Newly deployed Commissioner of Police to Edo state, Mr. Johnson Babatunde Kokumo, has warned operatives of the state command to steer clear of all forms of corruption in the course of discharging their constitutional duties or be ready to leave the service.
Kokumo sounded the warning on Monday during a familiarisation visit to the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Edo state council.
He warned that not only criminals who failed to turn new leaves will have it hot, but also policemen who are found wanting in one way or the other during the discharge of their duties, adding his administration is embarking on in-house cleansing.
“On the side of the police, if we are doing what is proper, clear conscience fears no accusations, in the course of discharging our statutory duties, if mistakes are made genuinely, you will sympathise with us.
“But in a situation whereby on our part, we do things with impunity, you owe the good people of Nigeria, the sacred duty of reporting diligently, accurately and objectively. You will not of course sacrifice this because of any individual, any organisation or anything.
“We are embarking on in-house cleansing. We want to see ourselves as doing what is proper, we want you to watch us as doing what is proper, we want you to test us to see whether we are paying lip service to doing what is proper.
“I have said it in a number of fora, I have come to work in Edo state and am saying it again, and it is not only criminals that will be sent away from Edo state, even policemen who are not ready to be in the same page with me, policemen who are not seeing things the way I see them, policemen who are corrupt, policemen who have no respect for human right, I am saying it without mincing words that they don’t have any place in Edo state any longer.
“Whatever we do, we do it in line with international best practices, we do in line with healthy human right. We do in line with the principle of zero tolerance for corruption,” Kokumo said.
The police boss said his command will henceforth deal decisively with police operatives who demand for money to secure bails of bailable suspects
“We will begin our zero tolerance on corruption by cleansing our house. Enough is enough. We will not tolerate a situation whereby the good people of Edo will go to the police formation and they cannot secure the release of suspects on bail without money.
“There will not be any forms of pecuniary consideration when it comes to releasing suspects on bail in bailable circumstances. We are putting machinery in place to ensure this is stopped,” he said.
In his response, Chairman of Edo NUJ, Sir Roland Osakue, who assured the Commissioner of cooperation of journalists in the state, urged him to reinstate the police stakeholders’ meeting with the people, which was intitiated by his predecessor but abandoned halfway, noting that it helped to stem crime rate.