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Again, Police in Accidental Discharge, Kill Two, Injure Others

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 Acting IGP, Mohammed Abubakar 

By Chiemelie Ezeobi

“Once more, the Police have killed innocent persons in circumstances that are far from crime control. Although it little shocks Nigerians anymore that the Police killed innocent persons, yet, it deepens the slur to which the image of the Police Force is often dragged each time it occurs. And many are the times indeed.

In a recent incident, four policemen attached to the State Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), were said to have been more than tipsy, having spent hours carousing at a Night Club, Monalido Club, Kalakuta road, off Creek Road, in the Apapa district of Lagos State.

In foggy circumstances, the Police men who were said to have escorted a certain sailor, one Captain George¸ to the club last Saturday, as they usually did in the past, had gone into the club with their loaded weapons.  The police officers are two corporals and two inspectors.

Eyewitness account said the Lagos socialite had gone to the club to unwind with his escorts; and stayed till the wee hours of the next day however, as they were about to leave, the escorts were said to have fired their guns purportedly into the sky in sheer mark of revelry, having lost full control of their emotions.

The shooting surprised the club members and many of them began to run helter skelter for shelter from the flying bullets. But two persons, one Azubuike Benedict and a lady simply identified as Joy were not as lucky as the bullets hit them on the stomach and neck respectively.  Others were inured. One of them, Darlington, received a bullet on his knee.

THISDAY further gathered that the police officers were fond of shooting sporadically into the air to celebrate while their boss sprays money on fun seekers anytime they came to the club to unwind. Observers are thus worried at the flippant excuse at which live bullets are expended by policemen. Another question raised by this incident is on why the police would go into a club with their guns when they face the danger of being inebriated?

Speaking to THISDAY Thursday in Apapa, friends of Azubuike called on the appropriate authorities to see that justice is served. Narrating the scenario, one of the deceased’s friends, Deji Nathaniel, said he was hanging out with Azubuike when another mutual friend showed up and asked them out to Monalido to unwind. It turned out to be Azubuike’s last outing ever. Azubuike hails from Kwale in Delta State.

According to Nathaniel, the 39-year-old father of Esther (6-years-old) had just come back two months ago from Italy where he resides.  Described by friends as an all round entertainer and mentor, the death has shocked all who knew him.

Nathaniel said: “We were all together that day when I stepped out. The next thing I knew, a lady rushed to me and told me that Zuby (their pet name for him) had been shot dead.  When I got to our spot, I was told he had been taken to Lagoon Hospital for treatment.

“I rushed there only to see Zuby lying in a pool of his own blood. Even though he was in pains, he was still talking. He asked me to hold his hand which I did and was assuring him that he would survive. He complained that his stomach was hurting him because he was shot in the ribs.”

Nathaniel said he held the hand of the deceased until he was rolled into the theatre for surgery and about five hours later, they got a call to announce his death.

“When we took him to the hospital, they demanded for N1million before treatment would be carried out. We quickly rallied round and raised N800, 000 before treatment commenced.

“First they gave him four pints of blood but it obviously was not enough as the hospital told us that they needed six more pints. We went around to different hospitals to get that. It is painful that despite all our efforts, Zuby still died.”

According to Nathaniel, the said Captain George had stormed the club with his ash coloured Toyota Forerunner Jeep with registration number FST950AJ while his escorts were in a white Hilux truck.

“We want the authorities to do something about this matter and not sweep it under the carpet because this has been Captain George’s modus operandi. He comes into the club with his escorts and after they have enjoyed themselves, he would throw wads of cash in the air while his escorts will also shoot into the air in joyous mood.”

One of the victims, who was identified as Darlington, who was lucky to have survived the gunshot on his knee was brought to THISDAY after treatment to narrate his account.

According to him, they were catching their fun when the stillness of the night was broken by sporadic gunshots. He said while the fun seekers quickly dispersed, he took cover but was hit all the same.

