The Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party has raised the alarm over the alleged redeployment of the state’s Commissioner of Police, Mr. Finihan Adeoye, allegedly on the instruction of Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
The party described the removal of the police commissioner as one done in “controversial circumstances,” especially as it came a few days to the governorship election scheduled for next Wednesday.
The Publicity Secretary, Edo PDP, Chris Nehikhare, in a statement on Tuesday evening, alleged that the governor influenced Adeoye’s redeployment over a disagreement on the use of police personnel before and during the poll.
Adeoye had resumed office on September 5, after his predecessor, Chris Ezike, was redeployed to the Police College in Lagos.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Edo State Command, Theodore Okafor, neither confirmed nor denied the report when he was contacted for comment.
Okafor said that he had not received any signal in connection with the development.
When asked if the police commissioner was still in charge of the command, the PPRO said, “My CP is still in charge. I do not know what they are talking about.”
However, the opposition party alleged that the governor had taken offence that the commissioner was not in support of the recent arrests and detention of its (PDP) members.
The statement read, “Mr. Finihan Adeoye, sources say, had proved difficult about deploying policemen on the eve of the election and on the day of election, in a manner that would affect the conduct and outcome of the election.
“The disposition of the commissioner is said to have made the governor uncomfortable. This had made him to appeal to higher authorities, from where the order for the removal of Mr. Adeoye was given.”
But the state government denied the allegation, saying that it had no control over the structure of the police.
In a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Kassim Afegbua, it said, “We are not the Nigeria Police Force. The force is an institution that has its own command structure under the supervision of the Inspector-General of Police.
“We could not have played any role in who becomes the Commissioner of Police. It is purely police affairs.”
The state government accused the PDP of bastardising the security agency.
The statement added, “Under the APC change agenda, we are not only allowing military and paramilitary institutions to run professionally, we are building a new police institution that would be responsive to the challenges of modern policing.”