The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety), has condemned the current ranking in the country’s police force, in which no Igbo officer is Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) or Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG).
In a statement on Sunday, the group stressed that the region was left with only six Commissioners of Police (CPs).
The statement jointly issued by Head of Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Head of Campaign and Publicity, Evangeline Chidinma Udegbunam and Board Chair of Intersociety, Emeka Umeagbalasi, revealed that by the current structure, the South East has been excluded from the Nigeria Police Management Team (PMT).
It maintained that the Igbo reject the lopsided arrangement.
The statement read in part: “Out of seven DIGs who head seven key departments of the Nigeria Police (NPF), South-East should have at least one DIG.
“The South-East should also be entitled to two Police Zonal Command AIGs of the 12 and minimum of four or maximum of five AIGs of the about 20-22 serving AIGs.”
On the 95 serving CPs, the South-East should have at least 15 CPs and not less than six state commands CPs.
“The allocation of only six CPs and one Acting CP including a retiring CP is not only rejected but also grossly undermines the equity and fairness inherent in the geopolitical zones arrangement.”
The group also argued that by Section 14 (3) of the 1999 Constitution and the equity principles of regional representation and national integration, the Police Service Commission (PSC) should ensure non-exclusion of any geopolitical zone in ranking and promotion of senior police officers and assignment of duties to them.
The affected senior police officers are those classified and captured in the Police Officers Senior Staff List from the IGP to Chief Superintendents of Police (CSPs) updated on a monthly basis.
Contrary to this provision, the group argued that the PSC and NPF were breaching the constitutional provision and principles by “deliberately excluding senior Igbo police officers from sensitive positions.”
Specifically, DIG Godwin C. Nwobodo from Aninri, Enugu State retired on August 12, 2019 without replacement. Until his retirement, he was a member of the PMT, representing the South East Zone and DIG in charge of Department of Information & Communication Technology (ICT) at Force Headquarters, Abuja.
Also, former CP and now retired AIG Chris Okey Ezike from Ogboji, Anambra State was the only serving Igbo AIG as at March 2019, out of 20 serving AIGs then, among many others.