…donates private car to police
By John Ernest
Generally, the police are people who are empowered by law to protect lives, property, to enforce the law and reduce civil disorder. The police are usually described as a law enforcement authority. However, the functions of the police exceeded the aspect of law enforcement. The Nigeria Police Force is the principal police and law enforcement agency serving Nigeria. There are certain governmental agencies that control the Nigerian Police. These are: The Police Service Commission, the Nigeria Police Council and the Ministry of Interior. The Police Service Commission appoints, promotes and disciplines all police officers except the Inspector General of Police.
The Nigeria Police Council organizes and administers the Nigeria Police Force. It also carries out other functions that are incidental to organization and administration. But the Council is not concerned with matters related to the use and operational control of the Force, or the appointment, disciplinary control and dismissal of members of the Force. The Council also has the task of the general supervision of the Nigeria Police Force. It advises the President on the appointment of the Inspector-General of Police. The Ministry of Interior formulates policies that will ensure efficient and effective policing of Nigeria. The functions of the Nigerian Police Force are stated in the Police Act.
The Police Act provides for the organization, discipline, powers and duties of the Police in Nigeria. Prevention and detection of crime Apprehension of offenders, preservation of law and order protection of life and property, due enforcement of all laws and regulations with which they are directly charged, performance of such military duties within or outside Nigeria as may be required of them by the Police Act or any other Act. Conducting prosecutions before any court of law in Nigeria, arresting, without warrant, any person who is found by the police to be committing any felony, misdemeanor or simple offence; or who the police reasonably suspects of having committed those offences or being about to commit such offences.
The Police may also arrest without warrant, a person who is charged by another person with the commission of an offence. It should be noted that where a specific offence provides that a person charged with that offence should be arrested with a warrant, then such alleged offender cannot be arrested without warrant. The Police also have the power to search persons, premises and belongings. On search of persons, where a police officer reasonably suspects any person of having in his possession or carrying in any form, anything which he has reason to believe has been stolen or is unlawfully obtained, the police officer may detain and search such a person. The police have the power to take and record measurements, photographs, and fingerprints of people who are in lawful custody from time to time. This is for the purpose of identification.
There are limitations to the powers of the Police in Nigeria. Although the Police Service Commission disciplines police officers, there is a code of conduct for police officers. The Code of Conduct demands accountability from Police officers as they exercise their powers. Police officers should never employ unnecessary force or violence. Only reasonable force may be used in their discharge of duties. Police officers must also ensure confidentiality in the discharge of their duties. Security and privacy of members of the public should be maintained.
Nigeria police is often looked down upon as corrupt and uncooperative. But like all men are not rapists, all police officers are not corrupt. If we look closely, it’s not hard to find officers who are serving the civilians selflessly and setting example for police force all over Nigeria. A police officer is generally seen as an official representative of the government who must carry out his functions within the bounds of the Law. The officer therefore owes a duty to serve the community, protect the innocent, keep the peace and ensure that there is liberty, equality and justice for all.
But in the case of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Michael Offiong is one of the finest, dedicated, loyal, sincere and committed police officer that is serving civilians selflessly. DSP Offiong is the Divisional Police Officer, Mkpat Enin Division. Apart from fighting crimes and maintaining order, he single handedly renovated and painted the entire police station with his money two days after assuming office. Meeting a terrain that is hostile with limited manpower, equipment and facilities to carry out the duty of policing the communities, he donated his private car to police to use in crime fighting in the area. He was born in Ifiayong Obot in Uruan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom which is the South South part of Nigeria in the early 1960s. DSP Offiong graduated as Environmental Educationist from the University of Calabar in 1993.
His achievements within the shortest period as DPO could be traceable to his exposure within and outside the shores of Nigeria as a gallant, fearless and an officer with dexterity. He has attended several courses in various fields within and outside Nigeria such as Basic Detective SIIB program in Calabar, Cross River State,1994. Comprehensive ‘Criminology Management Course, 2005. United Nations Police Course, Kenya and United Nations Police Course, Norway 2008. United Nations Department of Safety and security, Basic and Advanced Security in field, Prosecution Course, Detective College Enugu 2010 and Incident Commanders Course, 2017.
DSP Offiong showed his proficiency and professionalism in Darfu, Sudan when he went there in a peace keeping mission and in 2009, he won two United Nations International Goal Award Medal. He has served in Cross River State, Ebonyi, Abia, Lagos, Kaduna State etc, DCO, DTO, Administrative Officer and Supervisor respectively. He is married and with children.