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Police get IGP nod to fight back if attacked

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The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has told the police to protect themselves when attacked.

The order came on Friday against the backdrop of the killing of 22 policemen and burning of 205 police stations and other security formations during the EndSARS riots across the country.

He stated this during a visit to the police command of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, to assess the level of damage during the EndSARS protest.

He commended officers and men of the force for their resilience and professionalism during the protest.

The IGP said the Federal Government was relying on the police to ensure that the public space was not taken over by criminals.

He said, “No amount of provocation and insult will make us shy away from our responsibilities. Inasmuch as we are aware that the government is behind us, we will encourage you to continue to be professional and civic in performing your duties.

“But if anybody touches or assaults you, you can also protect yourself because when we talk of human right, the police are human; so the rights of police officers should also be protected. We are sending the message that legally, we have the right to protect ourselves,” he said.

He said the visit was to commiserate with the officers and men of the command for the loss of lives and property during the protests.

“I have seen how you went out to deal with very difficult situation in trying to maintain peace, law and order in the FCT during the protest,” he said.

The IGP said that during the protest, some roads were blocked; some vehicles were burnt and police stations in some parts of the country, including the FCT, were burnt with police officers assaulted. Adamu said the destruction and other criminal activities was done because the protesters were waiting for the police to react.

He said, “I know how you went about protecting the protesters so that they would not be molested, but along the line, the protesters attacked not only members of the public but also police officers.

“These are criminal activities by the protesters wanting to provoke police personnel to use maximum force against them to justify police brutality.

“But with your resilience and professionalism, you were able to show maximum restrain and meet up with the standard that is required in curbing protest without using force.”

The Commissioner of Police at the FCT, Mr Bala Ciroma, commended the IGP for the visit, adding that the command arrested and had arraigned 196 suspects in connection with the riot.

The IGP said 22 police personnel were killed and scores of others injured during the EndSARS protests in different locations across the country. The police chief stated this on the heels of a report by Amnesty International that police personnel shot at peaceful protesters during the rallies.

Adamu, in a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr Frank Mba, said that 205 police stations and formations, including other critical private and public infrastructure, were also damaged by a section of the protesters.

The IGP, who faulted the Amnesty International’s report, claimed that many of the personnel injured during the protests were in life-threatening conditions in hospitals.

He described the report as untrue, misleading and contrary to all available empirical evidence.

The statement reads in part: “Officers of the Nigeria Police Force acted professionally, exercised commendable restraints and some paid the supreme price for peace during the recent protests and ensuing violence in some parts of the country. “During the protests, officers of the Force used legitimate means to ensure that the protests were carried out in a peaceful manner and in most cases, physically protected and walked side-by-side with the protesters.

“Even when the protests turned violent in some parts of the country, the officers still maintained utmost restraint and did not use excessive force in managing the situations.

“Available reports show that twenty-two (22) police personnel were extra-judicially killed by some rampaging protesters and scores injured during the protests. Many of the injured personnel are in life-threatening conditions at the hospitals.

“Two hundred and five (205) police stations and formations, including other critical private and public infrastructure, were also damaged by a section of the protesters. Despite these unprovoked attacks, our police officers never resorted to use of unlawful force or shooting at the protesters as alleged in the report.”

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Buhari to present 2023 budget proposal to NASS Friday

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President Muhammadu Buhari will present the 2023 Appropriations bill to a joint session of the National Assembly on Friday.

The appropriations bill will contain budget proposals for the 2023 fiscal year.

He made this known in a letter to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, which was read out at the start of plenary on Tuesday.

The formal budget presentation is scheduled for 10am

and it will be the last main budget Buhari will be presenting as he will leave office on 29 May 2023 when his second four year term will end.

The Federal Government is already proposing an aggregate expenditure of N19.76 trillion for the 2023 fiscal year with a budget deficit of about N12.41 trillion.

Some key assumptions in the proposal include an estimated oil benchmark of $70, crude oil production put at 1.69mbpd, exchange rate of N435.57/$ and inflation rate at 17.16 per cent.

