Rethinking Internal Security By Alabi Williams

Ikorodu, Lagos has become a regular source of bad news. First, it was the story of riverine militias, who feasted on stolen petrol, courtesy of rusty and unmanned oil pipelines and infrastructure that transport fuel through the communities. For many years, these oil thieves built colonies around places like Arepo and Ibafo, down through the creeks of Ogun, Ondo, Delta and so on. They used the Ikorodu axis as hub to offload stolen fuel and it became booming business. But later, other dimensions of criminality, such as kidnapping were added.

Matters came to a head on June 23, 2016, when communities of Ishawo, Elepete, Muti, Magbon, Ereko, Igbo Olomu and Imushin, which are spread in Lagos and Ogun State, were ransacked in a vicious onslaught by mindless militias, as they were referred to, to the extent that between 20 and 50 persons were reported killed in one attack. A week before that, 15 were killed at Imushin. It became a weekly and weekend attack that left everyone wondering what governments of Lagos and Ogun were up to.

It became an embarrassment to the Federal Government, which was fighting too many ‘wars’ at different locations across the country. The military then promised to deal with the situation around Ikorodu and it was a successful exercise, and locations where oil bunkering thrived were pounded from air, while ground troops completed the mop up.

But of late, the dastardly stories coming from Ikorodu and adjunct communities make one wonder whether this is truly 21st century we are living through. Cult groups go about attacking families in the dead of night, leaving in their trail gory and mindless spectacle of parents and their children bludgeoned to death. The modus operandi of these killers is cannibalistic, fetish and horrendous. They do not come to steal anything, just to take life and in the cruelest form.

There was the case of the Ebhodaghes, a family of three hacked to death in April. The son was a WASSCE candidate in the recently concluded examination, but was not seen in class during one of the papers. Curious friends and neighbours traced him home, only to meet their dead bodies, so inhumanly mangled by elements said to be Badoo cult members.

One after the other, it became a pattern for these elements to visit mayhem on families. They even went to a church and killed some minors along with their mother who stole there, apparently to take refuge. But these daredevil man-eaters were not deterred by the solemnity of a worship place. They cudgeled their victims.

What really offended was the situation in which the Police never responded to ongoing attacks. They only come to pick remains of victims and no arrests and prosecutions are reported. Citizens also don’t get to hear of the profiling of these crimes to give information on intelligence and advisory. It was as if poor Nigerians are left on their own to battle these satanic monsters, who actually live in the neighbourhoods, or not too far away.

Then, the Lagos Police Commissioner, Fatai Owoseni on April 23, met with traditional rulers in these communities to warn them against harbouring criminals. He warned that the Police would no longer tolerate situations of killings without monarchs taking some level of responsibility. According to him: “Traditional rulers cannot tell me they don’t know who is who in their domain; all communities are advised to organise their local vigilantes.” He charged them to take ownership of crime fighting in their domains, as there are hunters among them. He warned that ritual killings must stop.

Did that call have effect on the security situation in Ikorodu and environs? Not exactly! As a matter of fact, some think the CP was compelled to visit the scene of crime more because on April 9, suspected militants in Isawo area killed four police officers, an army captain and a civilian. Other killings have taken place and the people have now resolved to police themselves, which was why a certain Badoo member who was apprehended by vigilante members was mobbed and set ablaze. It showed that the Police have not done enough to provide internal security; and it is the same thing happening all over the country. Police arrive late to scenes of crimes, most of the time. But if they are bent on unraveling the details, they produce good results.

A lot has been said and written about transforming the Police system to make the force more responsive and result oriented. Organisations such as CLEEN Foundation and networks like NOPRIN Foundation have produced enough literature on how to reform the Police. The current federal police are too far from the people to really understand crime fighting in peculiar situations.

