•Area Commanders, DPOs, others to be held responsible; culprits to face murder charges
•We’re working with Nigeria to end kidnappings – UK
•Soldiers cordon Zamfara community; kill bandits, arrest others
•Troops kill 27 Boko Haram terrorists in heavy gunfight, recover cache of weapons
By Emma Nnadozie, Crime Editor, Kingsley Omonobi, Emmanuel Elebeke, Joseph Erunke, Esther Onyegbula & Victor Arjiromanus
LAGOS—Acting Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, yesterday in Lagos, said that henceforth, the nation’s policemen will start using stun guns for routine patrols because the Police under the current leadership can no longer tolerate abuses associated with the Police. He spoke on the heels of killings by some policemen in Lagos and other parts of the country, recently.
Meanwhile, the British High Commission said that it was working with the Federal Government to end the scourge of kidnappings in the country.
The UK through the Administrative Assistant, Private Office and Political, British High Commission, Abuja, Wayne White, disclosed that the UK was aware of the widespread insecurity and killings in Nigeria and was doing a lot to provide technical assistance to Nigeria to combat the scourge.
Also, troops of the Nigerian Army and Cameroon Defence Force fighting to rid the North Eastern part of the country and fringes of Lake Chad of Boko Haram terrorists, have killed 27 of the terrorists in a heavy gun fight.
According to the Nigerian Army, at the end of the shoot-out, a cache of weapons capable of great destructive proportions including five Gun Trucks, two Anti-Aircraft Guns and two General Purpose Machine Guns among others were recovered from the felled terrorists.
How Arase introduced stun guns
It will be recalled that former IGP, Solomon Arase (retd), was first to introduce the concept of using stun guns in the Nigeria Police Force following outcry over cases of accidental discharge.
Aside introducing the concept, IGP Arase who was an apostle of community policing, procured the stun guns and requisite wherewithal necessary for their usage.
About 200 units of the stun guns which were bought by IGP Arase were supplied and distributed to Police Training institutions in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kaduna to train police personnel on their use.
He also introduced mental tests for police officers and personnel who would be allowed to carry guns and stay at strategic positions, a bit far off from those carrying stun guns in case of deadly armed robbery attacks.
The stun guns according to Vanguard’s findings are presently being kept at Police armoury at the Police Training School, Ikeja in Lagos State, the armouries in Port Harcourt and Kaduna.
Enough is enough —IGP
Giving the stern warning during a visit to Lagos State, following recent public outcry, the visibly angry IGP Adamu said: “I have already ordered that a signal be circulated to all police commands and formations in the country warning of dire consequences, against any personnel, that by their incorrigible acts, deviates from accepted police culture and values.
“It is with a deep sense of professional concern that I visit the Lagos State Police Command to address the personnel of the force in the state. This visit has become expedient in view of recent trend of unprofessional conduct by some personnel who in utter disregard for their professional training, international protocols, constitutional dictates, force policies and ethical standards, have continued to drag the force into acts that pitch it against the citizens we were engaged, paid and statutorily obliged to serve and protect.
“I must emphasise that enough is enough. The nation and indeed the police under the current leadership can no longer tolerate abuses associated with the police either in Lagos or any other part of the country. I have already ordered that a signal be circulated to all police commands and formations warning of dire consequences, against any personnel who by their incorrigible acts deviate from accepted police culture and values.
Police to use stun guns for patrols, low risk operations
“In the long term, rather than the use of firearms, we shall henceforth use technologies and weapon systems such as electro-muscular disruption technology which is commonly known as teaser or stun guns by police for routine patrol, arrest duties and other low risk operations as a strategic approach towards reducing incidents of fatalities associated with misapplication of lethal weapons by the police as first line of response to any threat.”
Lamenting that from January to April, 2019, Lagos has recorded four incidents of misuse of firearms which had resulted in extrajudicial killings of young citizens of the country and injury to others, he said “More worrisome is that two of these incidents occurred within the last two weeks. Aside negating our professional calling, extra-judicial acts of any description or level by any police personnel is an unacceptable anomaly that creates distrust and disdain between the citizens and their police and widen the trust gap between them.
“Most disturbing is that the fatalities that resulted from such indiscretional deployment of lethal force leave behind trails of unbearable eternal pains and sorrow within the families, friends and associates of the victim.”
Area Commanders, DPOs, Sectional heads to be held responsible
Condemning the act of police brutality and reckless killings, the IGP said sectional heads and Area commanders will henceforth, be held responsible when their men err.
He also warned that such personnel who engage in extrajudicial killing will be charged for murder.
He condoled with the families of victims of the recent incidents of misuse of firearms or other forms of abuse of power by identified police personnel in the state, adding that he shares in their grief.
“Second is to reassure citizens that as an institution, the Nigeria Police does not and will never condone any form of abuse of power, acts resulting in misuse of firearms, over zealousness and sundry unprofessional conducts by any member of the police regardless of his or her rank or position.
“We remain a disciplined organisation that strives to advance its covenant with the citizens in relation to protecting their lives and property and safeguarding them against any form of threat. We shall continue to provide the requisite leadership that will uphold and advance these sacred obligations and we shall do such in the most transparent responsible, responsive and accountable manner.
