IG mandates new squad to take over investigations
Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, at the weekend ordered the deployment of a special investigation task force, headed by a crack detective, Mr. Abba Kyari, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, to investigate the assassination attempt on Benue State Governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom.
A statement by Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, a Commissioner of Police, said the team was already in Makurdi, the state capital, to commence investigation into the assassination attempt on the governor.
Gunmen, suspected to be herdsmen, had last Saturday attacked Ortom while returning from his farm on the outskirts of Makurdi.
A group, which identified itself as Fulani Nationality Movement (FUNAM), had claimed responsibility for the attack.
Ortom last week submitted a petition to the IG at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, urging Adamu to investigate the attack.
He had also requested that his security details be overhauled.
The statement said: “A special investigation task force set up by the IG in furtherance of the ongoing investigation into the reported attack and attempted murder of the Benue State governor was already in Makurdi, the state capital, to commence investigation.
“The team, led by DCP Abba Kyari, a no-nonsense investigator, consists of operatives from the Tactical Investigation Units of the Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB) and other experienced, crack detectives with specialised competencies in crime scene investigation and reconstruction, ballistics, fingerprint analysis and other core areas of forensics”.
The IG had earlier ordered the deployment of an investigative team headed by Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG), Mr. Tijani Baba, to conduct the investigation.
But the police high command, in the statement, said “the team is expected to take over and consolidate all ongoing investigation into the incident.
“The team is also expected to investigate all angles of the reported attack with a view to ensuring that all persons empirically linked to the incident are apprehended and brought to book.”
The IG charged the team to be professional, thorough and clinical in their investigations.
“They are expected to liaise and work with the Benue State Police Command and other relevant members of the law enforcement community to ensure that they deliver on their mandate.
The assassination bid had sparked national outrage that underscored the grim security situation in the country.
Benue State has also become a target of attacks by rampaging herdsmen, whom some years back killed over 200 people.
Former governors of the state, Senator George Akume and Senator Gabriel Suswam were also attacked by gunmen during their tenures.
Ortom has been vocal in the criticism of open grazing by herdsmen in the state to which he signed an anti-open grazing bill passed by the state legislature.
He had also recently had a face-off with the Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed, over the Bauchi governor’s claim that Fulani herdsmen carried AK-47 rifle for self-defence.