At least two personnel of the Nigerian Peace Corps were confirmed
injured after security operatives stormed their office late Tuesday.
Dickson Akoh, National Commandant of the Corps, and about 40 other
national executives from across the country were also taken away to an
unknown destination, Peace Corps officials said.
Several witnesses account, mostly from Peace Corps officials who said
they were present during the operation, said the raid was a combined
operation of the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigerian Army and the
Directorate of State Security [DSS]
The arrest came weeks after the Nigerian Senate and the House of
Representatives harmonised the Nigerian Peace Corps Bill to give the
group, which had operated as a volunteer organisation for 18 years,
It was further learnt that the SSS and police submitted memoranda
to the National Assembly against the establishment of the Peace Corps,
but the lawmakers went ahead with the passage of the bill, anyway.
The bill is expected to be forwarded to President Muhammadu Buhari for
his assent, although it is not clear if the president will support the
creation of another paramilitary agency.
It was not immediately clear if the arrests had anything to do with
security agencies’ opposition to the legalisation of the Peace Corps.
The raid occurred around 11:30 p.m. late Tuesday when Mr. Akoh was
holding a meeting with national executives of the Corps who were in
Abuja for the commissioning of a new national headquarters in Utako
“It was around 11: 30 last night when were saw men from the police,
Army and the SSS at our new office.
“They said the Commissioner of Police (FCT Command) sent them to
arrest our commandant. But he explained to them that he already had a
pending appointment with the Inspector-General of Police for 9:00 a.m.
Wednesday,” one Peace Corps official said.
The officer said the police team was led by M.D. Garba, an assistant
commissioner of police.
A witness in the area said she saw soldiers taking strategic positions
around the premises. She said the soldiers were led by a major and
they came in three Army vans.
“SSS operatives also came there in their own vehicle,” she added.
The Nigeria Police on Wednesday provided reasons why it raided the
headquarters of the Nigerian Peace Corps and arrested some officials.
Mr. Moshood said such actions violated a 2013 gazette of the federal
government that banned the groups and ordered them to cease
Read the full statement below:
1. The Nigeria Police Force in joint operations with the Personnel of
the Military and Department of State Service commenced yesterday 28th
February, 2017, operations to halt and rid the country of
illegal/unlawful security outfits constituting National Security
Threat and Threat to the protection of life and property of Nigerians
across the country.
2. Credible intelligence reports at the disposal of the Force
revealed that some of these illegal Security outfits have started
acquiring weapons and conducting covert military training in different
locations across the country.
3. It is evident that in 2013, Federal Republic of Nigeria official
Gazette dissolved and 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 outfits.
4. However, it has been observed that Nigerian Maritime Security
Agency NMSA, Peace Corps of Nigeria, Maritime Security Agency and
National Task Force to Combat Illegal Importation/Smuggling of Arms
and Ammunition, Light and Chemical/Weapons are still operating outside
their mandates and purposes for which they were registered by the
Corporate Affairs Commission.
5. For avoidance of doubt the Peace Corps of Nigeria under the
leadership of one Akor Dickson was registered as an NGO but with
brazen impunity, total disregard to the laws of the Federal Republic
of Nigeria, opened illegal training camps in some States of the
Country, where thousands of youths and other persons without proper
background check and screening are receiving converts Military
6. It is consequent upon the above and the veracity of intelligence
reports from reliable sources, indicating that subversive
elements/groups and terrorist affiliates have infiltrated the Peace
Corps of Nigeria secretly to ruin and destroy the existing peace
currently being enjoyed in the country that the Peace Corps of Nigeria
secret training camps were closed down in the FCT, Kwara and Niger
7. During the preliminary investigation into the activities of the
Peace Corps of Nigeria, it was discovered that personnel of the Corps
are extorting money from unwary youths throughout the Country under
the guise of recruitment; amounts ranging from Fifty Thousand Naira
(#50,000) to Hundreds of Thousands of Naira are being paid by innocent
Nigerians to the Peace Corps of Nigeria. Once you paid the money you
are automatically recruited. 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.
8. The Peace Corps of Nigeria has unlawfully turned itself into a
security outfit without authorization and establishment by the Federal
Government of Nigeria, as such, have deviated from the purposes for
which they were registered as a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) by
the Corporate Affairs Commission.
9. The Corps has no legal authority to wear uniform, 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, Military and other paramilitary organizations without the
approval of Federal Government of Nigeria.
10. The Nigeria Police Force and other Security Agencies will not
fold their arms and allow lawlessness to be unleashed on the society.
11. It is in furtherance of the above that the Nigeria Police Force,
the personnel of the Military, Department of State Service, had in a
joint security operations swooped on the Head office of the Peace
Corps of Nigeria on the 28th February, 2017 situated opposite Jabi
Lake, Utako District, sealed off the building and effected the arrest
of one Mr. Akor Dickson, the Leader of Peace Corps of Nigeria and
Forty Nine (49) others (on the attached list) for investigation in the
interest of public safety and security. They will be arraigned in
court on completion of investigation.
12. This joint security operations will be implemented throughout the
country 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
13. Parents and Guardians are advised to prevail on their children
and wards to return home from the illegal military camps opened in
some states of the country by the Peace Corps of Nigeria as the
activities of the Corps in totality is unlawful.
At least two personnel of the Nigerian Peace Corps were confirmed