Former Inspector General of Police (IGP) and Chairman of the recently inaugurated 12-man protection of private property committee, Solomon Arase, stressed yesterday that the state government did not inaugurate the committee to harass or intimidate citizens, but to join forces with the judiciary and relevant security agencies to ensure implementation of the Private Properties Protection Law.
This was as he led members of the committee on a courtesy visit to Edo State Police Command Headquarters; Nigerian Police Headquarters, Zone 5 Benin City; Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the office of the Chief Judge of Edo State.
Arase said the committee would ensure that a workshop held to sensitise citizens on the details of the law.
“We are not interested in prosecuting anyone, but we will get them involved by giving them orientation to ensure that everyone becomes conversant with the law and they don’t run afoul of it as the law is no respecter of person,” he said.
Speaking to the Commissioner of Police, Edo State, Haliru Gwandu, and Assistant Inspector General (AIG) in charge of Zone 5 Abubakar Adamu Mohammed, Arase said the committee needed the support and cooperation of the Nigeria Police Force, hence the need for the visit.
The former IGP said: “We don’t intend to apply force in achieving the needed result as the committee cannot do it alone without synergizing with the relevant security agencies like the Police. Inter-agency collaboration is required to succeed”.
He also called for the creation of a small team of police officers to liaise with the committee and investigate land issues, adding that the committee would like to collaborate with the judiciary to interpret the law.
Meanwhile, Gwandu thanked the committee for the visit and assured them of their support to ensure that the committee achieved success in the task ahead even as Chief Judge of Edo State, Hon. Justice Esohe Frances Ikponmwen also assured of the judiciary’s support to adjudicate and interpret the law to create awareness for the people.
“The law is a welcome development especially as the law is to checkmate land speculators. We are aware of the new law and by the time some offenders are prosecuted, I think sanity will be restored,” he said.