Inspector General of Police (IG), Mohammed Abubakar
• Police appeal for information on Nasarawa killings
By Tobi Soniyi and Yemi Akinsuyi in Abuja and Shola Oyeyipo in Lagos
The Inspector General of Police (IG), Mohammed Abubakar, has ordered the police to deploy resources and men to rescue the wife and daughter of Supreme Court Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, who were kidnapped on Saturday in Edo State.
This is just as the police have established a dedicated hotline for members of the public to provide useful information that would assist them in the investigation and apprehension of the culprits involved in the slaying of about 30 policemen in Nasarawa State last week.
THISDAY learnt sunday that more than 24 hours after the kidnapping of the wife and daughter of the Supreme Court justice along with their driver in Benin City, the abductors were yet to make contact with the family of the victims.
A source at the Supreme Court, who asked for anonymity, said the IG gave the order following a report by the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Mr. Sunday Olorundahunsi, to Abubakar to intervene in rescuing the victims.
He said the IG immediately sent a signal to the Edo State Police Command and that had been combing the state for the victims, adding that nothing had turned up so far.
Reacting to their kidnapping, Lagos lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo, has appealed to the kidnappers to release Justice Rhodes-Vivour’s wife and daughter.
He said: “The kidnappers should know that Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour is the wrong target for this dastardly act.
He does not deserve this agony.
“Again, the justices of the Supreme Court have not contributed in any way to the destruction of our values that has pushed young men and women into this kind of unholy enterprise. Rather, they have indeed played a constructive role in preserving and sustaining our democracy.
“Therefore, I passionately appeal to the kidnappers, wherever they may be, in the name of the God they serve, to release unharmed the wife and daughter of Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour.”
In the meantime, as part of efforts aimed at encouraging communal participation in the investigation into the recent killing of policemen in Nasarawa State, the Police High Command has established a dedicated telephone line for members of the public who may wish to provide vital information to the police.
Also, in a bid to ameliorate the plight of the family members of the fallen police officers, the IG has ordered the immediate relocation of the force Welfare Officer, Mrs. Abiodun Ige, a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), to Nasarawa State to enable her effectively and speedily coordinate all welfare related issues pertaining to the families of the late officers, including but not limited to the payment of all statutory and relevant compensations.
Abubakar appealed to Nigerians who may be in possession of information that could aid on going investigation not to hesitate to provide same to the police, promising that all information will be treated with utmost confidentiality.
The information, according to a release signed by the force spokesperson, Frank Mba, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), can be provided via phone number 07066228200 (calls or SMS) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The IG said an attack on the security forces of any nation is an attack on the entire nation.
He also appealed to Nigerians to support the police as they strive to tackle this and other security challenges facing the nation.
Abubakar called for patience and understanding of family and friends of the slain officers, particularly as it relates to the issue of the release of the bodies of the officers, promising that all corpses will be released as soon as preliminary enquiries have been concluded.
While restating the commitment of the police to uncover and bring to book the perpetrators of this crime, the police boss reassured family members and friends of the deceased that the force was united with them in grief and will neither forsake nor abandon them at this trying moment.
Meanwhile, the AIG in charge of Zone 4 (covering Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau States), Mr. Mike Zuokumor, has on the orders of the IG relocated to Nasarawa State.
“A highly experienced and operationally-minded officer, is currently coordinating all ongoing operations relating to the incident,” the statement read.