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18 Jan 2018

You lie, Peace Corps tells Nigeria Police

The Peace Corps of Nigeria, PCN, says the corps is not proscribed by the federal government.
The Public Relations Officer of PCN, Millicent Umoru, said this in Abuja on Wednesday at a news conference.
The spokesperson faulted a recent statement by the Nigeria Police that the PCN was proscribed by a federal government gazette in 2013.
She said the claim held no water, as the gazette in question was not an exclusive police document to be used as it pleased them.
“The federal government gazette is a public document and not a police diary. If the police had any such gazette, it should tender it before the public.
“It is only the Attorney-General of the Federation that is constitutionally vested with the powers to issue federal government gazette, which must be duly signed,” she said.
According to her, the police issued the statement on the day that the Federal High Court ruled in favour of the corps, to tarnish the reputation of PCN.
She maintained that the said proscription of the corps had earlier been declared null and void by Justice Ibrahim Auta, the former Chief Judge of the Federal High Court.
The spokesperson also said the court warned the police never to do such or even make further reference to the gazette, noting that the police was yet to appeal the judgement.
Ms. Umoru, however, appealed to the federal government to assent to the Nigerian Peace Corp Establishment Bill.
She said that PCN members, who are mostly graduates, would complement the efforts of security agencies.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the Force Public Relations Officer, FPRO, Jimoh Moshood, issued a statement in Abuja while reacting to the court judgment.
Mr. Moshood said the order proscribing the existence and operation of PCN was still in force in the country.
“It is incumbent on the NPF to inform the public that on Feb. 28, 2017, the NPF officers in a joint operation, military and the Department of State Service (DSS) personnel embarked on an operation to halt and rid the country of illegal security outfits constituting national security threat,” he said.
The police said in 2013, the Federal Republic of Nigeria official gazette dissolved and proscribed illegal security outfits such as Nigerian Maritime Security Agency (NMSA), Nigerian Merchant Navy Corps (NMNC), the Nigerian Merchant Navy Petroleum Security and Safety (NMNPSS), Peace Corps of Nigeria and other illegal security outfits.
“However, it has been observed that some of the proscribed illegal security outfits and the Peace Corps are still operating outside the mandate and purpose for which they were registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC),” the police said.
Mr. Moshood explained that it was in furtherance of the above that the Nigeria Police, the Military and SSS in a joint security operation entered the Peace Corps head office on February 28, 2017, sealed off the building and arrested Akor Dickson and 49 others in the interest of public safety and security.
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