Police to initiate legal actions against online publication report over alleged defamation, libel
The Nigerian Police Force on Tuesday says it has instructed its legal team to initiate legal actions against an online publication for accusing the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, of illegal activity.
The Police condemned the report over what it sees as “the defamatory and libelous components of its report.
On Monday, an online publication, Sahara Reporters, published a report with the heading: ‘Exclusive: How Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police, Adamu, Illegally Raised Millions of Naira for Construction of Training School in Nasarawa’.
In a statement, police spokesman, Frank Mba said the report was “published in the tradition of Sahara Reporters to blackmail and impugn the credibility of strategic leaders of the country in an apparent attempt to advance their ignoble and unpatriotic intentions.”
Mba said the training school in Nasarawa had been built with the support of the State Government and several corporate partners.
“Also, the insinuation that the IGP sited the facility ‘in his hometown of Endehu in Nasarawa State’, is also utterly misleading,” Mba said.
“For the avoidance of doubts, Endehu is not the hometown of IGP Adamu. He is, on the contrary, from Lafia.”
The statement reads in full:
HOW SAHARA REPORTERS MALICIOUSLY MALIGNED THE NIGERIAN INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE
The attention of the Nigeria Police Force has been drawn to a misleading report published on the Sahara Reporters online platform on August 03, 2020 under the heading ‘Exclusive: How Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police, Adamu, Illegally Raised Millions of Naira for Construction of Training School in Nasarawa’. In the report, spurious allegations were made to the effect that the Inspector General of Police, IGP M.A. Adamu was ‘involved in a multi-billion Naira fraudulent scheme’. The publication which referenced several unnamed and unverifiable sources alleged, essentially, that the IGP ‘used his office to unlawfully compel and in fact threaten Mobile Police Commanders into generating millions of Naira monthly through illegal means for the purpose of establishment of a MOPOL Training School in his home town of Endehu in Nasarawa State’.
2. The Force wishes to state unequivocally that the publication in its entirety is false and baseless. It was published in the tradition of Sahara Reporters to blackmail and impugn the credibility of strategic leaders of the country in an apparent attempt to advance their ignoble and unpatriotic intentions.
3. While being conscious of the need not to glorify the falsehood contained in the reportage, it is considered expedient and in national security interest to put the facts straight. In this regard, it is to be clarified as follows:
i. The establishment of the Police Mobile Training School in Endehu, Nasarawa State, North Central Geopolitical Zone of Nigeria was informed by overriding national security consideration on the need to strengthen the operational capacity of the special forces of the Nigeria Police Force.
ii. Also, the insinuation that the IGP sited the facility ‘in his hometown of Endehu in Nasarawa State’, is also utterly misleading. For the avoidance of doubts, Endehu is not the hometown of IGP Adamu. He is, in the contrary, from Lafia.
iii. The allegations that the IGP used his office to threaten Mobile Police Commanders into generating Millions of naira monthly through illegal means for the establishment of the institution is also totally false. It is on record that the parcel of land where the institution was sited was donated to the Police with the full complement of the Certificate of Occupancy which the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State publicly presented to the Nigeria Police. The acquisition of the land was, therefore, without any financial commitment by the Police.
iv. Furthermore, the construction of the facility was achieved with the support of the Nasarawa State Government and well-meaning corporate bodies within the context of their Corporate Social responsibility (CSR). In all instances, all the support so extended were not in cash but in form of donation of materials. The only involvement of some Squadron Commanders was to ensure the delivery of some of the construction materials so donated by the corporate bodies. Hence, the allegation that the IGP ‘had each Squadron Commander cough out nothing less than N500,000 monthly for the purpose of erecting different structures in the training school’ is a preposterous and feeble attempt to discredit the innovative reasoning that engendered the successful implementation of the critical national security asset that the facility represents.
4. The construction of the project through corporate intervention is a demonstration of the commitment of the Force leadership to meet its obligation to citizens in terms of their safety and security and in furtherance to the Reform agenda of the Nigeria Police Force. It was not established as a personal asset of the IGP. Rather, it is a national security legacy project. It is worth mentioning that this is not the first time that corporate organisations and governments at all levels are assisting the police to bridge operational and infrastructural gaps. Dangote Foundation, the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Bankers’ Forum, State Governments, Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC), and well-meaning individuals among others have in the past donated fleets of vehicles and have rendered other supports to the Police.
5. The attempt by Sahara Reporters to malign the Force leadership shall not in any manner impact on the firm determination of the Nigeria Police Force to advance its strategic plan and to continue to adopt innovative reasoning in changing the policing narratives in Nigeria towards stabilizing the internal security order. While members of the public are called upon to discountenance the content of the publication in its entirety, it is to be noted that the Nigeria Police Force has instructed its legal team to initiate legal actions against Sahara Reporters to address the defamatory and libellous components of the report.