Superintendent of Police, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, is the Lagos Police Public Relations Officer, a man with multiple talent and resourceful in policing .
In this interview with Innocent Eneta, of Daily Global News,a member of National Association of Online Security Reporters, NAOSRE, the PPRO unveils the game plan to ensure Lagosians operate in safer environment
Tell us how are going to be able to match up with the speed that Lagos requires because it’s a different terrain from Ogun though you are familiar with the workings, tell us the speed you are going to match up with?
Well, the only thing that is constant in life is change. You move with time and we must be dynamic. I was in Ogun State as a Police PRO, now in Lagos State as a Police PRO. When I was in Ogun State, there were certain policies that were implemented there but now we have more policies to be implemented.
This regime, one of the things the Inspector General of Police is evangelizing on is community policing. And when you talk about community policing is all encompassing, it’s a concept that will allow us to have effective policing of a contemporarily Nigerian society.
It’s making the PPRO to be on his toes, because the community policing may want the police to be priority issue, to be accountable, to be accessible and to have robust human relations. With all these pillars I’ve just mentioned, you agreed with me that it’s not going to be an easy task in Lagos State, considering the population of Lagos, the nature of Lagos State as a very big state, considering the neighbouring states and of course the countries that neighbour Lagos State. So, I believe that as a human being, a complete homo sapiens must be dynamic in nature. So as I am, as a complete in homo sapiens and dynamic as well, I’m going to fit into the system in Lagos. I’m going to improve on what I did when as a PPRO in Ogun State. I have been in the corridors of power for long, I have been dealing with senior men, senior officers, I know how they operate. And of course, I’ve learnt what I should have as a prerequisite for me to be a good spoke person for the police in Lagos and image manager of the police in Lagos State. So it’s going to be very easy for me to cope in Lagos State because I’ve acquired more knowledge, I’ve acquired part of the system of the Nigeria Police Force. I am into the system on the philosophies, the concepts and what have you of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu Abubakar which is being domesticated in Lagos as the Gbadamu Amu Ibu of Lagos, Commissioner of Police. The one I called, he calls himself the “Chief Maigad of Lagos State”. But I called him as a proud person, The Iroko Amagani of Policing in Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosun.
All the policies of the IGP have been domesticated in Lagos State and I’m very sure, I’m very optimistic that we are going to get it right. We are going to police Lagos as expected from us as a command, we are going to police Lagos in language of the provision of extant laws, the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and other relevant laws applicable in Nigeria. So we are going to police Lagos State to project what the IGP is holding on to. We need to do together, partnership must come in.
All the multi-tracks diplomacy in having effective policing in our contemporarily policing Nigeria, whatever society, we’ll be embraced by this command. We want policing to be proactive. You don’t wait for anybody, you don’t wait for the incident to occur before you bring it to the police. And you can only do this with proper accessibility to people, people must be accessible to you, you must be accessible to them. You relate with members of the public, all sectors must be involved because community policing are all encompassing. And as Public Relations practitioner, the image manager for the command, we are expected to carry many things on our heads. To move out, relate with people, the image, the reputation of the police must not be tampered with. And if you don’t have this image reputation and what have you? You can’t have trust from anybody. If you don’t have the trust, they’ll not relate with you. They won’t share any information because they’ll say; if you want to say…haa? You want to tell the police, you are on your own oooo. If you tell them, na them go say na you talk am.
We need to change this perception, we need to change the narratives. Let them know that given the information to the police, partaken in policing strategy that we have on ground, should not be a mare thing but a civic responsibility of an average Nigerian, particularly Lagosian. So we want to change the narrative, we want them to see police as part of their system. It’s an institution of Nigeria and of course, the Nigeria police, members of the public, everything we do, they are highly inseparable. Everything is interconnected for the betterment of our security architecture in this state and of course by large in Nigeria.
I was coming to ask some of those, the things that you’ve touch on, the distrust that people have about the police, giving information enough on that, like you have just touched and all of that. Now, we like you to talk more about adopting modern, effective and anti crime strategies to providing adequate security for all and sovereign Nigerian. Can you tell us more about this?
