The newly deployed Edo State Commissioner of Police, CP Johnson Babatunde Kokumo, on Wednesday expressed his readiness to combat crime in the state, asking criminals to relocate as Edo will no longer be comfortable for them.
He disclosed that his deployment to the state was as a result of the upsurge of criminals and criminal activities in Edo state and his goal is to ensure that both threats are reduced to the barest tolerable minimum.
Kokumo said the command will partner with professional bodies including the hunters’ association and the community locals as well as sister security agencies.
He also pointed out that the command will depend more on receiving vital relevant information that will aid in the arrest of criminals which he stressed is better than acquisition of a thousand AK 47 fire arms in the combat of criminal elements.
He pledged to develop a partnership with the local communities and sister security agencies in the task of providing the state with adequate security.
“We will ensure synergy and collaboration for internal security. The command under my leadership has abhorrence for corruption as well as zero tolerance for human rights abuses.”
The Edo new police boss, who stated this while parading 53 suspects at the state command in Benin City, sought the support of relevant government agencies and the judiciary in the fight against crime and delivery of criminal justice administration.
Kokumo said the bail of suspects is free, stressing that, “Where you cannot secure the release or bail without parting with money in bailable circumstances. Please contact me through my mobile phones that will be made public or reach the state police command.”
He noted that all the reforms in the state police command is targeted at putting machinery in place to ensure barest minimum record of crime in the state.
He assured that police will ensure suspects arrested for crimes which the police do not have rights to grant bail are charged to court.
“Any police station that demand bail from lawyers seeking the bail of suspects and clients should be reported to the command headquarters. Our mission is to ensure that we reduce crime to the barest tolerable minimum.
“I assumed duty here on 24 October which is on Monday and we have a mission. I am here to work, to work hard to save with diligent the good people of Edo State. In doing this, we are going to fight crimes with all the arsenals that are available to us.
“I would want to say in clear terms: we are going to partner with the communities. And the partnership with the communities will be in three phases. We will partner with the traditional rulers, we will partner with the religious leaders, we will partner with market women, professional bodies, NUT, NUJ.
“We will do all these because information is very key. Information is very key in fighting crime and criminality in any environment. I want to put this across to you; in some instances, one vital information is much better than 1000 AK47 rifle. For this reason, we are going to partner communities.
He said the command under his watch would ensure that officers and men of the command live above board and show respect for the rights of the citizens of the state.
“We will begin our zero-tolerance on corruption by cleansing our house. Enough is enough. We will not tolerate a situation where the good people of Edo will go to police formation and they cannot secure the release of suspect on bails without parting with money.
“There will not be any forms of pecuniary consideration when it comes to releasing suspect on bail in bailable circumstance. We are putting machinery in place to ensure this is stop,” he said.
He also announced the arrest of five additional suspects in connection with the killing of the University of Benin lecturer, Prof. Paul Otasowie; bringing the number of arrested suspects to seven and his phone recovered.
The posted Commissioner of Police, Mr. Johnson Babatunde Kokumo is the 38th commissioner of police serving in Edo State.