The operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS), in company of the police and military, on Tuesday night, arrested the National Commandant of Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN), Mr. Dickson Akoh and over 45 other members of the Corps.
Speaking about the incident to pressmen, PCN Public Relations Officer, Milicent Umoru, said over 40 officers of the corps were arrested by the operatives who were accompanied by the police and army, while Mr. Akoh is still in detention in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command.
Another member of the corps, who witnessed the incident, but pleaded to be nameless 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.”
He also said that “One of the assaulted officers was a female. She was repeatedly hit with a gun butt until she lost consciousness. She was later rushed to the National Hospital.”
It would be recalled, there had been reports of confrontations between the PCN and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Osun in January to which the Defence Corps, through its Spokesperson, Mr Emmanuel Okeh came out to deny.
Recall also that the police later shut down the Peace Corps’ training camp in Kwara state, saying it was an illegal camp.
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.