Why We Moved Against Peace Corps of Nigeria – Police

The leader of Peace Corp Nigeria, Dickson Akoh and 49 others were arrested Tuesday night because they were operating an illegal security outfit.
Policemen, military and operatives of Department of State Security (DSS) raided and arrested members of the corps in Abuja at their head office, Tuesday.
Recently, the National Assembly passed a bill establishing the Peace Corp and waiting for the assent of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a briefing Wednesday in Abuja, the Police alleged that those arrested are operating an illegal security outfit.
The Police also said the arrest was an attempt to halt and rid the country of illegal and unlawful security outfits constituting national security threat and hindrance to the protection of life and property of Nigerians across the country.
During a joint press briefing, the Police paraded arrested members of the corp.
The Force Spokesperson, CSP Jimoh Moshood said intelligence report revealed that the corp has started acquiring weapons and conducting convert military training in different locations across the country.
Explaining why the arrest was made, Moshood said: “The operation was done to halt and rid the country of illegal security outfits, constituting national security threats to the protection of life and property of Nigerians across the country.
“It is evident that in 2013, Federal Republic of Nigeria official Gazette dissolved and prescribed 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.
The Police said it observed that some of the outfits are still operating outside their mandates and purposes which they were registered by the CAC.
According to Moshood: “The PCN under the leadership of Akoh was registered as an NGO but with brazen impunity, total disregard to the laws of Nigeria, opened illegal training camps in some states of the country, where thousands of youths and other persons without a proper background check and screening are receiving converts military training.
“It is consequent upon a veracity of intelligence reports from reliable sources, indicating that subversive groups and terrorists affiliates have infiltrated the Peace Corp secretly to ruin and destroy the existing peace currently being enjoyed in the country that the PCN secret training camps were closed down in Abuja, Kwara and Niger States.
“Under the guise of recruitment, amounts ranging from N50,000 to hundreds of thousands are being paid by innocent Nigerians to the corp. Once you pay the money, you are automatically recruited.”
He further said: “The Corp has unlawfully turned itself into a security outfit without authorization and establishment by the Federal Government of Nigeria, as such deviated from the purposes for which they were registered as NGO by the CAC.
“The Corp has no legal right to wear a 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 organisations without the approval of Federal Government of Nigeria”, he added.
He revealed that activities of the illegal security outfits will be halted across the country.
On the flag of the Corp and the beret used, he said: “the flag is a semblance of the Gambian flag and the beret is a semblance of the United Nation’s mission across the world.
“Before using this, the Federal Government must approve it which is not the case here and that constitutes a national embarrassment to the nation. What is available to us that the Corp has not been registered as a security outfit.
On whether the police was not questioning the authority of the National Assembly, he said: “We are not in contrast with any authority. What we know is that security outfits are established and approved by the Federal Government of Nigeria and in this case, that has not being done.
On his part, the leader of the Corp, Akoh explained that the money collected was for the kits for members.
According to him: “It is shameful that we have teething security challenges and you are showing our uniform as an exhibit. The constitution of the Corp approved by CAC properly vetted by the security before we were registered in 1998.
“There is national youth development policy that spells out youth organisation to operate and we have over 47 uniform youth organisation.
“We have been operating within our scope and we are out to reorientate the youth. No matter the character of youths, when they are taught national ethics and discipline, they change. The youths need a platform to change and that is what we do.
“The money paid is for their uniform, kits, accommodation because we pay for the venue. It is voluntary and not compulsory. We have ICPC’s clearance for that money. EFCC is investigating this matter and they discovered that we never forced anybody”.

Author: News Editor

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