When President Buhari came on board, to make a determined effort on the fight against Boko Haram, he put officers who know the terrain in charge. He moved the Command and Control (C2) of the military to Maiduguri, close to the war theatre, instead of what obtained in the previous efforts. It achieved a great deal. But what do we have here with the Police? We have Police Commissioners who deny outright that herdsmen are causing mayhem in communities, simply because they are involved on account of their religion or state of origin. They are unable to deliver according to the oath they sworn to; to provide security without any form of bias.

Now, what is very challenging is the situation of students who are abducted from their campuses by kidnappers and used to steal money from their parents. For 17 days running, six students of Lagos State Model College, Igbonla, Epe, were abducted from their school by criminal elements. The idea of students being picked up in their schools is disgusting. It is frightening and sickening that this particular school is a state owned school, of a middle class status that should not be linked with such anguish. But that is what we have on our hands. Everybody, including government and the security agencies is helpless. Now, we are told some of these children have taken sorely ill, no thanks to the miserable environments where they are kept. The parents are in terrible states. Just imagine waking up for all these days not knowing what is happening to these young ones, in some deadly creeks. It is hard to bear.

All this means that even if Lagos State or any other state for that matter invests their entire budgets on security infrastructure, rural areas in Ikorodu and elsewhere might continue to be dens for hardened criminals. Therefore, we must decentralise the present system. The CP must also be ready to move around as the occasion demands. For instance, Owoseni ought to have relocated to Ikorodu since the beginning of this year. His recent admonition to his men shows that he is far removed from the various theatres of ‘war’ in the state. Area commanders and DPOs who have since abandoned their oath to chase after illicit wealth are frustrating his good efforts and intentions.

Iwo Robbery: Osun Promises Justice

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has that those responsible for the robbery which claimed the lives of four gallant police officers in Iwo, will not escape justice.

The Governor, in a statement by the Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, described the incident as unfortunate, noting that the state remains unbowed by the audacity of these criminals.

The governor said he has been assured that security men are on the trail of those who invaded the banks and they will not abandon it responsibilities as the protector of the people just because of some criminal few.

While assuring the general public of their safety and security, Aregbesola noted that it was not for nothing that the state is rated one of the most crime-free in the country, vowing to maintain this record no matter the odds.

The Governor also commiserate with the Commissioner of Police, Osun State command for the loss of his gallant officers in the service to fatherland.

He sent messages also to those who were caught wounded in the cross fire while the pandemonium lasted.

The statement read, “On Tuesday, June 6, 2017, some misguided elements violated the peace in Iwo, one of our major cities in the State of Osun; attacking banks located near the Bowen University.

“These armed robbers ended the lives of four promising men of the Nigerian Police Force who attempted to stand up to them. They left sorrow and tears in their trail.

“We commiserate with the Commissioner of Police, the entire Osun Command of the Nigerian Police Force and the families of the fallen heroes, who fought gallantly but sacrificed their lives in the course of performing their duties.

“We equally commiserate with those who were caught and wounded in the cross fires.

“We assure the generality of our people that these criminals will not escape justice. Recent history of our state confirms that no criminal violates our peace and goes away with it.

“We are confident that security men are on the trail of these misguided elements and and in due course, will be brought to justice.

“We use this opportunity to assure the people of Osun of their safety. We invested in security of lives and property as part of our overall objectives of maintaining a peaceful state to be a source of attraction for investments.

“This is why our state has been rated many times as one of the states with the lowest cases of crime throughout Nigeria.

“We are determined to do everything to sustain this rating. Our citizens are therefore urged to be vigilant; report any suspicious movement and activities to the law enforcement agencies.”

Police Arrest Five Suspected Militants

Attempts by suspected militants to attack several commercial banks in Lagos have been foiled by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Intelligence Response Team (IRT).

This is just as four suspected members of notorious kidnapper, America’s gang and a guard attached to one of the banks have been arrested at the Ajah and Ikorodu areas of the state.

The banks targeted, the police said were Zenith and First City Monument Bank (FCMB) in Lekki, as well as FCMB, Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB) and Keystone Banks in Ajah.

It was gathered that the gang was behind last Thursday’s kidnap of six pupils of the Lagos State Model College, Igbonla.

