The whereabouts of the Commandant of the Peace Corps of Nigeria, PCN, Dickson Akoh, who was reportedly arrested by some security officials Tuesday night is still unknown.
It is yet unclear who the men that came to arrest him were as some reports claim they were operatives of the Department of State Security, DSS, while others say the operation was carried out by officers and men of the Nigerian Police.
Neither the Police nor the DSS has issued any official statement regarding the arrest.
Akoh was arrested shortly after the opening ceremony of the Corps’headquarters located at the Gwarinpa area of Abuja.
The ceremony was attended by many government functionaries including serving lawmakers; the Minister for Youth and Sports development, Solomon Dalung, sent a representative.
Narrating the incident to newsmen, a member of the PCN who was present at the time said: “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.”
A female member of the Corps was allegedly hit with the butt of a gun and had to be rushed to hospital for treatment.
Public Relations Officer of the PCN, Milicent Umoru, said that more than 40 of their members were also taken away by the security operatives adding that the commandant was still in detention.
It is worthy of note that both chambers of the National Assembly had passed the bill for the establishment of the Peace Corp. A harmonization committee of lawmakers is expected to be set up to look into the bill and then forward it to the President for signing into law.
But it is no secret that other security agencies, including the Police,the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC and the DSS are strongly against the creation of the Peace Corps.
The agencies had openly made their positions known, saying that there was no need for the corps and that it will only amount to duplication of duties.
But the Commandant had explained that the PCN is a youth organization under the Ministry of Sport and Youth Development, and its aim was to provide jobs for unemployed graduates, who are expected to maintain discipline in schools across the country.