Even IGP Cannot Stop Me, Says CP Accused Of Evicting Officers From Barracks For Paying Civilians
A drama is playing out at the Nigerian Railway Police Command in Lagos State as its Commissioner, Oyediran Oyeyemi, is allegedly defying his superiors’ orders by insisting on evicting some Officers from their official accommodation.
The CP was accused by his subordinates of allegedly renting out barracks accommodation meant for transferred officers of the Nigeria Police Force to members of the public at rates ranging from N350,000 to N400,000 yearly.
Three police officers: Inspectors Jodah Matthew, Omaha Emmanuel and Odogwu Mathew, are currently at the receiving end of Oyeyemi’s alleged mercantilism.
The three officers have been given an eviction notice by Oyeyemi from their accommodation at the Jebba Police Barracks, located at Jebba Road, Ebute Meta, Lagos.
The facility comprises two-storey buildings of 27 rooms, occupied by police officers from different formations.
The barracks had been occupied free by police personnel transferred from other states to reduce their stress of accommodation in their Areas of Responsibility.
However, it was alleged that the block leader, a Woman Inspector, who was accused of being “a direct agent” to Oyeyemi, sent a memo to the CP to eject some personnel from the barracks, accusing them of being violent.
Inspectors Jodah Matthew, Omaha Emmanuel and Odogwu Mathew were served notice to vacate their accommodation.
They, however, wrote an appeal letter to the Force Headquarters, dated March 15, 2021, to seek reprieve, to which a signal was sent from Abuja addressed to the police authorities in the affected command to suspend action on the planned eviction.
The affected officers’ letter to Abuja read in part: “We have been law-abiding officers adhering to barracks rules and regulations. All of a sudden we saw quit notice on our rooms that we should vacate the quarters in two weeks.
“We don’t know the offence that we commit (sic) that will warrant the quit notice. We are family men. If eventually, they eject us from the barracks, where are we going to put our heads and family? This will also affect our well-being and productivity in the service.
“We are appealing to the authority to please come to our aid as a matter of urgency to intervene in this matter before the situation gets out of hand.”
A signal from Abuja, referenced: DTO: 301134/3/2021, addressed to COMPOL TRACKPOL, EBUTE METTA LAGOS/COMMANDER MOPOL 2&22 LAGOS, read in part: “The Commissioner of Police, Force Provost Marshal, Force Headquarters, Abuja directs you to suspend action in respect of appeal against quit notice submitted to this office by AP/No 189768 Inspector Odogwu Matthew; AP/No278166 Inspector Onoja Samuel; AP/No292530 Inspector Jodan Matthew quartered at Jebba Railway Police Barracks Ebute-Metta, Lagos State.”
Despite the signal, however, CP Oyeyemi allegedly had another final eviction notice dated April 16, 2021, entitled: “Final Quit Notice,” addressed to the three officers.
It read: “It has become increasingly clear that you are grossly indiscipline (sic) and you lack respect for constituted authority.
“On the 11th of March, 2021 you were served with the quit notice to vacate the barracks on or before 31/3/2021. However, instead of you honouring the Commissioner of Police directives, you kept the barracks space under lock and key and make (sic) yourselves unreachable.
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“You are hereby notified finally that if you fail to peacefully vacate, you will be forcefully evicted on 17th April 2021 without fail, please.”
The “final quit notice” was signed by one Adebisi Lawal Balogun, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Department of Finance and Admin, Railway Police Command, Ebute-Metta, Lagos.
When contacted on the matter, the OC Provost, ASP David Ifidon, was said to have insisted that he would rather obey CP Oyeyemi and that he had not received any instructions from him, though he confirmed that he was aware the three officers were issued a month’s quit notice.
Ifidon said: “I work based on the directives of my Commissioners.
“And as far as the Provost Department is concerned, the allegations did not come to my table to investigate whether they were guilty or not.
“The CP owns the command and he takes his decision the way he wants.”
When he was contacted on the matter, Oyeyemi was quoted as saying that the matter was purely a police affair and that it is the decision of the Command to evict the personnel.
He told a Reporter via telephone: “My friend, this is a police affair and not a public discussion.
“By the way, who employed (you) to intervene in police matters?
“Even IGP cannot stop me from the action.”