- Senator to sue police boss over suspectsâ€™ â€˜escapeâ€™
Paul Obi in Abuja
The Inspector General of Police (IG), Ibrahim Idris, wednesday removed the Kogi State Police Commissioner of Police, Ali Janga, following the escape of two suspects alleged to have been sponsored by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Dino Melaye, for political thuggery ahead of the 2019 general election.
The IGâ€™s decision came as the Kogi State Police Command has declared Melaye and six others wanted.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, speaking on the matter, said: â€œThe IG, Idris, dissatisfied with the circumstances surrounding the escape of six suspects including two principal suspects (Kabiru Seidu a.k.a.Â Osama, Nuhu Salisu a.k.a. Small) who indicted Melaye and Mohammed Audu in a case of conspiracy and unlawful possession of prohibited firearm already filed at the Federal High Court, Lokoja which came up in court on March 28, 2018, has ordered the immediate removal of Commissioner of Police, Kogi State Command, Janga.
â€œThe Commander FSARS in the State, the Divisional Police Officer â€˜Aâ€™ Division, Lokoja and other Police officers implicated in the escape for negligence, dereliction of duty and gross misconduct in the escape of the six suspects have also been transferred out of the state and are facing serious disciplinary action.
â€œThirteen other police officers are currently being detained and investigated for their roles in the escape.â€
He said: â€œEsa Sunday Ogbu, Commissioner of Police, Federal Operations, Force Headquarters, Abuja has been directed by the IG to immediately proceed and take over as the new Commissioner of Police, Kogi State Police Command.
â€œFurthermore, on the order of the IG, the IGâ€™s Intelligence Response Team and Special Tactical Squad, Personnel of the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department have already arrived in Kogi State to work with the police personnel in the state for immediate re-arrest of the escaped suspects.
â€œThey are to also carry out detail investigation into the escape and bring all those involved to justice.
â€œThe Force wishes to implore the good people of Kogi State to remain calm and assist with useful information to the joint police investigation team.
â€œThey can report any information they have on the escaped suspects to the nearest police station in the state or any other state in the country,â€ Moshood added.
Meanwhile, Kogi State Police Command, has declared Melaye and six others wanted.
The outgoing state Commissioner of Police, Janga, said in a statement wednesday that the command received a news that six suspected criminal elements – Kabiru Seidu a.k.a Osama, Nuhu Salisu a.k.a Small, Aliyu Isa, Adams Suleiman, Emmanuel Audu and Musa Mohammed who were under detention at the â€˜Aâ€™ Division Lokoja escaped from lawful custody.
â€œFour of the suspects were on court remand including two that indicted Melaye and Mohammed Audi. Consequently, all the six suspects, Melaye and Mohammed Audu were sent for watch listing and red notice by the INTERPOL for immediate arrest any where we see them. The command hereby appealed to the members of the public to assist the police with useful information on the whereabouts of the suspects by reporting to the nearest police station,â€ Janga said.
The police commissioner, who has also been transferred, added that investigation into the unfortunate incident is ongoing, while the 13 police officers who were on duty when the incident occurred were defaulted and detained for interrogation.
He urged members of the public to go about their lawful duty as the command is determined in ensuring adequate security of lives and property in the state.
Meanwhile, Melaye has threatened to sue the IG, Idris, over the reported escape of two suspects who accused him (Melaye) of being their sponsor and gun supplier.
The senator who spoke on the floor of the Senate wednesday, cited Order 43 to submit that the police had either released the suspects or killed them.
He therefore said the police must produce the suspects dead or alive or he would sue the IG for intimidation, abuse of power, harassment and mental assault.
On March 20, the police paraded the suspects allegedly working for Melaye. The thugs were caught with two AK-47 and five pump action guns.
The suspects were billed to be arraigned wednesday.
However, in a dramatic turn of events, the police in Lokoja announced yesterday that the suspects along with four others, escaped following a jail break.
The Kogi State police boss, Janga, said at a press conference in Lokoja that the two suspects; Seidu and Salisu, escaped at about 3:21a.m. at the A Police Division in Lokoja where they were being kept in lawful custody.
According to him, four other suspects escaped along with Seidu and Salisu, bringing the total number of fleeing suspects to six.
The four other suspects that escaped were: Aliyu Isa, Adams Suleiman, Emmanuel Audu and Musa Mohammed.
The police commissioner said 13 policemen, comprising five operatives of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and eight conventional policemen on duty when the incident happened have been detained for interrogation.
â€œThe 13 police officers who were on duty when the incident occurred were detained for interrogation,â€ he said.
Janga also stated that the names of the six fleeing suspects and that of Melaye and Mohammed Audu had been sent for watch listing by the Interpol for immediate arrest anywhere they are found.
He appealed to residents to assist the police with useful information on the whereabouts of the suspects by reporting to the nearest police station.
The police enjoined members of the public to go about their lawful duty as the command was in full control of the situation and determined to provide adequate security.