Nigerian cop, CSP Catherine Ugorji selected for UN Police officer of the year award

Catherine Ekwutosi Ugorji, a Chief Superintendent in the Nigeria Police Force, has been selected for the United Nations (UN) woman police officer of the year award.

Ugorji, who is serving under the UN multidimensional integrated stabilisation mission in Mali, was recognised for her exemplary leadership in reducing crimes in the country.

Her leadership roles in tactical operations and best practices in policing to maintain peace in the region was commended by officials of the UN.

“Congratulations to Chief Superintendent Catherine Ugorji, of the Nigerian police, serving with @UN_MINUSMA who has been selected by the @UN as one of two runners-up for the prestigious UN Woman Police Officer of the Year award for 2020,” the UN in Nigeria wrote in a post on Twitter.

“Catherine Ugorji’s actions and words exemplifies the best of United Nations policing.

“The UN Police Advisor @LuisCarrilhoPC described Ugorji’s leadership of three Formed Police Units in Gao as remarkable. Her tactical operations have been instrumental in reducing crime in the area, in support of the Malian security forces and the host population.”
A crisis had erupted in Mali after a court nullified the results of 31 seats in the country’s April parliamentary elections; the court had also awarded victory to other contenders for the position.

A resistance group, M5, claimed the decision of the court was influenced by then president of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Eventually, there was a coup in August 2020, leading to Keita’s resignation hours after he was arrested alongside other high-ranking officials.

The coup leaders, identified as the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, later declared their intention to form a civilian transitional government.

Ba N’Daou, Mali’s defence minister, was named president of the country’s new transitional government in September 2020.

It was learnt that 1,300 UN policewomen deployed in UN peacekeeping operations, 21 were nominated for the award.

Catherine Ugorji joined the Nigerian Police in 2003, and has served as Criminal Investigator from the local to regional level, Child Protection Officer, Divisional Crime Officer up to Acting Deputy Commander of the Ogudu Police Division in Lagos.

Her other UN deployment was with the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) from 2006-2007, where she served as a planning officer for FPU operations.

The UN selection of CSP Ugorji is coming at a time many Nigerians took to the streets to protest against police brutality and extortions, leading to state governors to set up judicial panels of enquiries to look into their activities over the years.

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