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Security situation improved since August

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Senate President Ahmed Lawan has said that the security situation in the country has improved in the past one month.

Lawan noted this during an event themed, ‘National Policy Dialogue on Corruption and Insecurity in Nigeria,’ organized by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, in Abuja on Friday.

The Senate President stated that legislators have continually supported the effort of the government to tackle insecurity in the country, adding that in the past three years, the National Assembly has ensured that appropriation for defence and security is improved upon, year on year.

He said, “Security situation in the country has improved in the last one month. Only recently, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) gave a marching order to the Armed Forces to extinguish bandits, kidnappers and other criminal agents that are against the state and her citizens, by December 2022.

“This administration is committed to achieving this set target. Accordingly, the past few weeks have seen security agencies flushing out terrorists from their hideouts in Kaduna Birnin-gwari axis, Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto. Similar results were recorded in Niger, where, like in Kaduna, the Nigerian Airforce neutralised many terrorists.”

He noted that the National Assembly while looking into the possibility of unmasking the perpetrators of insecurity in the country, realised the need for an anti-corruption law to stop illicit financial flows suspected to be funding routes for insecurity in Nigeria.

“The 8th Assembly passed the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit Bill, which is one of the major anti-corruption laws that saved the country from being expelled from the global body of the Egmont Group.

“In the same vein, the 9th Assembly, working closely with security and law enforcement agencies to further strengthen their capacity to withstand unscrupulous elements involved in criminal and terrorist activities against the state, passed three bills aimed at combating money laundering, terrorist financing and the proceeds of crime.

“These three bills are in tandem with this administration’s commitment to fighting corruption and curb insurgency in the country,” Lawan said.

Noting that insecurity is a worldwide phenomenon, and Nigeria is no exception in that regard, the lawmaker stated that the country has been facing the challenge of insecurity, especially insurgency since 2009.

He added that despite the government’s efforts to curtail the menace, it has developed other manifestations that have slowed down the sustained assault of the government on the problem.

“Insecurity has placed an enormous demand on our country’s human and material resources, particularly the emergence of the Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East and banditry in the North-West. Several other security challenges have since emerged afterward.

“We have been faced with cattle rustling and farmer-herder clashes in the Middle-Belt, secessionist agitations in the South-East, militancy in the South-South, and some of these have now spilled over to other parts of the country.

“The span of these security challenges have profoundly tasked this administration and indeed the nation, and stretched our security and law enforcement apparatus which remains determined and has withstood these challenges with utmost gallantry.

“But as I have always said, the challenges of our security infrastructure are the concern of all of us and not just of those in government alone. Indeed, this policy dialogue is showing us that dealing with the ugliness of insecurity in Nigeria requires more than the deployment of military might.

“Hence, we must look at social and economic vices like corruption, that enable and even propagate insecurity. As lawmakers, we look forward to the eventual policy brief that will be shared hereafter to guide the nation’s policy direction in ending insecurity in Nigeria.”

Minister for Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, noted that people will engage in corrupt practices if given the chance.

“More than we realize, people will engage in corrupt practices if given the chance. This is because there’s never enough either out of need or greed.

“Corruption is the major problem confronting the world and not just Nigeria. It is tempting to say that corruption is simply a part of human condition as no country is immune against it; the difference is that it is more evident in some countries than others.” He said.


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Area Police Reports – InkFreeNews.com

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146 Virginia police officers decertified, new law expands to include excessive force and lying

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The increase in decertification follows a push for policing reforms

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The number of police officers pulled from their positions for dishonesty or excessive force is growing in Virginia. According to the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services’ master list, 146 officers have been decertified as of mid-January. Meaning, they’re currently not allowed to serve as law enforcement officers in the Commonwealth.

8News first looked at the Virginia master list of decertified officers back in July. Since then, 46 new officers were added. More than half of the 146 officers decertified were added to the list in just the past two years. The department began keeping a list in 1999.

The increase in decertification follows a push for policing reforms in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, as well as a new law expanding the offenses for decertification to include excessive force and lying.

“We need to make sure only the best are serving,” said Chesterfield Police Chief Colonel Jeffrey Katz.

Katz placed four officers on the decertification list in 2021 and has confirmed they are no longer with the department.

“I would say that our list of four people that we have submitted is a representative example of us policing ourselves,” Katz said.

Katz spoke publicly last year about former officer Brandon Hyde, who was fired after an internal investigation revealed he solicited inappropriate photos from a 17-year-old girl.

Katz spoke about the incident, saying, “This is a tough day for our community and for our department. not because we arrested a former officer, but because we recognize that Mr. Hyde tarnished a badge that we wear proudly.”

Among the other three Chesterfield cops decertified, two had their policing certification revoked for untruthful statements.