According to the police, Abiodun Olaroye (Gbeleju), 38, Ebipatgh Tuwei (Segun), 47, Benjamin Powei (Ben), 42, Samuel Chinedu (Hitman), 30, and Samuel Innocent Ikechukwu (IK), 33, were arrested on May 30.

While Olaroye, a native of Ode Kreme village, Tuwei and Powei of Arogbo, Ondo State, Chinedu was said to be an indigene of Delta State and Ikechukwu, the guard, was said to be from Abia.It was gathered that the suspects were picked up following credible intelligence and they confessed that plans have been perfected by the gang to attack five banks in the state.

The police said Puwei confessed to have participated in the ambush that killed four policemen and an Army Captain. Their arrest, the police said, followed days of unrelenting tracking by the IRT.

The four militants were said to have been sent by America from the creek to survey the banks and hire two operational buses that would be used to convey the criminals to and fro the river banks in the course of the attack.

It was gathered that the banks were marked because of their proximity to river banks.” All suspects arrested confessed to the planned bank robberies and confirmed that they were sent by their boss in the creek, America, to survey the five banks together with the guard who tipped the militants off. ”

They also said America fixed Wednesday June 1, for the attack, but his boys were arrested before then. The suspects are cooperating with detectives in the Investigation. Serious efforts to arrest the gang leader, other members and rescue the school children in progress.

Nation

Director To Investigate Clash Incidence Between Navy and Police in Calabar.

The Director of Information, Nigerian Navy (NN), Navy Captain Suleman Dahun, on Wednesday, said the investigation was ongoing to unravel the cause of the ugly incidence between the Navy and Police in Calabar.

He said that, however, normalcy had since returned to Calabar after its personnel clashed with the Police on Tuesday,

Speaking to one of the eyewitnesses who said it was an unfortunate incidence that led to the loss of lives and destruction of property.He said that the service would do everything humanly possible to avert the future occurrence of such ugly clash.

Dahun told our reporters that everything had been resolved, and normalcy had also returned, saying “everybody was going about his or her business as usual.”

It should be recalled that the clash between the two security outfits was caused by a disagreement between a police traffic officer and a naval officer at a traffic light in Akim neighbourhood, downtown, Calabar, around 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

“By 8 p.m., it had developed into a deadly riot, with suspected naval officers attacking a police divisional headquarters, killing three officers and injuring others after setting the facility alight.

“A naval officer sustained gunshot wounds from suspected police fire. No inmates escaped during fracas,’’ police said.

 

Police Station Attacked By Naval Officers In Calabar

Several police officers were killed on Tuesday night after suspected officials of the Nigerian Navy stormed a police division in Calabar, southern Nigeria. According to news reports the attack, which began shortly after 8:30 p.m., was still underway as at 10:19 p.m. at Akim Divisional Headquarters.

“The police station is still burning as we speak,” a horrified witness said

Naval spokesperson, Suleiman Dahun, said he wasn’t aware of the development as at 10:26 p.m., promising to revert after his findings.

Sources said the unrest was a continuation of an initial skirmish between a police traffic officer and a naval officer at a traffic light near the Calabar Stadium along the Airport Road on Tuesday afternoon.

“Some naval officers ran the red light and police traffic officers intervened, but rather than listen, they descended on the policemen and beat them up,” a witness said. “This was around 5 p.m.”

“Police officers now called for backup and the Navy also called for reinforcement and they took over the road leading to the airport.

 “But the Navy Commander and police commissioner in the state intervened and the two sides backed down,” the witness said.

“However, around 8:00 p.m., when everyone thought the matter had been resolved, naval officers descended on Akim Police Station and started shooting and burnt down the facility.

“We confirmed three bodies but we feared there are more,” the witness said.

The witness also accused the naval officers of blocking firefighters from extinguishing the inferno set at the police station.

