arrested by the Police over three weeks ago following allegation that he masterminded the murder of Olaitan Oyerinde. The claim of the Police was exposed as a lie a few days later by the State Security Service when its officers paraded five young men who publicly claimed they murdered Olaitan Oyerinde….there are wider questions that the Nigeria Police Force must provide answers to here. The answers to these questions can only be provided by an Independent Public Inquiry, set up for the purpose of looking at the issues that the investigation into the murder of Olaitan Oyerinde has thrown up’’.   

Two days ago Comrade Governor Oshiomhole lambasted the Nigeria Police Force for being complicit in the gruesome murder of his personal aide, Olaitan Oyerinde.  And he called for the sack of the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of the Federal Criminal Investigation Department (FCID).

Comrade Governor Oshiomhole’s views are consistent with those we outlined in our press statement of 19th of August 2012. Where the lives of over 150 million Nigerians are concerned it is only imperative that public inquiry is made into the activities of men and women who are charged with the statutory duties of protecting Nigerians to determine the extent to which they perform such duties within the bounds of the law. But for Governor Oshiomhole’s public outburst, the Inspector-General of Police, MD Abubakar had kept dubious silence over the contradictory Criminal Investigation Reports submitted by his men and the State Security Service and cleverly distanced himself from a Report a swathe of the Nigerian still controverts. Inspite of the unimpeachable public perception that the State Security Service got the killers of Olaitan Oyerinde, the Inspector-General of Police, MD Abubakar, yesterday dismissed Comrade Governor Oshiomhole’s position as a lie and unfounded whilst he promised to set up a committee to look at the Report of the Federal Criminal Investigation Department.

We consider the remarks of the Inspector-General of Police, MD Abubakar, unfortunate and regrettable. Nothing prejudices the outcome of his committee, or dismisses a complaint even before it is heard, than his unguarded remarks. In the light of the afore-going, therefore, we call on the President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan to sack the Inspector-General of Police, MD Abubakar, NOW to pave way for an untainted and credible Public Inquiry of the Nigeria Police Force's investigation of the murder of Olaitan Oyerinde.

Abdul Mahmud, ESQ
President
12th January 2013
 

Comments
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WHY IS THE POLICE INVESTIGATING ITSELF????

Why is the police investigating itself anyway? Especially in a sensitive case such as this that goes to the core of police credibility. This is insane. There must be a credible commitee, outside the police department, setup to conduct the inquiry into this case. While IG comment might be unfortunate I see no reason for him to resign at this point. I just don't want him setting up a committee in this case, period! An independent panel must be setup.

Fundamental Principle of Law

It is a fundamental principle of Law that one cannot be a judge in his own case. The IGP obviously has not heard of this principle or has decided to ignore it. Let an independent panel be set up comprising a serving or rtd judge, a member of the National Parliament and an eminent lawyer. We can decide to include a retired police officer in that group, but it should be someone of sufficiently high cadre and unimpeacheable character ( Hopefully we can find one) The IGP should hands off.

The Police protecting only the police

From the outburst of IGP, there is no doubt that the Police has taken it as a primary responsibility to only defend the violation of citizens security by the police. So Nigerian pay the police to defend their inaction only. Tufiakwa.

I had been a 'fan' of the

I had been a 'fan' of the current IG but his comments on Oshiomole's complaint was rather embarrassing and regrettable. How do you want to set up a committee on a matter you described as 'unfounded'. It is either the IG, like most northerners who prefer Arabic to English did not understand the meaning of the word 'unfounded' in this context or he is not fit to occupy that post. His outburst was uncalled for and he must apologise to Oshiomole and Nigerians before setting up his so-called 'committee'.

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