RELATED COVERAGE:

“When somebody’s conduct indicates that they shouldn’t be held in a position of public trust, we have an obligation to police them out of our profession,” Katz said.

Also recently decertified last year was Hanover Sheriffs’ Deputy C. Ryan Payne, who was named officer of the year multiple times.  When asked for details on the decertification, a spokesman for the Hanover Sheriff’s Office told 8News that he “can’t speak to the specifics on the internal investigation.”

Public records list Payne’s decertification was for reporting inaccuracies. Hanover County confirmed that he no longer works for the department.

Richmond Police Officer Richard Chinappi III was decertified in January. He recently pled no contest to felony animal cruelty charges after fatally shooting his fiancée’s dog and then lying about it to police.

In a statement Richmond Police said:

“Officer Richard Chinappi III was hired by the Richmond Police Department on October 31, 2016, and has been assigned to a precinct as a patrol officer during his employment. Chinappi has been placed on administrative leave. He remains on administrative leave as the criminal process continues. Once concluded, the department will continue with our internal administrative process.”

Each department seems to handle decertification and employment differently. For that reason. Chinappi and others on the list have yet to have their due process. Officers do have a right to appeal the decertification decision, and possibly get their certification back. These factors cause some officers to have to wait in a type of limbo period while their name is made public.

The Criminal Justice Services Board could also find the police agency got it wrong, and the officer could go back to policing. For that reason, some say there are issues that still need to be worked out with the new laws surrounding the decertification process.

Law enforcement said it did not have a seat at the table when the legislation was considered.

Katz commented on the new legislation processes, saying, “They may have been well-intentioned, but they were not thought out well.”


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2 Detroit police officers charged with bribery as federal probe into improper towing practices widens

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Two Detroit police officers were charged with bribery in connection to an expanding probe into illegal towing practices in the city, which has already ensnared public officials earlier this year.

On Wednesday, a federal indictment was unsealed, listing Lt. John Kennedy, 56, of Rochester Hills, and Officer Daniel Vickers, 54, of Livonia with bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery. 

Kennedy, who served a commander role within the Detroit Police Department’s Integrity Unit, had the job of investigating reports of law violations and police misconduct. According to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he leveraged his position and influence to persuade other officers to make towing referrals to a specific company, which is in violation of the city’s ordinance.

Kennedy conspired with Vickers to commit bribery by accepting money and other items of value in exchange for the lieutenant’s influence. Both men have been charged with three counts of bribery, while Kennedy is also charged with conspiracy to commit bribery. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

According to the city’s towing practices, select private companies were called by police to tow cars that had been seized by police or reported stolen. 

“Kennedy and Vickers were aware that by making towing referrals directly to a towing company which was not on the city’s towing rotation, they were violating the city’s rules and an ordinance which prohibit a towing company from receiving towing referrals if they are not on police department’s towing rotation,” read a release from the U.S. Attorneys Office.

Both men will appear in federal court Wednesday for arraignment. Detroit Police Chief James White issued a statement stating that the department anticipated the charges to be filed.

“We anticipated this outcome and will continue to cooperate with the FBI in their investigation, which began prior to me leading this department. I am profoundly disappointed with the crimes allegedly committed by these officers.  We will continue to root out corruption and restore trust in the towing process.  The department has already implemented sweeping changes, and there are more to come. Our community deserves honest actors and policing excellence. We are committed to being fully transparent throughout this process,” he said.

White also said that he was “profoundly disappointed” with the alleged charges and that the department should “hold ourselves to a high standard”.

RELATED: Detroit City Council passes overhaul of troubled towing operations

This is the second case of charges as part of Operation Northern Hook, an investigation into corruption within the police department. 

“The vast majority of police officers are outstanding public servants and the criminal actions of these defendants should not undermine the public’s trust in law enforcement,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Saima S. Mohsin. Police officers who compromise the integrity of the Police Department by prioritizing personal gain over-policing excellence will not be tolerated, and this type of betrayal of the police department and the citizens of Detroit will be thwarted at every turn. Today’s indictment is a step in that direction. We thank the Detroit Police Department’s Chief, James White, for his assistance in this investigation.”

A federal probe into misconduct within the Detroit City Council has led to bribery charges against Detroit City Councilman Andre Spivey, who pled guilty after resigning from the city council. The investigation is also looking at the actions of Councilmembers Janee Ayers and Scott Benson. Both had their homes and officers raided earlier this year.

RELATED: Here is a list of the seized items from Detroit councilmembers officers and homes

Bribes accepted by Vickers went toward new carpeting in his home, the release said. 

Between October 2018 and March 2021, Kennedy allegedly accepted more than $14,000 in cash, cars, and car repairs as a bribe from the owner of the towing company and from an undercover agent. Between February 2018 and June 2018, Vickers accepted $3,400 in bribes. 


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