Like l said don’t forget police is an institution running through the ladder. From the force headquarters in Abuja, Garik in Abuja, coming down to Zone 2, the Lagos, Onikan and down from to the command and right from the command, you see the Area command, you see Divisions. Every policy made in Abuja, must be carried out by all of us across the ladder. The issue of working inline with the IGP’s concept is sinequanon to having effective policing. Is sinequanon, very fundamental, very germane, there’s nothing we can do about it. We believe so much in one say, that coming together is beginning, meeting together is a progress and working together is an achievement. So whatever I want to do must be inline towards what the IGP has laid down for us to work on must be inline with the extant laws of Nigerian and don’t forget that there’s some laws in Lagos that’s well must be enforced apart from the national laws. So with what we have on ground in Nigeria for now, the IGP has made it clear to all of us that the presidency is interested in community policing. So whatever anybody is doing in the police now, must be tailored to the concepts of community policing. And that is for the first time in history of the police. The IGP has established Command and Control Centre in Abuja which was commissioned by President and Commander In-chief of the Armed Forces, President Mohammadu Buhari early this year, the initiative of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu Abubakar NPM, MNI.
The same thing has come down the ladder to Lagos State. It’s very easy to police Lagos State with modern equipment, even Nigeria as a whole, is very easy but it is capital intensive. Talking of CCTV camera, Lagos State is having command and control centre as well. That command and control centre in Lagos and Abuja has been linked to most of the states. A very fantastic place, my office in Abuja was survival operation oversee with on of operations was the command and control centre, I don’t know what I see there, I know what we have at command and control centre is fantastic and I’m sure, I know we have the same in Lagos State because most of the streets in Lagos State are connected to this command and control centre, most of our patrol vehicles are connected to it, most of these communication gadgets we have are connected to command and control centre. So that when we have any incidents at a particular point in times, just press it, it’s going to be there. It’s going to show geographically by our map, and of course the nearest police patrol van will be despatched to that place with quick responses to distressed calls. So we have the equipment and modern policing strategy will pay off because there’s no how you want to do policing without this equipment, without this gadget. In fact, recently the IGP has given directives to procure one powerful equipment that’s going to…I’m not going to dispose that now until it comes. I’m very sure that by the time the IGP test runs the equipment, many governors will like this equipment. Many governors will like the idea and provide this equipment for their commissioners or for their various command, it’s so fantastic.
You cannot do policing in this new age or new era without scientific investigation, forensic investigation. Everything is scientific now and we need to move with time, so most of the governors, particularly Lagos State, they have the laboratories, they have the centres for forensic investigation. And the major forensic investigation department we have in the Nigeria Police Force is fortunately located in Lagos State, in Alagbon. So it’s very easy for us, so most of our cases that are so complex, so complicative are being referred to this department for scientific analysis. It makes everything very easy for us. I think that print department has been overhauled by the Inspector General of the Nigeria Police and it is the same thing that is applicable to us in our department there State CID, in Panti, we have the unit there as well. Most of this modern unit have been created in order to make the job very easier for us in Lagos State. So modern police strategies are in placed in Lagos State. And don’t forget that the Commissioner in Lagos State and because of his academic background and because of his experience in Lagos State, he has, he’s an encyclopaedia of geomorphology, geography, geological, demographic nature of Lagos State in his head. He has been in Lagos State, he was one time chairman, Task Force Lagos State, CSO to the government. He has been working all around, anything operation, operation of Lagos State. Tell my CP now the particular location in Lagos, he’s going to tell about four roots to get to that place. I think he’s the right peck in a right wall in Lagos State. The IGP has not done the wrong thing by posting him to be the Commissioner of Lagos State, so with his vast experience on Lagos State, policing in Lagos State, architecture in Lagos State, geography of Lagos State, demography of Lagos State and anything that has to do with Lagos State, the CP will linked all those things to the policies of the Inspector General to police Lagos State effectively, I’m very sure.
Thank so you. We also want to find out, because the police has done so much and it’s doing so much in terms of cubing crime and ensuring the safety of live and property but we still realized and also discovered that the youths or those perpetrators are still not tired, what could you attribute to this?
