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NIGERIA: Police Boss Says 424 Terrorists, Kidnappers, Others Arrested Within Two Months… Warns Against Illegal Stop And Search Operations… Vows To Carry Out Its 2023 Electoral Roles Within The Law

NIGERIA: Police Boss Says 424 Terrorists, Kidnappers, Others Arrested Within Two Months… Warns Against Illegal Stop And Search Operations… Vows To Carry Out Its 2023 Electoral Roles Within The Law

By Augustine Ehikioya

 

The Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police (IGP), IGP Usman Alkali Baba, on Thursday revealed that a total of 424 suspects have been arrested across the country in the first two months of this year.

(IGP Usman Alkali Baba addressing Police Strategic Leaders)

He made the disclosure in his opening remarks during the meeting with Strategic Police Managers in Nigeria at the Force Headquarters, Abuja.

(IGP Baba with his Management Team during the recitation of the Nigerian National Anthem before the commencement of the Conference)

Security Watch Africa (SWA) was at the IGP’s Conference with the Commissioners of Police and Officers above.

The breakdown of the arrests, according to him, included 36 terror elements, 78 murder suspects, 110 armed robbery suspects, 50 Kidnappers and 150 cultists.

Within the period, he said, 204 kidnapped victims were rescued, while 155 firearms and 1561 live ammunition were recovered.

He said “On a general note, between January 2022 till date, collated crimes statistics revealed that thirty-six (36) terror elements, seventy-eight (78) murder suspects, one hundred and ten (110) armed robbery suspects, fifty (50) kidnappers and one hundred and fifty (150) cultists were arrested during various Police operations across the country.

“Aside these, two hundred and four (204) kidnapped victims were successfully rescued, while one hundred and fifty-five (155) firearms of various descriptions and one thousand, five hundred and sixty-one (1,561) live ammunition were also recovered.

“In consequence of the progress we have made, I wish to utilize this opportunity to commend you and your officers and men for your loyalty, patriotism, and renewed vigor in the task of guaranteeing peace, security and safety in our Nation.

​”Much as significant progress is being recorded, we must admit that we are not yet close to achieving our national security goal of restoring an internal security order that is enduring enough to fully reassure the citizens and restore optimal confidence in the Force,” he said.

Speaking specifically on ‘Operation Sahara Storm’ launched in Sokoto State, he said the Operation has been very successful.

The Operation’s sole aim, he said, was to root out identified bandits’ camps at Gudugudu, Tarke Forest, Luguhuru through Hurra and Markira, Goronyo, Wurno and Heli in Rabbah Local Government and Zangon-Isu forest in Goronyo Local Government Area of the State.

He said “It is with deep sense of professional fulfilment that I wish to note that the Operation has recorded massive successes in achieving its set goals. As a result, aside the destruction of all the camps and other assets of the bandits in the above mentioned criminal enclaves, a total of thirty-eight (38) suspected bandits/terror elements were arrested while the following were recovered during the Special Operation:

“Thirty-two AK-47 rifles, One Rocket Propelled Grenade Launcher, One thousand four hundred and twelve (1,412) 7.62mm live ammunition, One thousand two hundred (1,200) rounds of live AA ammunition, One locally fabricated revolver pistol, Three motor vehicles, and two motorcycles, Ten cartons of Pentazocine BP 30 Injections, Cash sum of eight hundred thousand Naira (N800,000.00) and Three pairs of Army camouflage uniform.”

The IGP pointed out that there are still areas of grave concern and developments that will undoubtedly task “our strategic leadership capacity as the year unfolds.”

He went on “One of such concerns is the conduct and attitude of our men especially Police Officers on the field. I have continually been inundated by complaints of excesses in the conduct of our men on patrol or Stop and Search duties and I have personally had the cause to drive round in the course of which, I witnessed some of these illegalities particularly in relation to road blocks.

“I want to reemphasize that while Stop and Search strategy could occasionally be an invaluable anti-crime tactic, such should not be done without requisite approval and must not be a permanent strategy.

“It must equally be conducted with extant Police Protocols which emphasizes civility to members of the public and must be laced with highest level of professional decorum. Such must not also be turned into an avenue for extortion.

“Consequently, as strategic leaders, you could be held liable for any violation of this Force policy. You are therefore strongly advised to go back to your Commands, review this development and ensure that your operations conform strictly to the vision of my leadership.”

On the forthcoming 2023 general elections, he said, that the Force will effectively perform its roles within the newly passed Electoral Act.

He said “As mentioned during the recently concluded Retreat and Conference, it is anticipated that the Force would be further challenged by the enhanced political activities that are associated with the upcoming 2023 general elections.

“The import of this is that, beyond our routine anti-crime activities, we have to be prepared not just to deal with politically related infractions that could ensue, but also with preparations ahead to guarantee the security and credibility of the elections.

“In due course, we shall be engaging in activities that will fully prepare us for the effective performance of our roles in the elections, part of which would be to liaise with the leadership of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Civil Society Organizations and the Nigeria Police Legal Chamber towards dissecting the provisions of the Electoral Act as recently amended.

“This is with a view to ensuring that all our activities are situated within the dictates of the Electoral Act 2022.”

The IGP also reassured Nigerians that he will continue to provide responsible and responsive leadership that will “address their fears of crimes and engender seamless Police and Citizens’ partnership in the war against crimes in the country. In this regard, I wish to solicit the continued understanding and support of Nigerians.”

Highpoint of the conference was the decoration by the IGP of Police Constable (PC), Mary Yetunde Aina (aka Iron Abbey) with her new rank as Corporal.

The Iron Abbey, had won the International Super Bantamweight title belt at East Sussex, London.

To her credit at the championship, she had four wins and three knockouts, and won the championship bout based on unanimous decision on Friday, February 18, 2022, as the first Nigerian and African Female to achieve the feat.

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