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Umahi seeks review of arrest process by police

Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has called on the Nigeria police to review the processes of arrests and  investigations in its various chains of  commands  in order to gain more    confidence of   Nigerians    
Umahi bared his mind when he received in audience, the Assistant  Inspector -General of Police,Zone 6,Calabar, Mr.Abubakar Marafa,  at  the Government House in  Abakaliki on Wednesday.

The governor said the call became necessary to check the excesses of Nigerians who engage police operatives from the high command to investigate   matters that could be handled at the divisional and state levels.

Umahi, according a statement on Thursday by his Chief Press Secretary, Emma Anya,  pointed out that such practise which most times was designed to distract and settle personal scores brings about waste of the nation’s resources and security breach.
 He said,”The only thing I will complain to you is the process of arrests which  I mentioned   to you earlier in private. We  should take this beyond the state or the zone. We  have the structure of the police post, the local government headquarters, zonal headquarters and the headquarters in each state and from there you now have the zonal headquarters comprising many states and the national headquarters in Abuja.
“We find it very strange a situation  in which somebody will write a petition and  nobody asks the petitioner to  substantiate the petition with evidences but security agents  will go ahead to arrest people.  
“It is  very worrisome because people  hide under. It has happened before  where people dressed in police and army uniforms will  say that they came from the headquarters to make an  arrest.  In  many cases, people they arrest are killed on the way.  We  are pleading that the organogram of the police should be followed so that before a matter goes to the zone,  it  must  be transmitted by a commissioner of Police. From the zone it can go to the national headquarters if the petitioner or complainant is not satisfied.      I think through this way, the society will come to have more confidence in the police.”
 Umahi also spoke again on Fulani herdsmen,  reiterating  that his ban on cattle movements remained in force.
He warned that cattle rustlers  from countries like Niger Republic and Chad  would  not be allowed to infiltrate  the real Fulanis  already living in the state.
The governor    restated that  the state would  not  chase the  real Fulani herdsmen away.  But he   stressed that in a situation where they trespass into farmlands with their cattle  , the people  would not take it kindly with them.
His words, “A lot of Fulanis find  it easier to settle in Ebonyi State and our position is that for those who have settled here for about  60 years, we  will not ask them to go because they are our  brothers and sisters.
“ But   we must stop those that come from Niger, Chad   and  outside  our  state to start moving  their cattle past our land.  We don’t want that to happen .They is nobody who will ask a Fulani man who has lived here up  to 60  years to leave the state. No  Eboyian has ever said that  but we directed that no cattle should move from one farm land to the other.
  “Wherever they(cows) are staying, the owners should be able to use woods and do a kind of  fence  or whatever it is called for them.  They should  get grasses and water   for their  cattle. By doing so,  the cattle will  not even subjected to diseases; they  will be bigger and   better.
 
“People should understand  that  one of the things we have in the state is farmland and so if it is not properly managed, there will be problem especially now that we have launched one- man, one-hectre programme. 
“Everybody is now trying own a farm land and  so such movement of the herdsmen will be almost impossible.”  
Earlier,   Marafa had   expressed hope that with  public support, the police would serve  better.
He said, “Police are here to serve   people but we need  cooperation;   synergy,  assistance and   information from members of the public. Without people’s assistance,   we cannot arrest any criminal.”
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