Tuesday 28th March, 2017
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Illegal Recruitment: DSS, Police detain Peace Corps Commandant, 49 others

Illegal Recruitment: DSS, Police detain Peace Corps Commandant, 49 others

Barely 24 hours after the Peace Corps of Nigeria commissioned its national headquarters complex at the Jabi area of the Federal Capital Ter­ritory (FCT), its leaders and key employees have been arrested by security agents.
Those detained by the Police and the Department of State Ser­vices (DSS) are the Commandant, Dickson Akoh and 49 others. They were paraded by the Nige­ria Police High Command before journalists in Abuja on Wednes­day for allegedly operating an il­legal security outfit.
The police also accused the commandant of the Corps of il­legal recruitment and sealed up the office.
The Force Spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, said that their arrest was the outcome of a joint oper­ation between the Police, the mil­itary and the DSS.
The suspects included a breastfeeding mother who la­mented that the Police had turned down her pleas to allow her go and take care of her baby.
Akor, however, denied the claim by the police that his group operates an illegal security outfit, stressing they have not posted any of their members to any securi­ty beat.
He noted that his group, be­ing a Non-Governmental Organ­isation (NGO), is recognised by the Federal Government, the Af­rican Union and the United Na­tions (UN).
Akor explained that his group has been probed by anti-corrup­tion agencies in the country and have not found him wanting on any allegation of defrauding in­nocent Nigerians.
He stressed that the mon­ies members of his group pay is strictly for training kits.
However, while giving fur­ther explanations on why the leaders of the group were arrest­ed, Moshood said: “During the preliminary investigation into the activities of the Peace Corps of Nigeria, it was discovered that personnel of the Corps are ex­torting unwary youths through­out the country under the guise of recruitment.
“Amounts ranging from N50,000 to N100,000 are being paid by innocent Nigerians to the Peace Corps of Nigeria. Once you paid the money you are automat­ically recruited,” he said.
Moshood called on all those who paid money to the Peace Corps to report to the nearest police station.
“Anyone who must have paid money under any pretence to the Peace Corps of Nigeria should re­port their case at the nearest Po­lice Station in where they are across the country.
“The Peace Corps of Nigeria has unlawfully turned itself into a security outfit without author­isation and establishment by the Federal Government of Nigeria, as such, have deviated from the purposes for which they were reg­istered as an NGO by the Corpo­rate Affairs Commission.
“The Corps has no legal au­thority to wear uniforms, pa­rade itself as security outfit, post their personnel on guard duties, and use ranking, insignia, badg­es of rank which are semblance of that of the Police, the Military and other paramilitary organisations without the approval of Federal Government of Nigeria,” he said.
He vowed that these joint se­curity operations will be imple­mented throughout the country “in order to halt the illegal activ­ities of all these proscribed ille­gal security outfits such as Nige­rian Maritime Security Agency (NMSA), Nigerian Merchant Navy Corps and the Nigerian Merchant Navy Petroleum Se­curity and Safety, Peace Corps of Nigeria and other quasi illegal se­curity groups.”
Meanwhile, the Corps Public Relation Officer, Milicent Umo­ru, who confirmed the arrest to newsmen in Abuja, said that the Commandant and 40 officers were arrested by DSS, the Police and the Nigerian Army.
She said that Akoh was de­tained in the Federal Capital Ter­ritory (FCT) Police Command.

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