ENUGU MASSACRE: POLICE NABS 5 SUSPECTS; AS ARASE CRIES OUT OVER REMOVAL OF N1.9billion POLICE FUNDS OVER GARNISHEE AWARDS.
The Nigeria Police Force disclosed on Wednesday that it has arrested five of the suspects (herdsmen) involved in the midnight raid on Nimbo community in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State, as operatives of the IGP’s Intelligence Response Team (IRT) based on credible technical intelligence swooped on them.
A statement signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olabisi Kolawole said, “The IGP’s Intelligence Response Team, based on the intelligence gathered on the attack, arrested the following suspects, Mohammed Zurai, Ciroma Musa, Sale Adamu, Suleiman Laute and Haruna Laute, and recovered one Gionee L88 mobile phone with memory card containing the video recording of the massacre in the community.
“Also, the Team on the 06/05/2016 busted a 3-man syndicate of deadly bank robbers/kidnappers and recovered arms, ammunition, dynamites and rifle servicing tools from them.
“The gang members are, Gogo Daniel Ume, Ikado Michael and Ifeanyi Kalu had been terrorizing Rivers, Imo and Enugu State, respectively.
“Items recovered from them include 3 AK-47 rifles; 1 LAR rifle; 310 rounds of live ammunition; 12 rifle magazines; rifle servicing tools; cache of dynamite explosive; 1 Toyota Highlander Jeep; 1 Toyota Venza jeep; and 1Ford Edge Jeep.
“In continuation of the IRT anti-kidnapping operations in Kaduna State, the team on 20/05/2016 as well arrested Babangida Ibrahim; Idris Abubakar and Idris Mai Anguwa in the State for allegedly involved in kidnapping and robbery, while different caliber of weapons were also recovered from the bandits.
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Solomon E. Arase, observed with satisfaction the high sense of patriotism and professionalism with which the members of the IGP’s IRT have carried out their duties so far.
He stated that the IRT relies on vital information made available to the Police by the public and attributed the recent break-through to the growing trust and cooperation between the Force and the public.
The IGP assured Nigerians that the Police will remain dynamic and creative in formulating new strategies for fighting crimes and criminality and urged Nigerians to continue to support the Force.
Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase has alerted that the sum of N1.9billion has so far been removed from the Police funds in the Treasury Single Account of the federal government (TSA), as garnishee awards against personnel of the force by way of award of damages in poorly defended cases noting that this must not be allowed to continue.
Speaking at the annual Police Lawyers Conference and inauguration of officers and council members of the NBA, Police Lawyers Forum, IGP Arase said, “If this situation is not urgently addressed, the Police may not be able to perform its functions as the limited budgetary allocations will be needlessly lost to garnishee actions”.
According to the IGP, it was in the bid to addressing these challenges that the Force leadership initiated a workshop whereby the Police (NBA) Lawyers forum is partnering with the Nigerian Bar Association aimed at enhancing the capacity of the police lawyers who occupy a central role in the administration of the criminal justice sector.
Disclosing that a sizeable number of the over 500 lawyers in the Police force were yet to fully grasp the responsibility of being lawyers in the temple of justice, the IGP said, “Yes, it is the statutory function of the police to prevent crime but only preventive strategies cast in concrete are breach proof. We all know that it is possible to cast our preventive strategies in concrete, therefore, offending members of our society must be brought to justice”.
The IGP listed the objectives of convening the annual Police Lawyers conference to include, “Assembling erudite scholars of law, experienced judicial officers and retired or serving police officers gifted in the area of investigation and prosecution of cases to lecture police lawyers on advocacy and legal drafting skills to guarantee speedy administration of Justice.
“To entrench the principles of fundamental human rights values in Nigeria’s statutes books and other international human rights instruments on police lawyers to usher a culture of policing rooted in respect for rights of the citizens.
“To reduce conducts and practices that results in suits against the police and imbibe in them, the culture of effective and efficient strategies in the defence of civil cases and actions against the police wherever they occur to reduce financial losses occasioned by the garnisheeing of police accounts.
“To keep police lawyers abreast of the key provisions of the administration of criminal justice act 2015, especially the entrenchment of a culture of criminal justice system that ensures justice for the defendant, the victim of crime and the state”.
In his address, President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Augustine Alegeh (SAN) commended the Police leadership for the Police forum of the NBA saying since they are now members of the body, they should note that the NBA stands for enthronement of the rule of law.
“The Police lawyers should therefore be the agents of change and touch bearers of the new Police force and ensure issues regarding human rights and rule of law are followed in accordance with international best practices.
Continuing Alegeh said, “We are very happy that there are lots of changes in the Police force. Issues that have bedeviled the police force in the past are gradually going away. Another issue is that mechanism should be put in place to ensure that police lawyers are treated with dignity”.