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Police parades Commandant of Peace Corps, 49 Others

by on March 2, 2017
 

Barely 24 hours after the Peace Corps of Nigeria commissioned its national headquarters complex at the Jabi area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), its leaders and key employees have been arrested by security agents.

Those detained by the Police and the Department of State Ser­vices (DSS) are the Commandant, Dickson Akoh and 49 others. They were paraded by the Nige­ria Police High Command before journalists in Abuja on Wednes­day for allegedly operating an il­legal security outfit.

The police also accused the commandant of the Corps of il­legal recruitment and sealed up the office.

The Force Spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, said that their arrest was the outcome of a joint oper­ation between the Police, the mil­itary and the DSS.

The suspects included a breastfeeding mother who la­mented that the Police had turned down her pleas to allow her go and take care of her baby.

Akor, however, denied the claim by the police that his group operates an illegal security outfit, stressing they have not posted any of their members to any securi­ty beat.

He noted that his group, be­ing a Non-Governmental Organ­isation (NGO), is recognised by the Federal Government, the Af­rican Union and the United Na­tions (UN).

Akor explained that his group has been probed by anti-corrup­tion agencies in the country and have not found him wanting on any allegation of defrauding in­nocent Nigerians.

He stressed that the mon­ies members of his group pay is strictly for training kits.

However, while giving fur­ther explanations on why the leaders of the group were arrest­ed, Moshood said: “During the preliminary investigation into the activities of the Peace Corps of Nigeria, it was discovered that personnel of the Corps are ex­torting unwary youths through­out the country under the guise of recruitment.

“Amounts ranging from N50,000 to N100,000 are being paid by innocent Nigerians to the Peace Corps of Nigeria. Once you paid the money you are automat­ically recruited,” he said.

Moshood called on all those who paid money to the Peace Corps to report to the nearest police station.

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“Anyone who must have paid money under any pretence to the Peace Corps of Nigeria should re­port their case at the nearest Po­lice Station in where they are across the country.

“The Peace Corps of Nigeria has unlawfully turned itself into a security outfit without author­isation and establishment by the Federal Government of Nigeria, as such, have deviated from the purposes for which they were reg­istered as an NGO by the Corpo­rate Affairs Commission.

“The Corps has no legal au­thority to wear uniforms, pa­rade itself as security outfit, post their personnel on guard duties, and use ranking, insignia, badg­es of rank which are semblance of that of the Police, the Military and other paramilitary organisations without the approval of Federal Government of Nigeria,” he said.

He vowed that these joint se­curity operations will be imple­mented throughout the country “in order to halt the illegal activ­ities of all these proscribed ille­gal security outfits such as Nige­rian Maritime Security Agency (NMSA), Nigerian Merchant Navy Corps and the Nigerian Merchant Navy Petroleum Se­curity and Safety, Peace Corps of Nigeria and other quasi illegal se­curity groups.”

Meanwhile, the Corps Public Relation Officer, Milicent Umo­ru, who confirmed the arrest to newsmen in Abuja, said that the Commandant and 40 officers were arrested by DSS, the Police and the Nigerian Army.

She said that Akoh was de­tained in the Federal Capital Ter­ritory (FCT) Police Command.

Read the full statement below:

1. The Nigeria Police Force in joint operations with the Personnel of the Military and Department of State Service commenced yesterday 28th February, 2017, operations to halt and rid the country of illegal/unlawful security outfits constituting National Security Threat and Threat to the protection of life and property of Nigerians across the country.

2. Credible intelligence reports at the disposal of the Force revealed that some of these illegal Security outfits have started acquiring weapons and conducting covert military training in different locations across the country.

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3. It is evident that in 2013, Federal Republic of Nigeria official Gazette dissolved and proscribed illegal Security outfits such as Nigerian Maritime security Agency (NMSA), Nigerian Merchant Navy Corps and the Nigerian Merchant Navy Petroleum Security and Safety, Peace Corps of Nigeria and other quasi illegal security outfits.

4. However, it has been observed that Nigerian Maritime Security Agency NMSA, Peace Corps of Nigeria, Maritime Security Agency and National Task Force to Combat Illegal Importation/Smuggling of Arms and Ammunition, Light and Chemical/Weapons are still operating outside their mandates and purposes for which they were registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission.

5. For avoidance of doubt the Peace Corps of Nigeria under the leadership of one Akor Dickson was registered as an NGO but with brazen impunity, total disregard to the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, opened illegal training camps in some States of the Country, where thousands of youths and other persons without proper background check and screening are receiving converts Military training.

6. It is consequent upon the above and the veracity of intelligence reports from reliable sources, indicating that subversive elements/groups and terrorist affiliates have infiltrated the Peace Corps of Nigeria secretly to ruin and destroy the existing peace currently being enjoyed in the country that the Peace Corps of Nigeria secret training camps were closed down in the FCT, Kwara and Niger States.

7. During the preliminary investigation into the activities of the Peace Corps of Nigeria, it was discovered that personnel of the Corps are extorting money from unwary youths throughout the Country under the guise of recruitment; amounts ranging from Fifty Thousand Naira (#50,000) to Hundreds of Thousands of Naira are being paid by innocent Nigerians to the Peace Corps of Nigeria. Once you paid the money you are automatically recruited. Anyone who must have paid money under any pretence to the Peace Corps of Nigeria should report their case at the nearest Police Station in where they are across the country.

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8. The Peace Corps of Nigeria has unlawfully turned itself into a security outfit without authorization and establishment by the Federal Government of Nigeria, as such, have deviated from the purposes for which they were registered as a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) by the Corporate Affairs Commission.

9. The Corps has no legal authority to wear uniform, parade itself as Security outfit, post their personnel on guard duties, and use ranking, insignia, badges of rank which are semblance of that of the Police, Military and other paramilitary organizations without the approval of Federal Government of Nigeria.

10. The Nigeria Police Force and other Security Agencies will not fold their arms and allow lawlessness to be unleashed on the society.

11. It is in furtherance of the above that the Nigeria Police Force, the personnel of the Military, Department of State Service, had in a joint security operations swooped on the Head office of the Peace Corps of Nigeria on the 28th February, 2017 situated opposite Jabi Lake, Utako District, sealed off the building and effected the arrest of one Mr. Akor Dickson, the Leader of Peace Corps of Nigeria and Forty Nine (49) others (on the attached list) for investigation in the interest of public safety and security. They will be arraigned in court on completion of investigation.

12. This joint security operations will be implemented throughout the country to halt the illegal activities of all these proscribed illegal Security outfits such as Nigerian Maritime Security Agency (NMSA), Nigerian Merchant Navy Corps and the Nigerian Merchant Navy Petroleum Security and Safety, Peace Corps of Nigeria and other quasi illegal security groups.

13. Parents and Guardians are advised to prevail on their children and wards to return home from the illegal military camps opened in some states of the country by the Peace Corps of Nigeria as the activities of the Corps in totality is unlawful.

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