He demanded that, “the police officers who did this should be brought to book since they are known. I was lucky the bullet did not kill me.”

Also speaking to THISDAY, one of the petty-traders around the club precinct, one Gbenga, claimed the policemen were drunk and as result fired their guns even though no one threatened them or their boss.

He said: “Captain George is a very popular face at the Monalido Club and so that day, he had come as usual to the club and as they were leaving, his police escorts shot sporadically into the air. The bullets killed two people instantly and injured so many people.”

When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Joseph Jaiyeoba, a superintendent of police, had confirmed the incident but said he could not say if the policemen were drunk as alleged.

He said: “The incident happened quite alright but we do not know if the policemen were drunk. From what I deduced from the information reaching me, the shots were accidental.

“The police officer in question tried to shoot his gun up in the air but his gun jammed and hit his hand thereby bringing the gun down. It was in the process that two people were killed.”

Jaiyeoba said investigations are going to ascertain what truly happened as well as secure the arrest of the two fleeing officers.

The two arrested officers have since been handed over to the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Mr. Muhammed Muazu, of Apapa Police Division.

It would be recalled that on assumption of office, the acting IGP, Mohammed Abubakar, as part of his reformatory agenda for the police, had ordered the withdrawal of all approved police escorts from private individuals and corporate bodies across the country.”

Source: Thisday Newspapers

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FG to recruit 280,000 policemen

 

Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt Caleb Olubolade (retd.)Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt Caleb Olubolade (retd.)
| credits: File copy

By Adelani Adepegba

“THE government is to recruit 280,000 police officers, Minister of Police Affairs, Capt. Caleb Olubolade (retd.), has said.

Speaking in Abuja on Tuesday, Olubolade, who put the number of the country’s serving police officers at 370,000, said there were plans to increase it to 650,000.

He said while 90 per cent of the policemen would be trained in modern policing tactics and weapons handling.

According to the minister, the move is aimed at reforming the police and making it more responsive to meet the security challenges facing the country.

He said modern digital trunking communication network and equipment for tracking kidnappers and other criminals had been acquired for the police.

Olubolade said about 1110 policemen had been trained in counter-terrorism and rapid response programme, basic intelligence course, patrol duties and operation course.

Others are traffic management course, train-the-trainer, intelligence lead surveillance course  curriculum development and effective leadership in public protection, intervention, mobilisation and sensitisation training.

According to him, the government has provided about nine Bell helicopters for the police as well as some quantity of arms and ammunitions including various types of Amoured Personnel carriers and body protection armour (Bullet proof vests).

The minister stated that the police received fund from the Education Trust Fund for implementation of various projects at the Police Academy, Kano to the tune of N580m.

Olubolade stated that in 2011, the police recorded 879 robbery cases and 366 kidnappings while 1,609 suspects were arrested and 766 firearms and 31, 175 ammunition recovered from the suspects.

He said, “Boko Haram insurgence is predominant in the northern states of the country; 118 Boko Haram attacks were reported in Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, Niger, Yobe, Plateau States and the FCT where 308 victims lost their lives and 33 suspects arrested.”

Source: The Punch Newspapers

Police kill four highway robbers in Ogun

By Segun Olatunji, Chukwudi Akasike, and Simon Utebor

“Police  in Ogun State  on Tuesday said  they killed   four robbery  suspects and recovered  three pistols  after foiling their attempt to rob  travellers on the LagosIbadan Expressway on Tuesday.

Police spokesman for the state, Mr.  Muyiwa Adejobi,  said   in Abeokuta  that the incident took place at about 9am at Fidiwo junction along the expressway.

Adejobi said, “An 18-seater Hummer bus with  number plate Abuja BRA 445 GWA  travelling with 18 passengers  from the North  to Ibadan on getting to Fidiwo was attacked by three of the passengers.

“One of them brought out a locally made pistol and hijacked the vehicle and  diverted it into the bush where other members of the gang were waiting for them.