Well, the same thing you need to know and another thing you need to know is the creation of data, crime statistics and data base or centre has just be lunch again be the IGP. The same thing was commissioned the same day the Command and Control Centre. The mission of this, is to capture almost all Nigerians, particularly those that have been arrested for one offense or the other. Right from that office, they’ll download case files to the office to our central systems. So any case file they open now, it is scan, process, downloaded to that system for proper analysis for record keeping. So with that, we are going to have enough or adequate power house to capture data of suspects, data of individual that will come across in the cost of discharging our duties. And I’m very sure, there are many ways of capturing data in police. And very soon, don’t forget in recent times, Nigerian government is planning to have National Database. I think based on the report of the United Nations no in the USA sometimes that Nigeria had an agreement with them to open National Database, with that, we many ways of getting data. Driver’s license is there, Voters card is there, NIN – National Identification Number is there, BVN number stuff is there. Most is the certificate we issue out from the police is captured by many of the applicants. Don’t forget that tinted glass permit before you can process it, you must be captured, so we tend to harmonized all these data and keep them in one place.
Don’t forget you cannot practice, implement or enforce forensic investigation without a database. Because when captured, when you any information on the field, and sample on the field must match what you have in your database. So if you do not have a database, it cannot work, your forensic investigation cannot work. So in Lagos State, this is what we have been doing, we are still planning to do more.
We are going to improve on what we have. And we have many ways of getting special data in Lagos State. And will, I’m sure the CP is taking it off with relevant authority in the state to make sure what we have is special database and of scientific laboratories not even one. It’s possible they can have two or three laboratories that’s sponsored by the state government to assist in the police in Lagos State. Don’t forget Lagos State is having a very viral and productive effective trust fund, security trust fund that has done a lot for the police and other security agencies in Lagos State.
There’s no security agencies in Lagos State that has not benefited from that and I’m sure that the Governor is willing to do more, he’s willing to do more on daily basis. Don’t forget, Lagos is having almost all that we need, all what we need to even police but it cannot be enough. They have truckers to patrol, they have gunboat, they have vehicles, motorbikes, the Governor procure motorbikes to ease traffic problems in the state because when the CP came in November last year, he declared state of emergency on traffic situation in Lagos State. He deployed more than one thousand police personnel for that assignment alone and the Governor said no! If the CP is doing this, what can I do to assist him? Let me procure bikes, power bikes, very powerful bikes and beautiful again, to move, to manoeuvre so they clear traffic problems along the major ways in Lagos State. So, with the help of the state government and the agenda they have on ground, the resources they have on ground, they continued to give all these favour to work and if the way we are doing it now, managing all these resources judiciously, you can’t have all, we will always have better, that’s my believe.
Now what’s the update with the arrest of the six suspects for killing of one Kayode Olorunroba, can you update us with something useful?
Yes, it happened in Alagbado area of Lagos State. I think last Friday and the suspects have been arrested. The major guy who pulled the trigger, we have not known him, we don’t have his name yet but those arrested are assisting the police to get more information about him. But the fleeing suspect, the matter has been taken to State CID, Homicide Section, Panti, Yaba as directed by the Commissioner of Police. We believe so much that that era is gone when we start a case, we will not follow up and we will end it, it is not. The CP, he has never been a non starter, never been a non starter. He’ll start and get to the end of any case. He has told them, they must look for that suspect and unfortunately, one of the suspect is I know him, we can get him. So, due to the lackadaisical attitude of some of the suspects that were arrested, that’s why they were picked. When you have, like they’ll always say; when you see something, say something. When you see issues around you, we always feel unconcerned. Somebody was shot and nobody deemed necessary to informed the police, not a single case. Even the friend who invited Kayode to the joint, that bar didn’t inform anybody, he didn’t inform Kayode’s relations at all. On his own moving up and down, took him to herbalist until the guy died. They extract pellets until the guy died, before they knew something went wrong. The owner of the bar didn’t informed the police. How can you be operating a joint, a bar, a lounge even a restaurant, anything you operate that drags, that attracts members of the public, if anything happens there? First thing to do is to inform the police. All of them failed to inform the police and that’s they have questions to answer. Unfortunately, we have a five hotel in Panti, Yaba where we always attend to our suspects, so they are cooling their feet’s with us at five star hotel. While extract information professionally and there, we don’t tortured. We only worked on your psyche, we do what we should do professionally and we get information. So they’ve been giving us information willingly and we are still on the matter. We shall get to the root of the matter.
What of the hoodlums, arising in Iganmu area, can you tell us more about any new developments?
