Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) monday denied recovering 19 Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) from the immediate past Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Solomon Arase.
A competent source who spoke with THISDAY, under anonymity at the Force Headquarters in Abuja said the authors of the report which appeared in both online and print media are only making attempts to pit the current IG, Mr. Ibrahim Idris against Arase.
While advising journalists to always cross-check with the police for clarification on sensitive issues, he said: “You can hear me talking to one of the reporters who wrote the unsubstantiated report. What is contained in that report are just figment of their imagination. This guy never called to confirmed the report.
“You can read the report and see that it was never credited to any source. Please, journalists should cross-check for facts before going to press.”
While dismissing the report that the police recovered the 19 SUVs from the former IG, he said: “You can go round the police premises and ask questions to find out if there were movement of recovered cars into the premises in the last few days.
The source, who is a senior ranking officer, said the public should discountenance the report as it was mischievously written to embarrass the force, adding that this kind of report cannot cause bad blood within the force.
Recalled that a few weeks after assuming office, Idris granted an interview to few media houses alleging that Arase and few retired Deputy Inspectors General of Police (DIGs), had carted away some SUVs.
The controversy generated so much heat while Arase was in the United Kingdom, denying the allegation.
Arase while clearing the insinuation, added that information on the SUVs were contained in his hand-over notes to his successor, who was in acting capacity then.
However, Arase has dismissed the claims that 19 assorted vehicles belonging to the police were recovered from him even as he raised the alarm that some forces were bent on tarnishing his image.
In a statement issued monday, Arase warned that he would not hesitate to seek legal redress if those desperate to tarnish his image fail to desist.
“It is embarrassing for me to wake up on Monday morning to be inundated with calls and messages on purported 19 vehicles recovered from me. I wish to reassure the general public that there was nothing like that. Like I said in July, I did not take any police vehicle with me outside what I am entitled to, and so, there couldn’t have been any vehicle recovered from me. If there was any such, those behind this campaign of calumny should please make the number plates of the vehicles public and where they were recovered from.”