RE: ALLEGED WRONGFUL DISMISSAL: POLICE AUTHORITY REVIEWS, UPHOLDS EARLIER VERDICT ON DISMISSED KWARA OFFICERS
As Review Panel Recommends Officers’ Prosecution for Conspiracy, Theft, False and Malicious Publications against NPF
The Nigeria Police Force wishes to address a viral video featuring two dismissed police officers, Sergeant Shola Akano and Corporal Babatunde Glorious, from the Kwara State Police Command and a follow-up publication in the Punch Newspaper of June 2, 2023, in order to set the records straight and demystify the trending allegations for what it really is. In the said video and publication, the erstwhile officers alleged that their dismissal from the Nigeria Police was wrongful and a result of their refusal to receive a bribe to compromise a matter they were investigating. The NPF, therefore, wishes to clarify the circumstances surrounding their dismissal and reaffirm the integrity of the disciplinary process after being subjected to re-assessment.
According to findings by the Special Investigation Unit, Force Criminal Investigations Department, Abuja, detailed to review their case, the duo of Sgt. Shola Akano and Corporal Babatunde Glorious were attached to the Public Complaint Bureau, Office of the Public Relations Officer, Kwara State Police Command, where their primary duty was to handle complaints brought forward by members of the public bordering on police unprofessionalism and misconduct. Unfortunately, during the course of investigating a case of conspiracy and advance fee fraud in February 2020, they engaged in misconduct that warranted their dismissal from the Nigeria Police Force. In the cause of investigating the case, the duo arrested two suspects – one Fatai Ridwan Olarewaju and one Awogbemi Samuel Olayinka, a student of the Federal Polytechnic Offa, Kwara State.
On 7th February 2020, the officers booked and took one of the suspects, Fatai Ridwan Olarewaju, from the police cell where he was detained to a Zenith Bank branch at Unity Road, Ilorin where they coerced the suspect into withdrawing the sum of One Million, One Hundred and Ninety Thousand Naira (N1,190,000.00) from his account, which was collected by Corporal Glorious. Following this, the suspect was returned to the cell, and later released on administrative bail on the same day while the withdrawn sum, two mobile phones, and other personal effects were not released to him.
Rather than following proper procedure, Sgt. Shola Akano and Corporal Babatunde Glorious continued to demand more money from the suspect to close the case, thus engaging in further acts of extortion. These actions were in direct violation of their duties and code of conduct as police officers, and it prompted Mr. Fatai to report the matter to the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of the IGP X-Squad for investigation. Subsequently, verifiable evidence, including the conversion of one of the mobile phones, an iPhone 11 Pro, for personal use by Corporal Glorious, was presented during their trial.
Based on a thorough examination of the evidence and the testimonies of all parties involved, the duo were found guilty and dismissed from the Nigeria Police Force. It is essential to note that the same complaint of wrongful dismissal was made by the officers before the #EndSARS panel in Ilorin, and their dismissal was upheld after a careful review of the evidence and testimonies from all concerned parties.
Series of reviews and recommendations from panels uphold the dismissal and prosecution of the duo, and they will be so prosecuted accordingly.
The Nigeria Police Force remains committed to ensuring discipline, accountability, and professionalism within its ranks, and condemn any form of misconduct while assuring the public that necessary actions will always be taken to maintain the trust reposed in the Police. The dismissal of Sgt. Shola Akano and Corporal Babatunde Glorious clearly underscore our commitment to weeding out bad elements from the Force and upholding the values of justice and fairness.
Written by: Kevin Nwabueze