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Governor Sanwo-Olu: Naturally Naive, Clumsy, or Both?

Governor Sanwo-Olu: Naturally Naive, Clumsy, or Both?

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Sanwo-Olu;
“Can you call your superiors in Abuja and tell them that the governor is here and as the Chief Security Officer, you don’t have any business being in my state right now and that I want you to disengage right now?”

 

CSP;
“I am here on the instruction of the Inspector General of Police through the AGF. I am too small or too low to call them. Your Excellency sir, you can call them sir.”

 

Firstly, what was Sanwo-Olu doing in Magodo Estate with his Cabinet members to exchange words with a police CSP leading a security detail detached to the estate when he can sit down in his office, send his Chief of Staff, SSG or Commissioner for Housing to find out what the issues are with the residents of the estate & the police; address the residents of the estate through any of his principal officers he sent to remain calm while the government works with the authorities & other parties to the dispute to resolve the matter; then call the Lagos state commissioner of police, the IGP or AGF, Malami to ask for the withdrawal of the policemen; arrange for a meeting with the help of the AGF between the Lagos state government & the beneficiaries of the Supreme Court judgement on the land to reach an acceptable settlement since the land in dispute has been developed already.



Secondly, what was Sanwo-Olu doing in the estate? To stop the police from enforcing the judgement of the Supreme Court after a 37 year dispute that went all the way from High Court, Appeal Court to Supreme Court & in which the plaintiffs won all but the Lagos state government has repeatedly refused to obey the court orders on each occasion; to blackmail the police & the AGF doing their jobs or the Supreme Court that gave the judgement against the Lagos state government; when the governor should be sitting in his office & arrange for a meeting with the families that the courts declared rightful owners of the land to find an acceptable settlement or compensation?

 

For those making a case for the governors having the power to control or order the police, the question is, under the Nigerian constitution, is the police under the command & control of the governors & should the police, for whatever reason be under the control of the governors or even the president?

There is a reason why the constitution put the police under the office of the AGF. The Attorney General is not only the chief legal adviser to the government but also the representative of the public in all legal proceedings for the enforcement of law & the assertion or protection of public rights.

 

The law is & should be no respecter of any person & the police which is the chief instrument of law enforcement is & should be under the control of a law officer who is a constitutional representative of both the government & the public which in the case of Nigeria is the AGF & not the governors or president.

 

However, I like the development. The governors, political leaders & rich elites in Nigeria have been trying for decades to turn the Nigerian police into their handbags & houseboys. So, it’s good for a change to see a police CSP on an enforcement duty defy a governor.



Again, the courts in Nigeria have been purchased wholesale by the governors & the Supreme Court lately has in a dubious judgement practically handed over the entire resources of states in Nigeria to the governors to do whatever they like by ordering the EFCC to stay away from the governors. It’s interesting therefore to see a governor defy the judgement of the Supreme Court & ordering police officers on duty to enforce the judgement to leave his state.

 

Sanwo-Olu should quit this avoidable disgraceful drama, invite the beneficiaries of the Supreme Court judgement & find an acceptable settlement with them.

 

Lagos is too big, too complex, politically & economically strategic to be governed by a political neophyte learning on the job. Sanwo should grow up & he doesn’t have much time to do that.

 

Michael Ogueke #MO

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