Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.
*Withdraws police from 60 VIPs
By Kingsley Omonobi
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu, has ordered the deployment of ‘legitimate force’ to protect lives and property of citizens including police officers and personnel of other law enforcement agencies and their families from violent persons or groups operating under any guise.
Adamu spoke against the backdrop of the #EndSARS protests which rocked the country last month.
The protests stopped after they were hijacked by hoodlums who wreaked havoc on some cities including Lagos and Benin-City where public and private assets, especially police stations and prisons were razed. Several policemen were also killed.
There were renewed protests in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, last week.
In apparent response to the renewed protests, a statement by Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, yesterday, said: “The IGP restates that Command Commissioners of Police and their supervisory Assistant Inspectors-General of Police should resist all riotous elements forthwith and checkmate any form of violent/riotous protests in line with Section 33 (1) & (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended), which among other things provides for the use of such force as is reasonably necessary.
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“The IGP affirms that the Force will not tolerate a repeat of the horrendous attacks and killings, arson and wanton destruction, and looting of public and private assets, witnessed during the recent violent protests in some parts of the country.”
Adamu warned that the Force would deploy the full weight of the law and legitimate force, if necessary, in preventing a re-occurrence.
Recall that in the wake of the EndSARS protests and the violence that emanated therefrom, a total of 51 civilian fatalities and 37 civilian injuries were recorded, while a total of 22 policemen were gruesomely murdered and 26 others injured by the protesters.
Also, 205 police stations, corporate facilities and private property were attacked, burnt or vandalized during the period.
Police activates withdrawal order
Meanwhile, following the delay by about 60 prominent Nigerians and corporate entities to release police operatives attached to them, the IGP has activated the order for the immediate withdrawal of police personnel.
Senior police sources disclosed that a signal to this effect with reference no. CB: 4001/IGP.SEC/ABJ/VOL.116/32 dated November 4, and signed by the Principal Staff Officer (PSO) to the IGP, DCP Idowu Owohunwa, directed the officers in charge of 36 state commands, and the FCT, to heed the directive immediately.
The letter titled, ‘Immediate withdrawal of police personnel attached to unentitled corporate entities/individuals,’ said: “The attention of the IGP has been drawn to the fact that the police personnel attached to the corporate bodies and personalities are yet to be withdrawn despite extant directives to that effect.
“In line with the subsisting order, the IG directs that you withdraw all the PMF, SPU, CTU, or conventional police operatives attached to the affected companies or individuals in any of their locations across the country with immediate effect.”
The IG also directed the senior officers to submit a report confirming compliance not later than November 10, 2020.
It was gathered that one of the reasons for the withdrawal, followed the mopping of hundreds of police personnel and their subsequent deployment to Police Tactical Training Institutions in Osun and Nasarawa states for training for the new SWAT operatives.