The Abuja Traders’ Association has asked the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, to order the arrest and prosecution of 30 police officers used by a firm to supervise the alleged illegal demolition of structures at the Abuja Shopping Complex.
The association also drew the attention of the IG to the arrest, intimidation and harassment of its executives by the policemen acting on the instruction of the firm.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the traders made the call through their counsel, Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume (SAN), in a petition addressed to Baba and dated April 28, 2023.
Ume claimed that the company, in disobedience to a subsisting court order, mobilised the officers to give protection to those who demolished the structures at the UTC, Area 7 and urged the IG to intervene.
“The said policemen arrived at the UTC, Area 7 Shopping Complex around 5am on April 4, and gave fake police protection to the illegal demolition team organised by the firm in its efforts to demolish the complex.
“The fact that this illegal demolition done on the complex and its environs that day were all done by the illegal demolition team recruited by the firm and the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council is axiomatic,” the petition read in part.
The lawyer called on the police boss not to allow the Nigerian Police Force to be used as a tool for promoting the selfish interest of an agent provocateur.
He drew the attention of the police to the relevant provisions of its Act and the 1999 Constitution, which is to protect the society from acts of criminality, lives and property of citizens and apprehend offenders and preserve law and order.
“It is wrong for the Nigerian Police Force to lend itself as a tool for disobedience of court orders and manipulations by selfish persons.
“It is therefore demanding on your office to immediately take measures to prosecute the 30 persons impersonating your officers and those who aided them as well as ensure that the officers of the Traders’ Association are not harassed,” Ume added.