Police Debunk Allegations of Looting against IG

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Chiemelie Ezeobi

The Nigeria Police have debunked the recent allegations of illegal sales of auctioned vehicles, looting and illicit sexual liaisons levelled against the Inspector General of Police, Acting IGP Ibrahim Idris.

The rebuttal was based on an earlier report by online media, Sahara Reporters, which had accused the IG of unlawfully selling off 30 vehicles to fictitious claimants, embezzlement of public funds, frequent abandonment of his post, and sexual liaisons with subordinates preceding his time as the Commissioner of Police for Kano State.
Describing the allegations as a smear of calumny, the police said they had first studied the story and found out that it was misleading, false and baseless.

However, senior police officers who initially spoke on anonymity said the issue of sales of cars was a no brainier, adding that had the online platform verified their claims, they would have known that the IG has no direct hand in auctioneering of vehicles.

The source said, “It is public knowledge that most auctioned cars are those that are impounded by the police after it must have been recovered from an armed robbery suspect, was purchased with stolen fund or from accident.
“After a period of time, the authority would secure court order to auction unclaimed vehicles in order to decongest its environment after which it would place a public notice on any national dailies asking owners to come with proof of ownership to claim their vehicle within 10 days or risk it being auctioned.

“In all this, neither the Commissioner of Police of a state nor the IGP is directly involved in auction. It is the office of the DCP Operations and the DIG operations that is saddled with this responsibility.

“However, buyers are expected to auction this seized vehicles on behalf of the police. In doing this auctioneers are not bound by law to verify addresses or identities of buyers.”

On the allegations that the IGP had also illegally sold some public properties for private profit, citing the sale of police property in Kano State outposts, another senior police officer said again that could not have been possible since Idris was not in charge of selling government properties.

According to her, “Even if there is a property the police wants to sell, there is a well laid out procedure. The property is even opened for bidding. The CP of a state does not have monopoly of auctioning and selling off government properties. How is it even possible? How many people will be bribed to keep quiet because the sale of a police property is not something that can be done codedly”?

On the allegations of inappropriate sexual relationship with his subordinates, a personal aide to the IG who spoke on strict sense of anonymity said the news was generated by mischief makers.

He said, “I am one of the closest aides to the IGP and never has he ever asked me or other aides to leave because of any woman, talk more of a corporal. I don’t know where they get this type of false information from. Remember that we also go home with the IGP so we can account for his movement every second.”

Specifically addressing the claims that he locked himself inside a toilet for hours during an attack by Islamist insurgents belonging to BokoHaram in Kano, another aide laughed it off.

He said, “This is a new angle. They peddled the same rumour after he was appointed but the angle they used was that he hid inside an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC). What has changed between then and now? So it’s no longer an APC but the toilet?
“This particular story is laughable for a man well versed in peacekeeping. No coward is deployed for peacekeeping and he did not only excel in Timor but he also later commanded peace keeping operations. Does that smack of one that is a coward?”
On allegations of nepotism another police officer said, “I am neither Hausa or from the Northern extraction, yet I was elevated from a commissioner of Police to Assistant Inspector General of Police.
“They said the IG appointed CSP Kolo to head the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) after he had been accused of raping a woman. They should have asked questions. He wasn’t indicted because investigations cleared him of the charges.

“We know where this campaign of calumny is coming from. According to Sahara Reporters, their sources are both retired and serving police officers. The end game is for them to convince the presidency not to confirm the acting IGP but we are confident that the presidency has seen this report for what it is: cheap blackmail.”
Also, the Police Force Spokesperson, ACP Don Awunah, while reacting to the allegations described it as “a complete mischievous, distractive and misleading story.”

He said, “The attention of the Nigeria Police Force has been drawn to a report by Sahara Reporters, New York on August 26, 2016 captioned Inspector General Idris accused of Massive looting, violation of public trust. The Nigeria Police Force would ordinarily not join issue on news item that has no substance and completely false, but to put the record straight.

“The report was studied and all the allegations asserted against the Inspector General of Police, Ag. IGP Ibrahim K. Idris and the Nigeria Police Force in the write up were found out to be completely false, misleading and malicious in its entirety, and obviously the handiwork of distractors and mischief makers, whose intention is to distract the Inspector General of Police from carrying out its statutory duties of ensuring that Nigeria is secured and crime free.

“The Inspector General of Police, Ag. IGP Ibrahim K. Idris has served in various capacities within the Nigeria Police Force and International Communities without blemish.

“The IGP is focused and determined to accomplish his statutory responsibilities to all Nigerians and continue to serve his country and will not be distracted by distractors who take advantage of the media to launch a personal attack and campaign of calumny against his personality and the Nigeria Police Force.

“The Nigeria Police Force wishes to enjoin members of the general public and other persons who must have read the report to disregard and discountenance the story as totally unfounded without any iota of truth.”