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Egbetokun’s Anti-Corruption Policy Is Paying Off

By Adewole Kehinde

“Corruption is simply a crime without conscience.” George Richard Marek

Anti-corruption refers to the efforts and mechanisms put in place to combat and prevent corrupt practices within government, business, and society.

It involves measures such as transparency, accountability, and the enforcement of laws and regulations to prevent bribery, embezzlement, fraud, and other forms of corruption.

The goal of anti-corruption initiatives is to promote fairness, integrity, and ethical conduct in both the public and private sectors.

On June 21, 2023, when IGP Kayode Egbetokun took over as acting Inspector General of Police, he vowed to rid the police force of corruption and abuse of power and take necessary action against any form of misconduct from personnel.

He stated his priority to tackle corruption and abuse of power within the system to clear the doubt of Nigerians on the heels of the prolonged public deep-rooted concerns and grievances against the police.

I can still recall his statement, which I reproduced below:

“I acknowledge our citizens’s deep-rooted concerns and grievances against the police. It is no secret that the Nigeria police force has faced its fair share of criticism in the past. Instances of misconduct, corruption, and abuse of power have eroded public trust.

“I am before you today to declare that such behaviour will not be tolerated under my watch, and there will be proactive steps to instill discipline across the ranks.

“Accountability will be the cornerstone of my tenure as Inspector General of Police. I am committed to fostering a culture of professionalism, integrity, and respect within the police force.

“We prioritise new ways of recruiting, training, and equipping our officers to ensure they possess the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out their duties effectively, efficiently, and with excellence, and this will be to the admiration of the people we serve.

“To regain the trust of Nigerians, we will establish a robust internal system to investigate allegations of misconduct within the police force.

“We will hold accountable those who betrayed the public trust in us, ensuring that they face the full force of the law. Additionally, we will actively promote a working culture that will encourage officers and citizens alike to report instances of corruption or abuse they may witness.

“Our police force will be a beacon of integrity. We hold ourselves to the highest standards of professionalism and ethics. Henceforth, every police officer will be selected not only for their skills but also for their passion, compassion, empathy, and commitment to public service.”

Nigerians will agree with me that the anti-corruption policy of IGP Kayode Egbetokun is paying off with news of police officers rejecting bribes across the country.

“Policemen reject N4 million bribe, arrest drug peddlers in Lagos” is one of the headlines in various newspapers and online media. One SP, Rilwan Kasumu, and his team rejected a N4 million bribe while investigating a case of drug peddling and unlawful possession of ammunition.

In another development, I came across another headline: “Police officers reject N1 million bribe.”

This is a case of a suspect, Bello Muhamad, who offered a N1 million backhander to a Divisional Police Officer, SP Idris Ibrahim, aimed at truncating the kidnapping investigation, which the police officer forthwith rejected on January 22, 2024.

Another video currently circulating is a case with an alarming headline: “Police Arrest Kidnapper, Reject N8.5m Bribe In Taraba.”

A team of mobile police officers (MOPOLs) attached to the 40 Police Mobile Force in Jalingo, Taraba State, rejected a bribe of N8.5 million from a suspected kidnapper and arrested him.

There are so many police officers who are underreported when it comes to turning down bribes from criminal suspects.

I know that at every IGP Strategic Conference, IGP Kayode Egbetokun always emphasises instilling discipline across the ranks.

The DIGs, AIGs, and CPs always take the messages to the divisions and outposts to ensure that no single police personnel is caught in the act of corruption and bribery.

It is time for the Federal Government to improve the welfare of police personnel, apart from salary increments, particularly the pension scheme.

The time is now for police personnel to enjoy the Police Pension Scheme, of which IGP Kayode Egbetokun has vowed to ensure that when they retire, they still get their salary.

 

Adewole Kehinde is the publisher of Swift Reporters and can be reached at 08166240846. E-mail: kennyadewole@gmail.com

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