CP IDOWU OWOHUNWA SWINGS INTO ACTION; DECLARES ‘LAGOS, THE PRIDE OF THE COUNTRY’ • Tells Lagosians to shun ‘siege mentality’, promises to ‘be manifestly hard on criminals’
By Oki Samson, Trek Africa Newspaper
CP Idowu Owohunwa
Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre and Africa’s 5th largest economy, Lagos is again blessed with a new Commissioner of Police. Following the line of the previous 37 COMPOLs is the skillful, scholarly Police Officer, CP Idowu Owohunwa,FBINAA.
For the records, Owohunwa holds the singular honour of being the only officer in the history of the Nigeria Police to have been appointed and re-appointed as the Principal Staff Officer to three different Inspectors General of Police (PSO-IGP) over a period of almost six years. Trek Africa Newspaper can report that he served as Principal Staff Officer to IGP Solomon Arase (Rtd), IGP Mohammed Abubakar Adamu (Rtd) and incumbent IGP Usman Alkali Baba. He was on this capacity when he was deployed as Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command.
CP Idowu Owohunwa was commissioned into the Nigeria Police Force as a Cadet Officer (Course 19/1996) on 15th August, 1996. This was after he graduated with a Second Class Upper Division Degree from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and also emerged as the Overall Best Graduating Cadet Officer in Professional Studies at the Police Academy, Kano.
Widely trained in Nigeria, USA, UK, Israel and Italy, Trek Africa Newspaper can report that Owohunwa also holds a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice Studies and Policing from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom obtained under the British Government-owned Chevening Scholarship. He holds a Diploma in National Security Studies from the Centre for Strategic Studies, Galilee International Management Institute, Kibutz Mizra, Israel and a Certificate in Terrorism Financing Investigation (TFI) from the London Metropolitan Police. He additionally holds a Diploma in Cybercrime Studies from the Virginia, USA.
L-R: Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, CP Idowu Owohunwa; Immediate Past Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command/AIG Zone 2, AIG Abiodun Alabi; Board Member, Lagos State Security Trust Fund, LSSTF, Dr. Ayo Ogunsan; DC Operations, DCP Isa Grema; DC Admin, DCP Bassey Ewah and DC SCID, DCP Waheed Ayilara during the arrival of CP Owohunwa as CP Lagos Command
Trek Africa Newspaper gathered that CP Idowu Owohunwa is a graduate and Associate of the professionally prestigious Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Academy, Quantico, Virginia, USA. He has also attended the Global Peace Operations Initiative Course in Vicenza, Italy; US State Department sponsored Law Enforcement Executive Development Course in Gaborone, Botswana; the British Council Interaction Leadership Programme (2nd Cohort) for high-flying and young professionals; and the Intelligence Analysis and Intelligence-Led Policing Courses.
Upon taking the reins of power at Nigeria Police, Lagos State Command on 14th February 2023, the native of Kabba, Kogi state, CP Idowu Owohunwa elicited the support of Lagosians in order to achieve safety and security of all. He shared: ‘This is Lagos. This is the pride of the country. The plans may the lofty. The professional experience to drive it may be rich. The passion to deliver may be strong. But without the buy-in of strategic stakeholders and all spectrum of Lagosians, the journey to policing excellence may be rough and bumpy. In this process, therefore, I solicit the support, guidance, and trust of all Lagosians.’
‘I will remain open to constructive criticisms, inputs, pieces of advice and above all, critical criminal information that will aid our proactive actions in crime management. It is my believe that there must come a time in the lives of a people that they should resolve to trust, work together, and march hand in hand to confront our common enemy, the criminal elements that are threatening our common values for peace, safety, and security. The time is now for Lagos and Lagosians and I am determined to provide the police leadership that will accelerate this process.’
‘The era of what we often refer to in police parlance as the ‘siege mentality’, the ‘we’ and ‘them’ syndrome in which the citizens and the police see themselves as enemies should now be discarded. Ushered in should be the era of ‘we the People’ and ‘our Police’ against ‘them’ the criminals. We should be reminded that a crack in the relationship between the citizens and their police only serves to advance the interest of the criminals to the disadvantage of the citizens. I promise to change this narrative with the support of all of you seated here and all Lagosians’, Trek Africa Newspaper gathered.
