There was breakdown of law and order at the Jabi district of Abuja on Tuesday, July 10, 2018, as policemen attacked some members Peace Corps of Nigeria.
The Corps had embarked on a peaceful march to its national headquarters located at Jabi, Abuja to commemorate the 20th anniversary of its existence in Nigeria.
Trouble however, started when heavily armed police officers in five pick-up vans arrived the scene and ordered the gathering to immediately disperse.
As a result of the shootouts, two of Peace Corps officers – Ogwu Stanley and Torkula Awjuu — sustained various degrees of injury in the head and in the leg respectively.
The Police, however, took the injured in their van to Wuse General Hospital for immediate medical attention.
The Police led by an Assistant Police Commissioner, Danlami Yusuf Taura, resorted to dialogue and pleaded with the Peace Corps officers to continue to be peaceful and also promised to convey their message to the police highest authorities.
Taura declined to answer questions from the hordes of Journalists at the scene of the protest and referred them to the Police Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood.
DCP Moshood said it was the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command that deployed police to the scene and pleaded that he be given time to speak with the Commissioner of Police in the command.
The Police Public Relations Officer in charge of FCT Command, DSP Anjuguri Manza, who claimed ignorance of the development.
“I’m not aware of any clash between the Police and the Peace Corps”, Manza said.
Meanwhile, the National Commandant of the Peace Corps, Dickson Akoh has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to “call the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris to order.”
Akoh while addressing newsmen in Abuja, specifically pleaded with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) National Assembly and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami (SAN) to show concern to the refusal of police to obey court orders and the rule of laws
The Commandant claimed that his organization rented the office at a yearly sum of N13.8 million, adding that since February 28, 2017, when police invaded the office, his men and officers have not been allowed to access the office complex.
“I plead with police to allow us to continue to operate as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). We attempted to become a statutory body within the confines of the law but regrettably, police fought us to standstill and sealed off our office without any just cause.
“The two chambers of the National Assembly passed a Bill that the Peace Corps be made a statutory body but Mr. President declined to give assent to the Bill and yet, police have refused to leave our office for us to operate in spite of the two court orders that they vacate the office for us.
“The police have achieved their aim of sabotaging the Peace Corps from becoming a statutory body, so they should leave us alone. They should allow us to access our office on the order of two of the federal high court”, Akoh lamented
The national headquarters of the Peace Corps has remained sealed despite court orders for the reopening of the facility by the court and Nigeria’s House of Representatives.
A heavy duty police truck with no, NPF 3641C, has been used to barricade the entrance of the office complex by the Police despite the two court orders pasted on the gate.