November 21, 2012 by Simon Utebor
Lagos State Police Commissioner, Mr. Umar Manko
Rights group, Masses United Against Brutality and Rights Violation, has called for the removal of Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Mr. Umar Manko, for harassing a PUNCH journalist, Mr. Kunle Falayi.
In a statement on Tuesday by MUABRF, entitled, ‘Incessant Police brutalities: Remove Manko as Lagos CP now’, the group condemned Manko for ordering the reporter out of a press conference.
Coordinator of MUABRF, Mr. Mark Adebayo, said it was especially disturbing when senior police officers were involved in inhuman practices.
Adebayo said, “It is in this respect that we condemn totally the recent harassment of Mr. Kunle Falayi of The PUNCH by the Lagos CP, Mr. Umar Manko.
“Falayi was carrying out his lawful duty as a reporter of a reputable newspaper like The PUNCH and we see no reason why Manko should descend to the level of such uncivilised and reprehensible act of walking out a newspaper correspondent from a press briefing to which he was officially invited.
“It was an act of deliberate humiliation committed with infantile vindictiveness to publicly rubbish a man who only reported the calamity that befell fellow Nigerians in the hands of Manko’s men.”
He said the police commissioner ought to have immediately launched investigation into the case reported to ensure that justice was done to all affected as quickly as possible.
He added, “Attacks on innocent civilians by the men and officers of the Nigeria Police have become too rampant for comfort.
“The main constitutional mandate of the police is to secure the lives and property of the people. This is what the police are paid to do with tax payers’ money.”
Also, another group, the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders has condemned in its entirety, Manko’s action.
CACOL said for Manko to order the reporter out of the police command headquarters for publishing a story on how some policemen shot some victims of robbery attack in their residence was condemnable.
CACOL Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, noted that the action of the CP spoke volume of “the barbaric and inhumane way the men of the Nigerian Police Force treat an average Nigeria on daily basis.”
Adeniran stated, “The police boss demonstrated what an average Nigerian faces in the hands of our present crop of policemen. It is rather unfortunate that a whole commissioner of police could attempt to cover the crimes committed by his men.
“Has the Nigeria Police Force ceased to be a public institution that its activities should be shielded from public domain? That is violation of the constitutional rights of the said journalist and must be handled the way of the law.”
He said in the past months, Lagos State had witnessed all forms of extra-judicial killings and inhumane treatment of its citizens by policemen with many cases yet to be unravelled.
Adeniran however berated the other journalists that covered the press conference organised by the CP, maintaining that they should have shown solidarity with their colleague by walking out on the “power-drunk