Sanwo-Olu’s confrontation with CSP calls for Nigeria’s restructuring – SAN

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A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa says Tuesday’s confrontation between Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos and a Chief Superintendent of Police further showed why Nigeria should be restructured.

He said it further magnified the clamour for state policing.

Recall a video went viral on Tuesday which showed Sanwo-Olu and the CSP, Abimbola Oyewole,  having a face-off after the latter refused the governor’s order to defy

The incident occurred at the Magodo Phase II, where Sanwo-Olu visited with his team in response to protests by residents against continuous presence of armed policemen in the estate.

However, Oyewole said he could not obey the governor’s directive to leave with his men because he was there on the orders of the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba; as well as the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN).

The police were said to have been stationed at the estate to protect some landgrabbers and members of a family which reportedly wanted to demolish buildings in the estate in execution of a Supreme Court judgement.

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Reacting, Adegboruwa said, “In a federation, the governor should have complete territorial control of the state where he has been elected to govern. The difference between the governor and the Chief Superintendent of Police is in the mandate of the people; the governor was elected as the representative of the people whereas the police officer is part of the servant and people who serve the collective aspirations of our people.

“To that extent, it should not have been openly possible for us to have a situation where in the public glare the police defy the chief public officer of the state.

“I believe that the governor was not well-advised to embark on open confrontation with the police knowing the constitutional limitations that hinder his directives or operational instructions to police officers who are not directly under him.

“There should have been caution on both sides; there ought not to have been an open confrontation between the governor and the police because these are issues we have known since 1999 that the constitution has more or less stripped the governors of any powers in terms of control of security. So, to make such appeals to sentiments was not totally commended on the part of his excellency, with all due respect.

“But having said that, it addresses the need for us to rejig the constitution and work out a proper Federation. I do not support in any case that the governor should be helpless in containing crisis in a state.”

“The 1999 Constitution tells a lie against the people of Nigeria when it claims that we are running a Federation but strips the Governor of a State of powers over security.

“In the final analysis, only restructuring can save this nation. Those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable.”

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