Police Kill 5 Suspected Killers Of ACP Ndanbobo In Gun Battle

Five members of an armed robbery/kidnap syndicate have been shot dead by Operatives of the State Anti-Kidnapping and Cyber Crime Squad, SAKCCS, Delta Command. The alledged criminals are suspected to have killed the Area Commander, Ughelli, ACP Usman Ndanbobo, in a gun battle.

Commissioner of Police, Delta State, Mr. Zanna Ibrahim, who relocated to Ughelli with operatives of State Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, to track down the bandits, confirmed the killing to newsmen on Friday, just as fresh facts emerged on why the bandits shot dead Ndanbobo.

 

In a related development, four members of a robbery gang, mainly Fulani natives, who laid siege to the Olomoro-Iyede road in Isoko area of the state, during the week, robbing travellers have lost their lives. Saturday Vanguard learned that SAKCSS operatives, led by a Deputy Superintendent of Police, DSP, had as a follow up to the kidnap cases that led to the arrest of a kidnap kingpin, Lucky and two others, seized three other gang members within the Ebrumede/Ughelli axis on May 10.

 

The team, however, ran into an ambush when other members of the gang attacked the operatives, following which five of the suspects received gunshot injuries, but were later confirmed dead by a doctor at the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba, where they were rushed for treatment. Commissioner Ibrahim disclosed: “The suspects have complicity in most robbery attacks/kidnappings within Ughelli and environs, including the attack that led to the death of the Area Commander, Ughelli, ACP Usman Ndanbabo and yet to be seen late DSP German Emmanuel, who was declared missing September 2016.”

 

He said the suspects confessed that they shot the officer (Ndanbabo), who they waylaid at Ughelli because he took to flight with the keys of his Toyota Camry car with registration number, EKP 05 AAX, which they attempted robbing. One of the escapee robbers, Ratty, later abandoned the car now recovered by the police. Ibrahim told our reporter: “Serious operations are in progress to arrest other fleeing members.” On the bandits that barricaded Olomoro-Iyede road, he said: “A patrol team attached to Oleh Division, led by Superintendent of Police and vigilante men in the area rushed to the scene and on sighting the team, the robbers fled into the bush.”

 

“They were trailed into the deep bush, they shot at the team, which replied fire for fire and on combing the bush, one Umoru M, alias Yellow, Usman Abdullahi, Bello Mohammed, all of Fulani extraction were rounded up with bullet injuries and five live cartridges, six assorted phones, wallet containing identity card, ATM card, industrial boot belonging to the robbery victims,” he stated. Ibrahim said the injured suspects were rushed to the hospital for medical attention, where they were certified dead, adding that their remains would be handed over to the local government health officer for disposal after autopsy.

We’ll Soon Tackle Challenges Confronting Police, Osinbajo Promises

The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, thursday said Nigeria would soon tackle all the challenges confronting the police force in the task of providing adequate internal security around the country.

Osinbajo stated this at the 2017 National Security Summit with a theme: ‘Forging Partnerships for Effective Strategies to Curb the Menace of Kidnapping, Recurring Farmers- Herders Clashes and Criminality in Nigeria’ held in Abuja.

The acting president who was represented by the Minister of Interior, Gen Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd) stressed that every great nation must pay attention to security.

Osinbajo added that the resolving farmers and herders clashes which is at the front burner of insecurity, remains a cardinal objective of the administration.

“There is improved security especially in the North-east. We are now face with rural banditry which has post a security threat.

“Security management is for the entire populace. We are partnering multinational organisations to improve the security of our country. It is our duty to improve the safety of our citizens,” Osinbajo said .

He maintained that the newly launched national security plan will help create the synergy among security agencies needed to combat crime and other forms of terrorism.

“I want to assure the Nigeria Police Force of our administration support in line with global practices. The man-power shortages is been tackled with the recruitment of 10,000 policemen.

“Let me call on all to intensify their efforts in making Nigeria a safe place. We can confidently deliver a secured country,” the acting president said.

Inspector General of Police (IG), Ibrahim Idris, also disclosed that for Nigeria to meet up the United Nations requirement of one police officer to 400 people, Nigeria police needs to recruit additional 135,000 officers in order to effectively provide security for Nigeria’s estimated population of 182 million.

