Police invade, disrupt Peace Corps 20th anniversary in Abuja

THE Mobile Police Unit of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), on Tuesday, invaded the National Headquarters of the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) in Abuja, tear-gas both the journalists and members of PCN. National Commandant of the Corps, Dr Dickson Akoh, however, vowed that the Corps would continue to exist as a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) which was duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). It will be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari recently rejected the Bill for an Act to establish NPC by declining to assent to the Bill. As at the time of filing this report, the armed Policemen were seen chasing the youths on Jabi axis, shooting sporadically to the air with tear gas, while commuters and passers-by were running to different directions to avoid being hit by stay bullets. The Corps was celebrating its 20th anniversary before a detached operative of Mobile Policemen arrived the premises and started shooting sporadically, sending tear gas into the midst of the crowd which comprises officers of Peace Corps, Civil Society Coalition and Journalists. The security operatives invaded the office at the process of briefing newsmen. Although no casualty was recorded, several civil society activists and Journalists were said to have incurred injuries. It will be recalled that Justices Gabriel Kolawole and John Tsoho, both of Federal High Court, Abuja, had in a separate ruling, ordered the Police to vacate the property. Also, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami had written to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Idris Ibrahim, advising that the office is unsealed, in absence of any appeal or valid stay of execution. The House of Representatives, based on the report by its committee on Public Petitions, had also given the Police 21-day ultimatum to vacate the properties, but the office still remains closed. Various Civil Society Organisations and the National Human Rights Commission have also, at different times intervened in the matter, but the Police appeared not to be responding to their entreaties. The Peace Corps office located at number 57, Iya Abubakar Crescent, off Alex Ekwueme street, opposite Jabi Lake Abuja, has been under lock and keys by the Police since February 28th, 2017, the day the office was commissioned.

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