“An individual on the expressway,  who saw the bus being  driven into the bush,  alerted the Divisonal Police Officer of Ishara Division about the attack.”

Adejobi added that the DPO, Haruna Bashir, led his men into the bush where they saw the suspects robbing the passengers.

He said the suspects  fled  on sighting the policemen, adding that four of the hoodlums who engaged the police in a gunfire died  on the way to the hospital for treatment while the others escaped with bullet wounds.

Adejobi assured the public that police would always provide adequate security for them.

Meanwhile,  a policeman was reportedly shot and two rifles stolen in a failed bank robbery attempt in Port Harcourt, River State on Tuesday.

It was learnt that the suspects stormed an old generation bank in the city at about 2am and headed for the strongroom.

However, one of the policemen on guard was said to have fired intermittently at the hoodlums, preventing them from reaching the strongroom.”

Source : The Punch Newspaper

Police Arrest Robbers, Cable Thieves, Recover Arms

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Acting IG Abubakar
By Ernest Chinwo and Chiemelie Ezeobi
“Lagos State Police Command Tuesday said it had arrested some armed robbery suspects and cable thieves within Victoria Island, Surulere and Satellite Police Stations, recovering arms, ammunition and stolen cables respectively.
In Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, came a report that a policeman escaped death by the whiskers Tuesday, when armed robbers stormed an old generation bank in Eligbolo, Obio/Akpor local government area of the state, seizing two rifles from policemen.
But confirming the arrest, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Joseph Jaiyeoba, a superintendent of police (SP), said at about 4p.m, a team of policemen attached to Victoria Island Police Station intercepted an armed robbery operation in their jurisdiction.
He said the robbers had attempted to rob a man of his vehicle close to the 1004 Housing Estate before the police chanced on them.
While other members of the gang fled upon sighting the police, one Gbenga Otenaike, a resident of No.20, Thomas Adeniji Adele road, was however arrested  with a toy pistol found on him.
Also, another armed robbery suspect who was identified as Uche Obi was arrested and arms recovered from him by police operatives from the Satellite Police Station.
The spokesman said the suspect were arrested by operatives who were on a stop and search duty at Maza-Maza motor park along the Mile 2 Badagry Expressway. During the search, three locally made barrel pistols with three live cartridges were found and recovered from him.
In a related development, five persons were also arrested at Alaka Bus Stop by operatives attached to the Surulere Police Station in connection with NITEL cable vandalisation.
The suspects, one Gafaru Gbadege, Morufu Ogunyinka, Aminu Taofeek, Kazeem Lawal and Kazeem Soweta, were said to be conveying the stolen cables in a commercial Volkswagen bus when they were caught.
Jaiyeoba said the three cases had been transferred to State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti, Yaba, for further investigation before prosecution by the appropriate authorities.
Meanwhile, the policeman was shot on the leg while the robbers dispossessed security operatives on duty of their rifles during the operation.
Witnesses said the hoodlums forcefully entered the premises of the bank at about 2am yesterday in an attempt access the bank’s vault.
The state Commissioner of Police Commissioner, Mr. Mohammed Indabawa, confirmed the incident, but said the robbers did not succeed in the operation.
Speaking later during an interactive session with newsmen in Port Harcourt, Indabawa explained that one of the policemen on duty at the bank was able to prevent the armed robbers from gaining access to the bank vaults.
“There was an attempt by a group of armed robbers to rob the bank at about 2pm on Monday, but they (hoodlums) did not succeed in getting to the vaults, but they took away two of our arms and we are investigating the matter.
In another development, one person was confirmed dead and another injured in a fatal accident along the Oshodi-Apapa Expre-ssway, involving a heavy duty vehicle (truck) and a motorcycle.
According to the report, the truck’s yet-to-be identified driver with registration number XL 990 EPE had hit the motorcyclist, one Eric Njoku with a pillion and he died on his way to the hospital.”

Source: Thisday Newspaper

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