Friday 17 June 2011


Good morning your Excellency, the Executive Governor of Imo State; good morning  honourable Commissioner of Police Imo State; good morning officers of the Nigeria Police Force here present, and good morning to you distinguished ladies and gentlemen of the press.

It is my pleasure to welcome you to this press briefing to mark the commencement of this landmark training progamme for the personnel of the CID, Imo State Police Command being organized by CLEEN Foundation.

CLEEN Foundation is a non-governmental organization established in January 1998 with the mission of promoting public safety, security, accessible justice and human rights through the strategies of empirical research, legislative advocacy, demonstration programmes and publications in partnership with government and civil society.  CLEEN Foundation, in view of the security and governance challenges facing the Southeast took the initiative of setting up this Southeast Regional office situate at the centrally located city of Owerri. This Southeast office of CLEEN Foundation was officially inaugurated on the 24th of February, 2011.

There is no gainsaying the fact that the state of insecurity in the Southeast has worsened over the past five years with increasing spate of violence exhibited in kidnapping and political contestation.  Statistics from the 2010 national crime victimization survey conducted by the CLEEN Foundation indicate that Ebonyi, Abia and Imo States have highest levels of kidnapping in Nigeria (CLEEN Foundation, 2010).  Similarly, in the 2006 edition of the survey Abia State ranked first in armed robbery (Alemika and Chukwuma, 2007).  Between 2009 and 2010, there was hardly a day that passed without cases of violent robbery and kidnapping reported in the area.  The villages are no exception as there is increasingly no statistically significant difference between the levels of crime (especially armed robbery and kidnapping) recorded in the cities and those in the villages (Chukwuma, 2009).  For the indigenes, going home has become an ordeal and preparations for it require the kind of security arrangements you would expect in war torn places like Somalia, Sudan and Congo DRC.

Consequently, public and private enterprises that operated in the region and provided jobs to the youths in the past are closing down in droves and thus complicating youth unemployment in the area, which is the highest in the country at 60%.  While private businesses are leaving because of the security situation and poor physical infrastructure, their public counterparts are shutting down mainly as a result of mismanagement, corruption and poor corporate governance among other malfeasance.

In summary the objectives of this Regional office include:

To improve local understanding in the Southeast about the linkage between bad governance and rising state of insecurity in the region as well as their impact on local economy and poverty metrics.

To facilitate critical stakeholders’ consensus and buy-in on a set of priority issues for urgent attention in responding to bad governance and insecurity in the region and piloting their implementation at the local government levels.

To facilitate the adoption of right-based approach to community development by town unions and community development associations in the southeast.

To continuously develop the capacity of law enforcement and security apparata to the end of adopting more effective and efficient crime prevention and control strategies towards enhancing security of lives and property in the region.

To encourage civil society organizations in the southeast to work more professionally and collaboratively.

In view of our commitment to enhancing safety and security, Cleen Foundation engaged the Commissioner of Police Imo State and the Assistant Commissioner of Police in-charge of the Criminal Investigations Department of Imo Police Command, and emerging from our meetings was a consensus on the need to build the capacity of the Police especially officials of the CID on right-based approach to policing.  Respect for Human Rights is at the heart of every civilized society, and the tenets of democracy further strengthens the need for government institutions to be responsive to the rights of the people because democracy is a government that derives its authority and legitimacy from the people.

Adopting a right-based approach to policing will not only ensure the democratization of the Police institution in Nigeria but also will promote its image and integrity, and most importantly improve its professionalism and effectiveness.  It is on this premise that Cleen Foundation undertook to train the personnel of the CID of Imo State Police Command on human rights.  The CID is usually a department that is often challenged by the need to solve crime problems very urgently, and respecting the rights of suspects in such circumstances could pose serious dilemma for them.  This training is therefore aimed at highlighting the extent of Police powers vis-√†-vis human rights, and how Police officers can carry out their legal duties without violating those fundamental human rights some of which have internationally assumed the status of jus cogens norms.  Also incorporated into this training are modules on conflict management, listening and anger management skills, which are crucial to effective policing and resolution of potential crime situations.

Cleen Foundation is offering this training free of charge for the Police.  Improving the capacity of the Police to the end of promoting security of lives and property is a matter that is close to the heart of this organization, and we therefore strain our meager resources to provide this very critical training program.  We sincerely hope that men of the CID will diligently apply themselves to this training and internalize the lessons, and indeed put them to practice in the discharge of their legal duties from henceforth.  This exercise will train the entire personnel of the CID of Imo State Police Command numbering over two hundred officers, the idea is to ensure that nobody is left out, and that after the training there will not be any untrained officer that could constitute a negative influence over the trained ones.

Cleen Foundation calls on the Governor of Imo State who has expressed a passionate commitment to promoting security in the state, and all stakeholders on security matters, including you distinguished ladies and gentlemen of the press, and indeed the entire people of Imo State, to support this very apposite programme of training put together by Cleen Foundation.  We also crave your support to our overall agenda in the Southeast, so that together we can make accountable governance and absolute security a reality not only in Imo State but in the Southeast at large.

Thank you for coming and God bless you.

Barr. Francis Chigozie Moneke, LLM (London)
Head, Owerri Office
Cleen Foundation


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