Yes. The DPO, Orile Division has moved into an action on Sunday and picked some of these guys. For now, we have not actually linked these young ones, these teenagers, you can see their ages. No linking with any already existing cult groups in Lagos, for now we have not. And that’s why the CP said they should profile them properly. Which one, is it a new group coming up or a cult that name is not popular coming up or what? Because they’ve just carried cutlass, dangerous weapons, offensive weapons to begin to ferment trouble, that’s all. Feel for anybody being caught. Collect this, extort, harass. Their most sup Randi is quite different not so different but it’s still a new dimension of it. We felt concerned and say No! We need to neat these ones in the board. All their potential, criminal potentials and tendencies must be neat in the board. That’s why CP sent the DPO to hand them over and the matter is on. After we finished our thorough investigation, because everybody in the law, there’s own size of punishment wwww we will handle them. No need if are a teenager, so far you are more seven years old, you’re criminally responsible for whatever you do. Is only those that are below seven because the law states those who are exempted from criminal liability and when you are below the age of seven, I think you can…the law will not have anything to do with you but we have correctional ways in managing such a person just a young child so that you will not go into becoming hardened criminal in our society. So, Orile’s case is on and to send a signal to them that we don’t overlook anything, any social vices noticed will be adequately handled, we will not overlook such. So parents, guidance should keep a watch on their kids and children, they should talked to them because we won’t want situation whereby we continue to dwell with impunity. Handling pieces with impunity, it’s not going to work in Lagos State because when people, when such people are arrested, we will that our cultural value will come to play. They’ll be begging, begging, I’ve seen someone, a mother whose son was killed, the mother was the one begging on behalf of the suspect, murdered suspect.
We always believe that in Yoruba land in Africa, he’s my niece, he’s my sister, my uncle, my second cousin. I don’t want to do anything, just let it go like that. No! Don’t most of this criminal cases are against the state even you as person is a witness and not the owner of the case. When somebody has killed or someone has committed rubbery, it’s not your case. It’s the state versus the suspect, you don’t really have a say than to use you for prosecution witness in court to corroborate what we have on ground. So we want to appeal them to talk to their kids. There’s no gain in hooliganism, cultism and vandalism, terrorism, all theses social vices, they lead to one thing, untimely death. Untimely destruction so why can’t we talked to our kids, our children and our yards to do the right thing at the right time.
Sir, what are you people doing to make sure that miscreants are not taking over community policing job, even miscreants with a degree are not part of community policing?
That’s why you see that the Inspector General of Police has given that mandate to traditional rules, to leaders and the government. Abuja is not recruiting your special constables that will be used for community policing for you. You’re to send, you’re to do screening on your own, picked them from the community, recommend them to the police. Your documentation and necessary action. The IG is not or the CP of the command will not say; I pick this, I pick this, no! They’ve given a members of the community, the stake holders, the leaders, the community leaders the mandate, special assignment that all. That’s why you see that they have launched community police, advisory committee in every state. The job of the advisory committee is to guide the government, the state – the various states on what to do. The Lagos State has launched and they have swung into actions. I went to do the recruitment of the special constabulary to community policing and I’m very, very sure is going to very, very heavy based on your own community. It’s not someone coming from Osun to come and police Lagos for you. It’s not someone coming from Oyo, coming from Ekiti, coming from Yobe, coming from Benue to police Lagos for you. It is you and people in that community have recommended so – so people to the so – so people to be in charged of their own community. So, if they’ve they have decided to compromise and pick the wrong people? You see the effect is coming back on them, not to the CPs or to the IG in Abuja. And that’s why they are urged and the consultative committee had been advised. They appealed to them that they should do thorough screening of those that will be recruited into this community policing for special constabulary courses.
What is the synergy between Lagos and Ogun to ensure that the environment of Ogun does not bring criminals to operate in Lagos and go back?
You know Lagos and Ogun is always coming to congregation, is always coming like, you won’t even the boundary the two states. Somebody, when the lockdown was hot, when police men blocked the boundary, we just discovered that somebody will just park car at the toll gate in Otta, at Alakuko he’ll just trek and cross. Well the, I’m very sure the two states will deal into a very strong synergy to see that, if someone will say, I’m not bordered about Lagos is a joke and Lagos is saying I’m not bordered about Ogun is a joke. Because the two are overlapped is almost…most the that worked in Lagos reside in Ogun and vice versa. So we believe that what is applicable in Ogun is applicable in Lagos. The same committee have been formed in Lagos to still do community policing recruitment the likes. And we share information, we cross fertilized ideas on how to policed the two states and we are working together. The synergy is strong and we build. We still build on that.
