National Commandant of the Nigeria Peace Corps, Dr. Dickson Akoh has said that he has no criminal record contrary to recent allegation by the Nigerian Police.
Nigerian Pilot recalls that during last week’s public hearing on a “Bill for an Act to establish the Nigeria Peace Corps, NPC, to Empower, Develop and Provide Alternative Employment for the Youth, to Facilitate Peace, Community Services, Nation-building and for Other Matter Related Therewith” 2015 (HB. 89), a representative of the Inspector-General of Police at the event, Cosmos Anyanwu said that the Nigeria Peace Corps had been accused of extortion, corruption and intimidation, adding that its national commandant had been severally accused of criminal activities.
Reacting to the accusation, Akoh said that neither him nor the corps had any criminal record.
He maintained that no member of the corps had indulged in any criminal activity and wondered why a police officer should come to a public hearing and accused him of having a criminal record even when the court had ordered the Nigeria Police to pay compensation for such unfounded allegation against him and the corps.
Akoh pointed out that even at the public hearing, the officer was immediately directed to withdraw the statement by the Committee Chairman on Interior, Hon. Jagaba Adams Jagaba.
It would be recalled that at the one day public hearing, the Nigeria Police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC kicked against the establishment of the Nigeria Peace Corps.
They argued that the proposed functions of the corps had been taken over by them.
But in his presentation, Akoh noted that in more developed economies, efforts were tailored towards the preoccupation of Nigerian youths in productive ventures where they could be economically useful to themselves and the society.
Akoh argued that the corps was not in any way a duplication of the Nigeria Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, adding that its core mandate was basically peace building and conflict resolution.
In his contribution, a human rights lawyer, Femi Falana was vehement that any objection to the establishment of Peace Corps was not in the interest of the nation.
He said that security agencies and police had tried several times to clamp them down, but said the court had always upheld its legitimacy in favour of the corps.
Falana observed that Peace Corps exits in over 80 countries in the world, including advanced countries like Canada and United States of America as well as in more than 25 countries in Africa.
The renowned lawyer said that the major prayer of the corps was for government to recognise the body and provide for it.
The Nigeria Peace Corps was established on July 10, 1998 in Kaduna state to train, educate and re-orient the youth as future leaders of the country. The core has been fighting to be recognised in Nigeria as a legal entity.
Meanwhile, the national commandant of the corps said it funds most of its activities through annual dues, membership drive, annual funding exercise and annual award programmes.
Akoh told House Press Corps recently that Article 20 of the enabling constitution allows the corps to fund its activities through such means.
He said the corps has the capacity to absorb up to 800,000 youths to man various schools and colleges across the country.
The national commandant stressed that if members of the corps were in place, the Chibok girls might not have been kidnapped, adding that its men would have promptly put a call through to the relevant authorities for action.
He further pointed out that the corps was not advocating for carrying of arms for its activities, adding that bearing arms was not the solution to curtailing insecurity in the country.

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