The Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Dingyadi, has said the report of the Justice Ayo Salami-led panel on Ibrahim Magu, former acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), is still under consideration.
He spoke yesterday at a news briefing organised by the Presidential Communication Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Dingyadi said the recent promotion of Magu to the rank of Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), came after his retirement.
The Police Service Commission (PSC) on Monday approved the promotion of the former EFCC boss, just about when his retirement from the Nigeria Police was due, having turned 60 on May 5.
Magu had been investigated by a presidential panel, headed by Justice Salami, which had submitted its report in which it recommended the retirement of Magu in 2020.
When asked why he was promoted, the minister said it was the responsibility of the PSC, which was under the Presidency, to provide the answer.
But he said Magu had already retired, noting that being retired would, however, not preclude him from any disciplinary measures, should the need arise.
Dingyadi said: “Well, this is an issue that should have been addressed by the Police Service Commission (PSC), which has the responsibility to conduct promotion of the police. They are not here. I am aware that the PSC is under the presidency. So, I cannot speak for them.
“But what I know is that Magu has already retired. This is what I can tell you now. The fact that he was promoted is a matter for the PSC to maybe throw more light on.
“I’m not aware of the position of the government on the report you are talking about. I think it is still being under consideration.
“It doesn’t mean that when he retires, the laws will not catch up with him whenever he is found guilty. So, I think it’s not completely a finished business.”
On the corruption charges levelled against the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari, Dingyadi refrained from commenting, saying the matter was in court.
On police recruitment, Dingyadi said the ministry had the approval to sign on 40,000 constables out of which 20,000 had already been achieved, noting that the plan was to have 30,000 constables on the payroll in the next two months.
The minister said with the recruitment of 25,000 constabularies, the community policing initiative of the Federal Government had begun.
Addressing the issue of psychiatric tests for police personnel and updating on the EndSARS demands, he said: “Talking about the psychological tests and other tests that you are talking about, I want to assure you that we are busy taking every possible measure to ensure that we conduct thorough examinations, very extensive screening, including medical tests to ensure that those we are recruiting are not just into any job.
“We are recruiting the best of hands to ensure we support the principle of good policing.
“I am not aware of the case you are talking about, but some of these things sometimes happen in any organisation. But I want to believe that there is high morality in all police formations and we are doing our best to recruit the best from society.
“On how far we have gone with the EndSARS demands, I want to believe that these demands all boil down to the welfare of the police so that there will be a civil engagement between the police and Nigerians.
“More than half of my presentation was talking about one, re-equipping, retooling and other packages that we’re extending to the police, just to ensure that we motivate them, we encourage them to be as civil as possible.
“These are some of the demands the EndSARS came with. Mr. President has accepted these demands. And we are making every effort to ensure we listen to the youth and we try to address these demands. This is what we are doing.”
Answering a question on the use of technology, Dingyadi said: “I like the fact that you have drawn attention to the fact that policing strategy now is no longer about having motorcades, AK 47, and other security gadgets. What is required now is high tech to win the war on insurgency or whatever you’re fighting. I agree with you.
“I indicated our efforts in moving towards technology, including policing. That is the way to go and we are moving in that direction. But, you know, the police is a civil institution and we’re not even emphasizing on these arms and ammunition. What we are emphasising is to ensure that, as civilians, as we are, we try to ensure that we will resolve issues without having to use firearms or anything.
“With the support of the community, with the support of Nigerians, the police don’t need to use firearms. But we’ll have them and we’re having them in case there is need to use them. What is most important is the technology like you said. And we are paying special attention to this.
“We know the whole world is going in that direction and this administration is not unmindful of that direction. We’re trying to pursue to ensure policing is technology-driven.
“We will make sure that the police in this country have the best technology to fight these criminals. So, please support us in whatever we do. We are out there for you. The police are always ready and willing to support whoever is in need of our support. In the same vein, we also need your support.”
Speaking about the identity of those behind the killings in the Southeast, Dingyadi said: “The unknown gunmen, you want to know who they are? I want to tell you that they are unknown gunmen and they are also criminals. They’re terrorists and we are dealing with them in the language they understand.”
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