Imo Attacks: CP failed to request reinforcement – Source


Imo State Commissioner of Police, Nasiru Mohammed, and his top officers have been booted out following Monday’s attack on the state Police Command headquarters and the Nigerian Custodial Centre, which led to the release of 600 suspects and 1,884 inmates from the correctional facility.

The PUNCH gathered on Thursday that Mohammed was removed alongside the Deputy Commissioner, Operations, Ilyasu Yahaya; and Assistant Commissioner, Operations, James Aikai, by the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.

Adamu, who was also relieved of his appointment by the Presidency while at the scene of the attack, announced the removal of the three officers while addressing the men of the command.

A senior police officer said the CP was found to have neglected to ask for reinforcement from Mobile Police Squadrons 18 and 64 and the military during the attack alleged to have been carried out by members of the Indigenous People of Biafra members.

The security source stated, “Apart from failing to act on the intelligence provided to him about two weeks ago, the CP also failed to draft the Mobile Police Force on standby during the attack. There were PMF Squadrons 18 and 64 in the state, but the commissioner did not signal any of them to assist in repelling the attack. This is gross negligence.

“The CP, DCP and ACP Operations were all redeployed while the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Administration, is the acting CP now. They were redeployed to Abuja because you can’t send incompetent officers to any state.”

The source said investigations had confirmed that IPOB carried out the attack in a move to rescue some of their top commanders and chief priest arrested by the police last month.

“They were not aware that the 16 suspects had been moved to Abuja. So, they attacked the CID with the intention of rescuing the men. Why the Force Headquarters is disappointed is that the CP got the intelligence report about two weeks ago that IPOB may attack the command, but he did not act on it,” the senior officer explained.

Our correspondent further gathered that the Joint Security Task Force in the state codenamed, Operation Search and Flush, had not been active following the failure of the state government to pay the men allowances and provide the necessary logistics.

Had it been active, the task force, it was learnt, would have greatly assisted in repelling the attack by the gunmen on the security facilities.

It was learnt that the task force members drawn from the Police, Civil Defence, Navy, Army, Mobile Police and others, were being owed eight months’ allowances by the state government.

A source said, “The joint security team used to assist the command in gathering intelligence and operations, but the state government abandoned the structure and allowed it to collapse. They have not been paid for over eight months and the state also did not fuel their vehicles. So, they stopped working; the intelligence gathering of the state is down.”

Our correspondent was informed that the premises of the Imo State Police Command headquarters had been taken over by pubs and restaurants and shops with the female police officers selling all manners of wares inside their vehicles parked within the grounds.

A senior police officer on special duty in the state observed, “The Imo State Command headquarters is just like Wuse market; every woman police working there sells boxers, T-shirts and other stuffs in their vehicles parked around the command.

“Do you know those who are coming to patronise them are coming to gather intelligence on the command? You also have restaurants there; people selling Okpa (bean delicacy) are there. So, how do you guarantee security there? That’s the problem.”

The Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, a commissioner of police, could not be reached for comment on the investigation into the attack as calls to his number indicated that it was unreachable. He had yet to respond to a text message as of the time of filing this report.
~Punch

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