Don’t forget we have an AIG who commanding the two states, the same zonal command down to Onikan under the leadership and command of AIG Ahmed Iliasu, PSC Dada who is commanding the two states. So the two states are under him and he discusses with the two commissioners police on regular basis. The CP of Ogun State, Awolowo Ajogun and of course the CP of Lagos State, Hakeem Odumosun. The two of them meet regularly on daily basis with AIG on Zone 2, who oversees the two commands and we have been having input. We’ve been having it good, We’ve not been having any problems or any miscreants or hoodlums fermenting troubles in Ogun or running to Lagos or Lagos running to Ogun. If you like go to the thin air, we will catch you.
Alright, we will like you to gives us your final word, like advice, like as you said say something, say something. Majority of us, we see a crime being committed and just keep mutes over it. What role do think everyone of us can we play in order reduced crime in our society?
Well, the first thing you can do to yourself, the first law of security is your personal protection. To be safe is to feel unsafe, take note of that. The moment you get to a place, watch your immediate environment for you to be safe. So to be safe is to feel unsafe. Then, when we say something and say something to the police, we want to see that you’re part of the security on ground. You cannot be in isolation. You can’t jettison security network around you, it’s not possible. We cannot continue to be security bankrupt that I have nothing, I know nothing and I have no business with security, no. It’s not good! You must be fully involved. And like I said; that era of keeping mute, not sharing information has gone. Tell us, we keep secrets. It’s a promise and that’s why you don’t just give information to mare police man in your street, no. We senior officers who have sworn oat of secrecy, oat of allegiance as a commissioned officer, you must swear to about three oats and you don’t toil with it. Whether it is true or false, what I say is a covenant between me and God or whatever, you don’t toil with it. Like some say if I it make God punish me, if God no punished immediately, God will still punish ooo. That’s why believe and be stall on us that responsibilities. That trust that these are senior officers. Look around for senior officers, share your information with them; Area Commanders, DPOs ex of these operational officers; OCs anti kidnapping, OCs anti rubbery, anti cultism. The Commissioner of Police has ruled out his numbers and people have been talking to him. Immediately I came, the first statement I gave, I rolled out my number and people have been talking to me. The only issues is that some people just called you for frivolous things at times, that’s one of the issue I have. The line is on, you don’t say you want to text whether my line is on or not, it’s functional. I am the one that made it available, it’s my line. Apart from official lines, it’s personal line for me think of free access to me. at time some will call, call and my battery phone will drain. Any number we roll out, they’re functional and they’re direct lines that any point in times, officers will pick. So we urged the members of the public that they should be believe in us that we want to change the narratives. It’s not a two party thing, we are all serious.
For instance, the Commissioner of Police has travelled wide and near, he has worked from six geopolitical zones, he has seen a lot. He won’t want to toiled with his office, with his job or with his office, that as a Commissioner of Police he will not make people laugh with the state and protect them, no. Most of these officers that are here are not from Lagos. They must have travelled far and wide from their various home towns and villages to come and police here. If you travel from a distance of almost 200km, 300km, 400km, you must have crossed 10, 20 about 70 rivers. Is that journey a joke? It’s not a joke. Which means they are going there for a very serious business, they have been there for a very long time. So, when they travelled here been policing, protecting lives and properties, they have come for a serious business, not for joke. Get across to them, complaining against things you see that are not proper, that are unpoliced. They are not part of the police system. They are not part of policing tradition, complaint to them. A Yoruba who believed in Yoruba’s saying that; “afika sun ika” that is “report the wicked to the wicked”. They believe that if you report a police man to police man. That is who know? Today alone, the CP has given instruction to our check mating our outfit, escort monitoring, provost, public complaint bureau to go after cases, to go after erring and men who continued to venture into risking and inappropriate behaviour, denting the image of the force, killing the system, killing the tradition.
The CP has given out order and we are out, about four or five cases, even in my department alone. we have done that and I’m sure that provost on daily basis, that department don’t even go out, but CP has giving them vehicles, providing for logistics, he’s providing money for the fuel, for the department to work. What else do you want? So we don’t have any excuse. We need to work to make sure that the command achieves. The CP as a leader, has again achieved his goal, zero tolerance for corruption, inappropriate behaviour, cultism, vandalism, social vices in the states and we shall get there.