L-R: PPRO Lagos Command, SP Benjamin Hundeyin; CP Lagos Command, CP Idowu Owohunwa and Immediate Past Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command/AIG Zone 2, AIG Abiodun Alabi
The new Lagos CP used the occasion to address the officers under his Command to bring in their A-Game or risk getting the big stick. ‘My dear officers, our bond with Lagosians is to keep them safe and secure. Lagosians want this done within the context of rule of law, professionalism, and utmost respect for their fundamental Human Rights. With the grace of Almighty God, the perfector of all human plans and with the invaluable support of the government, good people of this State and all officers of the Command, I promise to work assiduously to provide the requisite leadership to Lagos State Police Command in a manner that will prioritise discipline, training and capacity development, professionalism, and public accountability in a manner that will leave the government and Lagosians in no doubts of any sort of our renewed commitment to policing them within their expectations.’
‘I promise that under my watch, I will be hard on deviants within the fold of the State Police Command who continually bring us into disrepute and pitch us against the citizens we are paid to serve and protect. Such elements are encouraged to embrace the tenets of self-discipline in the common good or be ready to for the consequences. An undisciplined officer is a threat not only to the policing family but to the community and the State he serves.’
‘Hence, my leadership will be founded firmly and strictly on discipline and professionalism, and you should please all return to your jurisdictions and deepen the lecture on this to your men. For as often said, to be forewarned is to be forearmed. So let me sound this warning as loudly and clearly as possible. If you perform your duties within acceptable ethical and professional standards, you shall have my back in the line of your duties. But if you exceed the permissible ethical and professional bounds, you shall be dealt with firmly. Let no officer be in doubt on this in relation to my leadership.’
CP Idowu Owohunwa addressing the press during his taking-over as CP Lagos.
On the upcoming elections, he revealed: ‘In the interim, we must be reminded that the immediate task we must deal with has to do with the upcoming General Elections as they affect Lagos State. The outgoing Commissioner of Police has briefed me in detail on the strategies and Action Plans for the exercise. As we commence the process of giving effect to these plans, I wish to assure Lagosians of our firm resolve and full preparedness of the Lagos State Police Command to ensure that the process is peaceful, secure, and credible. Our operations shall also be conducted within the dictates of the Revised Code of Conduct for Police Officers on Election Security Duty which was recently developed by the Inspector General of Police and distributed to all State Police Commands including Lagos State.’
‘I, however, call on all the electorates to cooperate with us and exercise their franchise within the ambits of the law in the electoral process as the Command is committed to identifying, isolating, and dealing decisively with any person or group that intends to put our resolve to ensure peace within the electoral process to test. In this regard, while electoral adversaries will be brought to justice in the swiftest manner, peace-loving and law-abiding electorates will be duly protected, and the electoral space fully policed for this purpose. To this end, I will soon embark on duty tour of police Commands and all strategic partners with the aim of galvanizing all spectrum in the State to our broad law enforcement vision and mission. The duty tour to your jurisdictions may be informal, impromptu, or unannounced. I, therefore, advise you to ensure that you provide leadership that will not expose your Area Commands or Division to lapses that could cause you some consequences.’
L-R: Board Member, LSSTF, Dr. Ayo Ogunsan with CP Lagos Command, CP Idowu Owohunwa
Married to another scholar, Dr. (Mrs) Folayemi Owohunwa from Ikorodu, CP Idowu Owohunwa is an officer with flair for intellectual engagements.
Trek Africa Newspaper can report that his researched and published works include ‘Intelligence-Led Policing’ (Published in ‘The Monograph of Criminal Investigation’); ‘Anatomy of Police Corruption’ (Published in ‘Policing Nigeria in the 21st Century); ‘Deconstructing the Criminal Justice System, Policing and Police Accountability Process’ and ‘Private Security Sector in the Emerging National Security Architecture’ (both of which were published in Internal Security, Criminal Justice, and the Police in 2020). He has also undertaken an ‘A-graded’ Research on ‘Miscarriage of Justice and the Nigeria Police’ as a Postgraduate Student at the University of Leeds, UK.