The Inspector General of police, Solomon Arase, has given bite to the fight against corruption in the Nigeria police Force by setting up online platforms for citizens to report cases of bribery and corruption among officers and men of the Force.
The Online platform "stopthebribe" (www.stopthebribe.net) though a brainchild of the CLEEN Foundation was formally adopted as a crime reporting channel by the Nigeria Police Force on Friday, June 12, in collaboration with the CLEEN Foundation.
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Jolaoye Toye, an assistant superintendent of police, who represented the IGP at the event, said IGP Arase is determined to rid the Force of corruption.
"This platform is a welcomed development and it has the backing of the IGP. It is worthy to note that IGP Solomon Arase has zero tolerance for corruption. There is a team of policemen at the Force Headquarters, Abuja who respond quickly to complaints on this platform. Cases are investigated and the IGP intervenes in these cases. We don't take sides and we don't demand money for investigation. We carry out investigation professionally," he said.
IGP Arase also stated that the force has taken steps to stop the recruitment of bad eggs into the institution by reviewing the recruitment process.
"We are appealing to members of the public to give the police a chance. A lot of changes are taking place in the Nigeria police and we urge the citizens to be patient with the police. We have begun a review of the recruitment process so that persons who do not have any business with policing will not join the Force. We urge citizens to support the police and stop giving bribe to officers to do their job. We assure citizens of utmost confidentiality when they report cases to us.
"In the area of roadblocks across the country, IGP Arase maintained that roadblocks remained banned but the police will continue to mount checkpoints to stop criminals.
"We don't have roadblocks. What we have are checkpoints and they are meant to check vehicles. These checkpoints have been used to intercept criminals but citizens are urged not to give officers on checkpoints any money. If they demand money, citizens can take the policeman's name and number and report to us," he said.
Gabriel Akinremi, the programme officer CLEEN foundation presented the unique features of the ‘stopthebribe’ platform.
He said citizens can use their mobile phones, smart phones, computer and other internet enabled devices to access social media tools like twitter, Facebook and interactive mobile applications to report cases of bribery and corruption.
He said: "The unique features of the stopthebribe.net is that it is built on Ushahidi platform. It has multiple data streams, easy collation of information via different mediums (sms, email, Twitter, Facebook and web-forms(Skype). Interactive mapping and dynamic timeline which involves tracking reports on the map over time and filters data by time and location".
Blessing Ibiri, the senior programme officer CLEEN Foundation said the platform is a unique tool to report grievances and cases of corruption and also commendation of officers who have performed well on the job. She added that citizens can also report cases in local languages.
Recently, the Inspector General of Police Solomon Arase, claimed the police have the least corrupt officials in the country’s public institutions.