The Nigerian Police has said the decision to shut the Ondo State House of Assembly over its leadership crisis was not made by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.
In a statement, the Police High Command explained that the decision was made by the Commissioner of Police in the state and it was done in continuation of the constitutional role of the police, which is to maintain law and order.
“It is pertinent to state that there was no time that the Inspector General of Police ordered the closure of Ondo State House of Assembly,” said the police in a statement by CSP Jimoh Moshood, the spokesman of the Force.
Moshood added: “It is suffice to state that on the 30th January, 2017, there was a report of pandemonium, confusion and disorder in the Ondo State House of Assembly as a result of fracas between two (2) factions who are honourable members of the Assembly over purported change of leadership of the Ondo State House of Assembly.
“Police personnel from Ondo State Police Command were promptly deployed by the Commissioner of Police Ondo State to restore normalcy and prevent total breakdown of law and order in the Ondo State House of Assembly and the attendant anarchy and chaos that may occur in Akure town and other parts of the State.”
The police said the constitution of Nigeria has spelled out clearly their role when there is a possibility of disruption of peace.
Moshood quoted the constitution as having said: “The Police shall be employed for the prevention and detection of crime, the apprehension of offenders, the preservation of law and order, the protection of life and property…”
He added: “Therefore, the deployment of Police personnel to restore normalcy and prevent further breakdown of law and order in Ondo State House of Assembly was in the discharge of its constitutional responsibilities.
“The Commissioner of Police, Ondo State is in charge of all Operations of the Police in the State and does not need to wait for the order of the Inspector General of Police before taking appropriate action in ensuring law and order and protection of life and property.
“The Police personnel deployed at the House of Assembly complex in Ondo State are to maintain law and order and not to close down the Assembly. They are under instructions to be civil, firm and strict in the discharge of their duties.”
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