By Simeon Nwakaudu
From one scandal to the next, the little credibility left for the Nigeria Police is ebbing away. The rot is getting messier by the day. Police Officers have thrown away their uniforms and are adorning the garment of politics.
It is so painfully irresponsible that they now set up private propaganda tools to defend their illicit acts as if they are running for office.
The story of Akin Fakorede, the Rivers State SARS Commander is one tragedy too many for the Nigeria Police. It is understandable that the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris has several cans of worms and nobody can chain the tiger.
According to Mr Ikechukwu Ani, Head, Press and Public Relations of the Police Service Commission(PSC): “It is common knowledge that the Constitution which gave the Commission the powers to appoint, promote and discipline also did not extend the powers to discipline an IGP who refuses to implement decisions on these powers”.
The PSC Spokesman was talking about the mass corruption and rot in the Police and the lack of capacity of the commission to rein in an erring IGP. Granted that the IGP is beyond the powers of the PSC, what of the several partisan police officers being used by the IGP to destroy the foundations of the rule of law, democracy and the security architecture of states? Can the Police Service Commission still plead lack of powers?
Over the last few weeks, the embattled Rivers SARS Commander, Akin Fakorede has established a potent media outfit, funded by the Rivers State APC. This outfit engages in media propaganda for the SARS Commander, ranging from releases, radio talk shows and awards. The SARS Commander personally features in majority of the radio talk shows via telephone calls.
I woke up on Monday morning (October 9, 2017) to discover that the coordinator of the Fakorede Media Centre, Mr Bisi Olaniyi of The Nation Newspapers had inundated my phone with several WhatsApp videos and pictures of a group of arranged clerics handing over an award to Fakorede.
I laughed at the impunity of this media propaganda and its lack of tact and conscience. I was surprised that the commissioned head of the Akin Fakorede Media Centre would trivialize the security architecture of Rivers State, simply because he wants to promote an indicted Police Officer.
The Fakorede Media Centre is up and about on a mission of damage control on the reported celebration SARS Operatives led by the SARS Commander had with the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and the Defeated Rivers APC Governorship Candidate, Mr Dakuku Peterside at the Port Harcourt International Airport last Saturday.
That ugly incident as reported in Sunday Sun of October 8, 2018 sent shivers down the spine of all well-meaning Nigerians. Here was a commander indicted for partisanship, alleged kidnapping and armed robbery dancing in the open with the beneficiaries of his illegal manoeuvres. As if that was not horrible enough, Akin Fakorede clutched an umbrella for one of his benefactors, Dakuku Peterside to shield him from the rain.
I am told that Akin Fakorede insists that it is within his line of duty to protect the Very Important Politician from the hazards of the rain at the Port Harcourt International Airport.
When Nigerians expressed their outrage on the impunity of Akin Fakorede and his operatives at the airport last Saturday, they quickly embraced their usual APC sordid defence. They posted the photograph of the Former IGP, Solomon Arase and Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike commissioning over 65 Security Vans fitted with communication gadgets. The vans were donated to the Police by the Rivers State Government under the leadership of Governor Wike. The commissioning process was what the Fakorede Media Centre used as its feeble defence.
As expected, one of the principal beneficiaries of Fakorede’s Political Policing, Dakuku Peterside rose in stout defence of his associate. In his notorious style, he cast aspersions on the governor for bringing to the fore the illegal acts of Akin Fakorede.
Policing is built on trust. As it stands today, the people of Rivers State have lost confidence in Fakorede. He has stopped being a protector and has ruthlessly transformed into a predator.
His loyalty as it were is no longer to the constitution and the people. He prefers to be loyal to the APC.
A cursory examination of his Facebook page indicates that his membership of the APC is well rooted. Whilst Jonathan was President, Fakorede as a senior police officer posted several insults on his person. He has done so repeatedly against Governor Wike since he was sworn-in. He regularly decends into the political arena to promote the APC, not minding the illegality of his actions.
Despite the public outcry against the illegal tendencies of the Special Anti-robbery Squad in Rivers State, they have continued to unleash mayhem with impunity.
The questions that are begging for answer include : What is stopping the transfer and proper investigation of the several petitions and complaints filed against Akin Fakorede ? Must Fakorede serve in Rivers State? What is the objective of the APC Federal Government regarding the posting of their police henchman to Rivers State?
For a Federal Government that has failed to deliver on all fronts in Rivers State and other parts of the Niger Delta, it is regrettable that it is tacitly encouraging insecurity.
Those beating the drum that Fakorede is happily dancing to, must realise that justice awaits them at the end of the road. Nobody spills the blood of the innocent under any guise and goes scot-free.
Most importantly, they will be denied the political gains they seek from these sponsored killings, kidnapping and armed robbery being facilitated by SARS in Rivers State . Rivers people are solidly with their Performing Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike . These acts of illegality will fail.
The Nigeria Police as presently constituted needs a rebirth. It needs to be rejuvenated. For such a process to succeed, politicians like IGP Ibrahim Idris and Fakorede need to be shown the way out.
Picture 1: Rivers SARS Commander, Akin Fakorede holding the umbrella for the defeated Rivers State APC Governorship Candidate
Picture 2: Fakorede during his invasion of the Rivers East Senatorial District Collation Centre