“Consequently, if this requirement is taken into consideration, the Force needs to recruit at least 31,000 police officers yearly for the period of at least five years from now,” Idris stated.

Also, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitàn Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, harped on the strategic role of traditional rulers in combating insecurity.

He said: “We have been discussing about security issues in this country. I think we need to pay more particular attention to investing in morals, very strong moral values, equity and invest more in the strength of our diversity.
“If we focus more on those critical issues in our dear country, the many and other security challenges we are having will not be this much.

We should ask ourselves this questions:
“Why are people aggrieved, why are they frustrated? Why are they going out of the confines of the law to engage in some certain things? Are we all just? Are we fair in our dealings across board as a country? Are we taking sides? Why are the other party grieved?,” the Ooni asked.

“These are critical issues we should all look at in this country. If we focus more on these fundamental issues, we will not have all the issues we are having right now.
“If we invest more on our diversity, which is our greatest strength in the country, that we should know that our diversity is our greatest strength.”

“Security matters are very sensitive, but how are we investing in moral values even in our domestic homes in our children, domestic workers and others we have dealings with.”

Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, called for concerted efforts between government and traditional institutions for a more secured nation.

Abubakar urged government to constantly reach out to traditional institutions for collaboration in the fight against insecurity.

Further, the Obi of Owa and Chairman of Delta State Council of Traditional Rulers (DSCTR), Chief Emmanuel Efeizomor explained that “the Police must be ready to work together with traditional rulers.

“We must agree to apply what is called Ombudsman; the Ombudsman is the situation where the traditional rulers will represent government at the grassroots. And it makes it possible that government decisions should be carried out.”
According to him, “in the area of security, there should be no gap between government and royal fathers. In getting a third party in-between, the question of insecurity has been made more serious.

“That’s why you find people bringing politics into it, and now criminals are succeeding. In the past, it has never been so.

“My appeal to government is that they must get their links with the people, with the traditional rulers very close. Work with the royal fathers, because they are the first citizens of this country even though, they don’t have money, they don’t have power, that’s why the situation have now turned upside down,” Efeizomor added.

Also, the Pere of Akugbene-Mein Kingdom of Delta State, Pere Stanley Luke Kalanama VIII, called for improved and better relationship between the Police and the traditional institutions.
He urged the police and other security agencies to see traditional rulers as partners in the fight against crime and terrorism.

The event witnessed presentations from several security experts, senior police officers among other staekholders.

Source: This Day

Police Hint Of Change Of Tactics To Combat Kidnapping, Vandalism, Others In South South States

The Zone 5 (Benin) of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has disclosed of a change of plan on how to curtail criminal activities such as armed robbery, kidnapping, cultism, vandalism, herdsmen and farmers clashes among others in the area.

Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of the Zone 5, Benin, Mr Abubakar Mohammed, stated this in Benin on Wednesday at a meeting he held with commanders in charge of the various Police Mobile Squadrons and other tactical units within the zone.

He also charged Squadron Commanders within the zone which comprises of Edo, Delta and Bayelsa states to be more proactive and professional in the discharge of their duties.

Mr Mohammed stated that the vision of and mission of the current leadership of the Nigeria Police Force led by the IGP, Mr Ibrahim Idris, was anchored on proactive policing.

He therefore, warned men of the Police Mobile Force and other technical squads to key into democratic policing which he said, focuses attention on respect for the fundamental human rights of the citizens, rule of law and global best practices.

He further charged the commanders to continue to complement the efforts of conventional policemen in the quest to riding the zone from all forms of crimes and criminalities just as he directed them to place emphasis on border towns, communities, link roads and major highways to ensure adequate security of lives and property.

The Zone 5 AIG admonished them to always lecture officers and men under them to key into the “Change Begins with Me” campaign and shun all forms of corrupt practices , extortion, illegal duties, misuse of firearms, road blocks among others.

