Thursday, May 26, 2011
COMMISSIONER OF POLICE VISITS IKEJA BRANCH
On Thursday 24th February 2011, history was made as the new commissioner of police Lagos State paid a courtesy visit to Nigerian Bar Association Ikeja Branch.
In his entourage were Mr. Adesoyin N.,Ikeja Area Commander of Lagos State Police Command, the Divisional Police Officer of the Ikeja Police Division as well as Mr. Jinadu the new Publicity Relations Officer of the Lagos State Police Command.
Billed to arrive at 1.00 p.m the police boss came to the venue of the visit, the secretariat of the Ikeja Bar a.k.a Tiger Bar, a quarter of an hour earlier.
He was warmly received by the chairman of the Ikeja Bar, Mr. Adebamigbe Omole and other members of the Executive Committee. After the formalities of introductions were done with, the meeting commenced at exactly 1.03 pm with the ebullient PPRO serving as the Master of Ceremony.
The Commissioner of Police said in visiting the Ikeja Bar he was respecting the saying that charity begins at home. He said the Tiger Bar, being in Ikeja ia his immediate neighbor since his office also in Ikeja is just a stones throw away.
He observed that not only is that no structure of government can afforde to stand in isolation from the people, the Nigerian Bar Association is cardinal in the administration of justice and thus must be appreciated and respected.
The new police chief assured the Ikeja Bar that the Nigerian Police has transformed for the better, noting that it is no longer “the police of old.”
According to the police boss many of our laws are outdated and not in consonance with our values and customs as Africans and called for the remaking same to have them in conformity with the realities of our lives as a people.
He wondered why lawyers should still be citing and relying on cases decided in colonial time courts such as the WEST AFRICAN COURT OF APPEAL, where cases bear names such as Queen vs XYZ or REX vs ABC.
On the issue of human rights Mr. Alkali, who was the Divisional Police Officer at Idimu, Lagos twenty five years ago, observed that the campaign for the protection of fundamental rights in Nigeria is not holistic and balanced. According to him, many human rights campaigners do not seem toknow too that the police too have their fundamental rights which should also be respected.
Apart from this, Nigeria does not yet have an enabling social environment for human rights to attain to the expected heights in the country.
He called for greater cooperation between the legal profession and the police since both are indispensable stakeholders in the administration of justice. There must be a synergy between the two bodies, he said and charged theleaders and members of the two professions to add new fertilizer to the existing rapport and cooperation between the two bodies.
The chairman of the Ikeja Bar in his response, thanked the Commissioner of Police for his unprecedented visit and expressed his confidence that the existing cordial relationship between the police and legal practitioners in Lagos State will continue, judging by the “move” of the incumbent police boss.
The chairman further said, the best way for the police to succeed in their work is by gaining the cooperation and confidence of the members of the public. This cannot be, when people are afraid or scared of the police because of the oppressive and unfair treatment they regularly receive from the police.
On the coming general elections, the chairman urged the police to be independent and neutral and not allow themselves to be used as tools by the government or any political party.
The chairman thereafter proceeded to give book gifts and a well-wish card to the Commissioner of Police, on behalf of the Ikeja Bar.
Thereafter the General Secretary gave the vote of thanks and expressed the earlier optimism of the branch chairman that just as it was in the times of Marvel Akpoyibo, the immediate past Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, the police-lawyer relationship in the state would be cordial.
The police chief, members of his entourage later took group photographs with the leaders and members of the Ikeja Bar present.