By Yemi Oyeyemi, Abuja
The Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) Thursday formally took possession of its corporate Head Office in Abuja after three years of siege on the premises by the Nigeria Police Force.
The Corps led by its National Commandant, Ambassador Dickson Akoh, along with other officers and members took possession of the office around 8 a.m after policemen on the premises were ordered out by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu.
Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, had last week directed the Police to obey court orders and vacate the premises.
Addressing journalists shortly after conducting officers round the premises to assess the situation of their properties, Ambassador Akoh said that they bore no grudge or animosity against anybody or organisation over the three years they were prevented from accessing the office.
Rather, the National Commandant said that Peace Corps as a paramilitary body will partner with the Nigeria Police to tackle the high level of insecurity bedeviling the country.
“On Monday 3rd March, 2020, at about 17:00hrs, we received with great excitement, the news of the unsealing of our Headquarters by the Police. The action of the Police was predicated on the directive by the Hon. Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN that the Police obey the subsisting and valid judgment and orders of the Federal High Court and vacate this property and our offices nationwide.
“While we viewed this intervention by the Federal Ministry of Justice as a vindication on our part, and the recourse to the rule of law by the Federal Government, we wish to place it on record that our experiences since our ordeal started on the 28th February, 2017 when this edifice was being commissioned, is highly traumatizing and indeed a tortuous journey to achieving social justice.
“However, I wish to state at this point that, this Organization and its leadership bear no grudges or animosity against any agency or individual.
“Thus, our predicaments in the past three years are seen as an act of God and a sacrifice or a price that we have to pay in the task of Nation Building”, he said.
Akoh noted that the corps suffered over N120M loss in form of damages done to the physical infrastructure, furniture and the state-of-the-art equipment installed before the commissioning.
“This is in addition to the gross misrepresentation, misconception and the psychological damages on members nationwide.
“We have collectively resolved to put the past challenges behind us and remain focused on how to embark on confidence building and institutional synergy with the Police and other relevant agencies in the spirit of Patriotism.
“Towards this end, we wish to specially commend the Attorney General of the Federation for his kind and humane intervention and for giving effect to the rule of law, which is the cornerstone of every ideal democracy, by ensuring that justice is done in our matter.
“In the same vein, we wish to appreciate the effort of the current Inspector General of Police, Mr Muhammed Adamu, for his commitment to professionalism, the rule of law and respect for the fundamental human rights of the citizenry.
“We remain eternally grateful to him for complying with the directive of the Attorney General and unsealing our office, while assuring him of our willingness and readiness to partner with the Police towards achieving a near crime free society”, the National Commandant added.
After three years siege, Police Bows To Court Order, Unseals Peace Corps Office
By Yemi Oyeyemi, Abuja