Operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS), Police and the military on Tuesday night, arrested the National Commandant of Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN), Mr. Dickson Akoh.
According to SaharaReporters, the arrest took place shortly after the ceremony to open the new PCN National Headquarters, an event attended by senators, representatives of the Minister of Sport and Youth Development and other dignitaries.
It was gathered that DSS officials, accompanied by police and military officers, invaded the new headquarters building and ordered the commandant to follow them.
An officer, who witnessed the incident, told SaharaReporters that the DSS, Police, and military arrived while a live band was entertaining the guests.
“We suddenly saw a detachment of armed security operatives asking everybody to lie face down. They asked the commandant to follow them, and he obeyed, but some of the officers said that they want to follow the commandant and the security operatives started beating up everybody, including state commandants,” the officer told SaharaReporters on the condition of anonymity.
One of the assaulted PCN officers was a female. She was repeatedly hit with a gun butt until she lost consciousness. She was later rushed to the National Hospital.
PCN Public Relations Officer, Milicent Umoru, said over 40 officers of the corps were taken away by the security operatives. She also disclosed that Mr. Akoh is still in detention in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command.
But Mr. Anwuri Manzal, FCT Police Command Public Relations Officer, told the news website on the telephone that inquiries about Mr. Akoh should be made at the Force Headquarters. Phone calls to Mr. Jimoh Moshood, Force Public Relations Officer, were answered by an officer who said the Police spokesman was in a meeting.
A bill for an act establishing is waiting for presidential assent, following passage by the Senate and House of Representatives. During the public hearing on the bill by the National Assembly, the Nigerian Police Force was vehemently opposed to the establishment of PCN, arguing that it will amount to an unnecessary duplication of Police duties.The PCN is a youth organization under the Ministry of Sport and Youth Development.
It was conceived as a scheme to provide jobs for unemployed graduates, who are expected maintain discipline in schools across the country.