Commenting on crime waves in the zone, Mr Mohammed said cases of armed robbery, kidnapping, cultism, vandalism, communal clashes and herdsmen/famers’ clashes have reduced drastically and commended officers and men of the zone  for their commitment and doggedness in crime fighting.

The meeting was attended by Squadron Commanders of 30 PMF Asaba, 51 PMF Oghara, 5 PMF Benin, Special Protection Unit Base 5 Benin, Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) Base 5 Warrior and 60 PMF Iyamho, Edo States.

Source: Nigerian Tribune

Nigeria Police Allegedly Planning Another Raid On Senator Goje’s Houses

The Nigeria Police are allegedly planning another raid on the residence of the chairman of the Senate committee on appropriation, Danjuma Goje.

A team from the Force Headquarters last week raided the Asokoro, Abuja residence of the senator and carted away millions of Naira and some foreign currencies as well as some documents.

Both Mr. Goje and the police have not spoken officially on the reason for the raid and what was recovered. An aide to Mr. Goje, however, said the police was yet to contact the lawmaker on the reason for the raid.

The police spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, told premium Times that investigations on the senator was still ongoing.

However, an aide to Mr. Goje said on Tuesday that “they have information that the police is planning another raid.”

The aide, who declined to be named because he has no permission to speak to the media, claimed any other raid would not be restricted to Mr. Goje’s Abuja house.

“We understand they are determined to nail the Senator and the next raid may even extend to his house in the village,” he said.

He alleged that last week’s raid was “an attempt to bring Senator Goje down by forces within.”

The police team had after the raid on Thursday recovered $19,000 4,000 Saudi riyals and N18 million in cash, the lawmaker’s aides confirmed, arguing the money was legitimate income.

They also allegedly carted away about 18 files and other documents related to the senator’s work at the National Assembly.

When contacted on the alleged planned raid, a police spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, told premium times by telephone that he “was not aware of any such plans.”

Source: Premium Times

Police Accuse Obas Of Aiding Attacks In Ikorodu

Disturbed by the worsening cases of violence in Ikorodu area of Lagos, the police have accused traditional rulers and chiefs in the area of collaborating with criminals to unleash terror on residents.

“There are Baales (village heads) that are informants and sponsors of criminals in this area,” the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, said on Sunday at a meeting with the traditional rulers.

“They allow militants to build houses harboring criminals in the creeks.

“I want the royal fathers to call their chiefs to order. This meeting is convened to tell them that we will no longer tolerate silent conspiracy.

“Traditional rulers cannot tell me they don’t know who is who in their domain; all communities are advised to organize their local vigilantes,’’ Owoseni said.

According to him, most kidnappings, killings and other violent crimes in Lagos State takes place in Ikorodu area and urged the community to be part of the security management.

“In the community, there are hunters and farmers; they can’t say they don’t know criminals in their communities.

“There is a conspiracy of silence on criminal activities and this conspiracy must stop.

“Traditional rulers and religious leaders must unmask the criminals in their communities.

“We have begun operations at Isawo; we need intelligence reports from the traditional rulers.

“Killing for rituals must stop and with your support, we can stop those killings.

“Let us take ownership of our areas and expose the hoodlums amongst you.

“Some of the Baales and chiefs supply foods to these militants; many of them are spies to these vandals and militants,’’ said the police commissioner.

Owoseni warned traditional rulers in Ikorodu area against harboring criminals who were unleashing terror on their subjects.

The police boss expressed sadness over incessant kidnapping, pipeline vandalism, robbery, cultism and killings of innocent persons in the area.

Gunmen Kill NSCDC Officer in Ekiti

An officer of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Mr. Sunday Afolabi, has been killed in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State by suspected gunmen.

Afolabi, who was said to have been shot dead on Wednesday, served in the Intelligence and Investigation Unit of Ekiti NSCDC.

The state’s  police command said Afolabi was killed by suspected “cult boys.”

His body has been deposited at the mortuary by some policemen who visited the scene after the killing.