The Federal Government pegged growth rate at 3.75 per cent because it believes that “Growth is expected to be moderated to 3.30% in 2024 before picking up to 3.46% in 2025.”

The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, had disclosed that the federal government will borrow over N11 trillion and sell national assets to finance the budget deficit in 2023.

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ASUU also corrupt, undermining govt investment – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari has said a number of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) are involved in corrupt practices.

He said the corruption in the universities and other institutions was undermining government’s funding and investment in education.

ASUU has been on strike since February 14 over increase in lecturers’ allowances and salaries as well as improved funding for the universities.

Buhari has appealed to the union to call off the strike but the lecturers have stood their ground.

The President on Tuesday while declaring open the Fourth National Summit on Diminishing Corruption organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Office of Secretary to Government of the Federation (OSGF) and Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), said ASUU was no less complicit in the corruption in tertiary education.

He said corruption in the education sector had continued to undermine investments, while critics downplayed funding by focusing only on budgetary allocations, urging a more comprehensive re-evaluation of expenditure.

The President said, “This year’s summit will mirror how corruption undermines educational policies, investments and create an unfriendly learning environment for our youths.

“Incessant strikes especially by unions in the tertiary education often imply that government is grossly underfunding education, but I must say that corruption in the education system from basic level to the tertiary level has been undermining our investment in the sector and those who go on prolonged strikes on flimsy reasons are no less complicit.

“The 1999 Constitution places a premium on education by placing it on the Concurrent List, thereby laying the responsibilities of budgeting and underwriting qualitative education on both the Federal and State Governments.

“The total education budget for each year is therefore a reflection of both federal and state budgets and should be viewed as other financial commitments in their totality.

“The allocation to education in the federal budget should not be considered via allocation to the Federal Ministry of Education and also academic institutions alone, but should include allocation to the Universal Basic Education, transfers to TETFUND and refund from the Education Tax Pool Account to TETFUND.

“Corruption in the expenditure of internally generated revenue of tertiary institutions is a matter that has strangely not received the attention of stakeholders in tertiary education, including unions.

“I call on stakeholders to demand accountability in the administration of academic institutions and for unions to interrogate the bloated personnel and recurrent expenditure of their institutions. Let me also implore the Unions to work with the government to put faces and identities to names on the payroll.

“Due to declining resources, the government cannot bear the cost of funding education alone. I task our academics to attract endowments, research and other grants to universities, polytechnics and colleges of education similar to what obtains in other countries.”

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Seven police officers dismissed, 10 others demoted

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The Police Service Commission (PSC), on Tuesday, dismissed seven senior police officers over gross misconduct.

The commission also announced the demotion of 10 other officers through reduction in rank.

These decisions were taken during the continuation of the 15th plenary meeting of the commission.

The meeting is expected to end on Thursday, October 6, 2022, according to a report by The Trust.

Presided over by its acting chairman, Justice Clara Ogunbiyi, the meeting considered all the Pending Disciplinary Matters (PDM) before the commission.

The PDMs, which totalled 47, also treated some appeals from dismissed police officers.

Addressing newsmen shortly after the meeting in Abuja, the spokesman for the commission, Ikechukwu Ani, said, the dismissed officers include one CSP, one SP and five ASPs.

He said that one SP was retired in public interest, adding that the commission reduced the ranks of one CSP to SP, three SPs to DSP, and two DSPs to ASPs.

The commission further reduced the ranks of four ASPs to Inspectors.

10 senior police officers, including an ACP, a CSP, a SP and two DSPs were given the punishment of severe reprimand.

Five ASPs were also awarded the punishment of severe reprimand.

Thirteen officers received the punishment of reprimand; two are to receive letters of warning while four officers were exonerated.

Ani quoted Justice Ogunbiyi as saying the commission would henceforth give the desired attention to Pending Disciplinary Matters so that those found guilty are punished immediately while those found not guilty are cleared to continue with their career progression.

Justice Ogunbiyi called on police officers to ensure they operate within established rules and avoid taking laws into their hands.

The commission, she said, would continue to work to sustain a professional police force.

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