The change of guard at the Police Headquarters, barely one month to the end of this administration raised some expectations for what may be termed “national cleansing” by the outgoing Dr. Jonathan led administration. Just a day after the handover, a first casualty is up in the line.
Below is a statement made available by the Force Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Ojukwu which ended in demanding the removal of a journalist covering activities at the Force Headquarters.
COMPLAINT OVER MISLEADING AND MALICIOUS PUBLICATION CAPTIONED: “DRAMA, AS ABBA STALLS HANDOVER FOR HOURS” AS PUBLISHED ON THE FRONT PAGE OF YOUR THURSDAY, APRIL 23, 2015 EDITION.
A read of your above stated publication on your VANGUARD NEWSPAPER has revealed a lot of concocted false stories and mischievous insinuations which serve as misinformation to the public and also put the Nigeria Police Force and its leadership in a bad light.
The following statements in your publication are found to be false and misleading;
i. That “There was confusion and drama at the Force Headquarters in Abuja, yesterday, as the sacked Inspector-General of Police, Mr Suleiman Abba, stalled the formal handover to his successor, Mr Solomon Arase.” This is completely false as there was nothing of such that occurred.
ii. That “The handover ceremony which was earlier slated for 8 a.m. with invitations sent to journalist for coverage from the office of the Force Public Relations Officer, did not take place until almost 4pm following the absence of the ex-Police boss at the headquarters.” This statement is completely false and misleading as no such invitation was sent to any journalist, your correspondent inclusive as claimed. The only invitation sent out regarding the handing over ceremony was sent out at 1:44 pm of 22.04.2015 via sms stating commencement of event for 3pm of same day.
iii. That “Abba was said to have removed all his personal belongings before leaving office around 11:20pm”. This is completely false. The retired IGP since closed from office on 21/4/2015 long before the time stated in your report.
iv. That “3 DIGs protest appointment of Arase: Three of the serving Deputy Inspectors-General of Police were holding an emergency secret meeting in one of the offices on the 6th floor of the headquarters building” Another false statement, No such meeting ever took place as there was no cause for such. All the DIGs were in their offices waiting for the smooth transition.
The stated scenario of confusion, drama and delay regarding the handing over ceremony is completely false and unsubstantiated. The handing and taking over ceremony went on as planned and relevant briefs were turned in as expected.
Your correspondent Kingsley Omonobi was duly invited alongside other journalists as stated above and he was present at the ceremony. During the Question and Answer part of the event he was one of those that said the journalists had no question to ask. For him to now be a part of this report is viewed as a deliberate attempt to put the entire Nigeria Police Force in bad light and also cause misgivings among officers and men of the Force.
a. A retraction of these false and misleading statements, and to be given the same prominence in terms of print and space in your next publication and
b. Substitution of Kingsley Omonobi as your assigned correspondent to the Force Headquarters as his accreditation has been withdrawn forthwith.