“I want to reinforce the extant force accountability policy which holds any officer professionally and criminally liable for the consequences of their actions, particularly, if such misuse of power resulted into the death, injury or indignity of citizens. Towards this end, I am sounding this note of warning loud and clear that henceforth, any police personnel that insists on being incorrigible by engaging in abuse of his or her powers or misuse his weapons with fatal outcomes in utter disregard for statutory provisions, will be arrested, investigated through our internal disciplinary machinery and if found culpable, shall be dismissed from service.
“In addition, such personnel will be charged to court for murder or sundry offences depending on his or her level of criminal liability in the instance. Furthermore, the line supervisor of such officers including the Area Commander, Divisional Police Officer or Sectional Head shall be held vicariously liable for lacking supervision and shall be similarly sanctioned. This is the force policy and no-one should be in doubt as to our strong will to enforce it,” he added.
We’re working with Nigerian to end kidnappings — UK
The British High Commission has said that it is working with Nigerian government to end the scourge of kidnapping in the country.
The United Kingdom through the administrative Assistant, Private office and Political, British High Commission, Abuja Nigeria, Wayne A. White, disclosed that the United Kingdom was aware of the widespread insecurity and killings in Nigeria and was doing a lot to provide technical assistance to Nigeria to combat the scourge.
This came in response to a Save Our Souls request made to the British government by civil rights organisation, HURIWA to provide technical assistance to Nigeria and indeed to mount pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari to confront the widening and increasing spectre of bloody and violent kidnappings by armed gangsters and attacks of communities by armed herdsmen/bandits all across the country.
In its response, the United kingdom wrote as follows: “Dear Emmanuel (of HURIWA). Thank you for your letter dated March 27, 2019.
“We note your concerns, including that of the increased rates of kidnapping. Please be assured that the British High Commission will continue to work with the government and people of Nigeria for the development of the country.”
Similarly, HURIWA said it wrote to United States of America; Germany; European Union and Australia to come to Nigeria’s aid.
HURIWA had in the letter it sent to the British government raised alarm that there was now widespread breakdown of law and order occasioned by the activities of dare devil armed kidnappers all across Nigeria.
In a letter by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, the Pro-democracy told Great Britain that: “The breakdown of law and order manifest more in the area of extensive and widening spectre of armed kidnapping all over the country.
“Citizens of Nigeria and foreigners who live and engage in legitimate businesses in Nigeria are no longer safe. They can just be picked up by armed kidnappers at any point in time. Kidnapping people in Nigeria now is as easy as walking into a supermarket and picking up a commodity of your choice.
“In Nigeria, nobody is safe unless those that carry arms like the security agencies and those who hold executive offices. The rest of the citizens of the country and even the foreigners including the Americans, European, British doing legitimate businesses and helping to grow our economy and even to help themselves are no longer safe because they can be kidnapped at any point in time.”
“We urge the international community to provide technical assistance to help the Nigerian Government to investigate if there are possible linkages between armed kidnappers and some members of security forces so that the network of the kidnappers can be broken and the menace checked without further waste of time and before many more Nigerians or foreigners are killed.”
“It is no longer the case of insecurity in the North East part of Nigeria. No part of Nigeria is safe anymore including North west, North central, South East, South South, South West.”
Soldiers cordon Zamfara community, kill many bandits, arrest others
Several armed bandits were reportedly killed on Sunday after Nigeria’s military launched an offensive in Tsanu community in Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
Residents said the soldiers came around 1 p.m., heavily armed, and reportedly cordoned the entry and exit points of the community before they started the operation.
“While some soldiers were manned at the entry and exit point of the community, some entered the community’s market square, targeting armed bandits who were walking freely with arms. They killed many, while others threw their rifles and fled.
“I cannot say exactly the number of armed bandits killed, but many of them were killed and others fled with bullets wounds. When the soldiers came, the bandits were easily identifiable because they were walking around clutching weapons,” a resident of the community, who requested not to be named, said.
According to him, “We saw four armed bandits that were arrested. One of them is a chemist in the community who was allegedly providing medication for the armed bandits.”
Troops kill 27 Boko Haram terrorists in heavy gunfight
A statement by Col Sagir Musa, Acting Director, Army Public Relations giving details of the confrontation said, “Troops of Sector 1 Operation Lafiya Dole, in a joint clearance operations with Cameroon Defence Force, on April 13, 2019 had a fierce encounter with Boko Haram terrorists at the Northern part of Wulgo, Tumbuma, Chikun Gudu and Bukar Maryam villages.
“During the operations, 27 terrorists were sent to permanent discomforting sleep. The following items were recovered: five Gun Trucks, several Motor Cycles, five AK 47 rifles, one Automatic Revolver Galil Rifle, one G3 Rifle, two General Purpose Machine Gun , two Anti Aircraft Guns and four Rocket Propelled Gun Tubes.
“Others are one PK Machine Gun, one M21 Rifle, one Locally Made Dane Gun, five Rocket Propelled Gun Tubes Bombs, 1000 Assorted rounds of different calibre ammunition, 5fiveAK 47 Magazines, several Links of 12.7 MM, one Land Cruiser Buffalo, oneNissan GT, one Land Cruiser destroyed, one flag and a Grinding Machine.
“Coordinated military operation is ongoing especially in the fringes of Gombaru – Ngala and surrounding areas to deal with the fleeing bandits running out from Multi National Joint Task Force (Op Yancin Tafki ) onslaught on their hideouts,” he added.
Col Musa said there was no casualty on the side of the Nigerian and Cameroonian Forces.