In what is probably his major last press briefing as the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State Command, AIG Hakeem Olusegun Odumosu has given a report of the activities of the Nigeria Police under his administration in the last quarter of year 2021 covered by NAOSNP President, Oki Samson at the Police Command headquarters in Ikeja. This is consistent with the traditions of the Lagos Police Boss to address security issues in the state on a quarterly basis.
The newly promoted to the Rank as Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG Hakeem Odumosu expressed: ‘It is our tradition to bring back to the people that we serve, that is why you have been invited to witness this. Recently the Command designed and put in place new security measures while strengthening eixisting security apparatus. We carefully reviewed security strategies coupled with operational strategies consciously put in place to keep Lagos safe have led to modest achievement at the last quarter of the year.’
‘Nobody sees himself without a mirror, you are the mirror of the Command. You can rate our performance than us rating ourselves. But one thing is clear, Lagos is safe, shall continue to remain safe, and the best and safest place in Nigeria. There are so many organizations and people coming to Lagos because there is peace and security. Hotels are booked up because there is peace and security. There are so many concerts and conferences going on because there is security.’
On the criminal activities that they foiled, he shared: ‘Some of the criminal elements were arrested for conspiracy and armed robbery, cultism, murder, stealing, illegal security outfit, etc. Miscreants were equally arrested during raids of criminal hideouts in Lagos while human parts, military accoutrements, firearms, etc were recovered. Suspects have been charged to court after completion of our investigation.’
Addressing the question of cult groups posed by journalists during the press briefing, AIG Hakeem O. Odumosu shared: ‘when we came in, the issue of 1 million boys sending jittery messages to many parts of Lagos was common. Then we had No Salary Boys came in. Then Awawa Boys came in at another period. We did what the law said we should do and now, you can’t hear of Awawa Boys, 1 Million Boys, No Safety Boys, we have dealt with them according to law. No one can say that they receive letters from these groups. We trust that the CP taking over from me will continue so that Lagos will continue to be peaceful’.
The newly-promoted AIG H. O. Odumosu added: ‘Three days ago, I had to go to the Lagos House of Assembly to appreciate them because many bills have been passed and signed by the Lagos State Government which has made Lagos state safe. One of the laws is the anti-cultism law. It has brought so many people to be responsible and conscious. The law that was repealed had no punishment for landlords, parents, hoteliers, and those aiding and abetting cultists.’
‘But this new law has involved all those groups of people. This has made all facility owners to screen for what purposes their facilities will be used. It has brought consciousness of landlords, landladies, and agents what are the means of livelihood of their tenants. Before they don’t care what the person does as long as he can afford to pay. The parents too are involved for not reporting their children who are involved in cultism, it is 2 years. Those who aid and abet in terms of allowing cultists to escape when police are pursuing, there is punishment for that. And we are enforcing it. That is why these things have gone down.’
The AIG hinted on the issue of stolen vehicles, ‘If there is no willing seller there will be no willing buyer. There must be interest in what to sell, what to buy, and how much to buy. If you cook a pot of rice today and nobody buys, same thing tomorrow, next tomorrow you won’t cook. I appeal to the general public when they advertise to you, try to find out the source before buying.’
On the law preventing the parade of suspects in public, the AIG Odumosu noted that the law have to be obeyed by the Police. ‘It is an honour to be the first Commissioner of Police to address the Lagos House of Assembly on the law talking about parading suspects. I told them I quite understand their mindset to enact the law to protect human rights of citizens. If you are paraded by the press, you still remain a suspect until a court of competent jurisdiction convicts the persons.’
‘If at the end of the day, the person is discharged and acquitted and you have been paraded as suspect, what happens? That is the mindset and I appreciate that. But we have to think of strategies to discourage criminality so we have to meet at a point. That is why you don’t see our men as you used to do. We need to obey the laws of the state.’