Seven Weeks Of Egbetokun’s Outstanding Performance Against Criminal Activities
By Adewole Kehinde
“With your entire focus on your goal, you will reach levels of achievement that you never thought possible.” Catherine Pulsifer
On Thursday, 8th February 2024, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Olukayode Egbetokun held his first Conference with Strategic Police Managers of the year.
According to the IGP, the primary purpose of today’s assembly is to assess the prevailing state of the nation’s internal security, underscore some of our noteworthy accomplishments and review our policing strategies in alignment with the fundamental tenets of our policing mantra – competence, service-driven, rule-of-law compliant, and people-friendly policing system.
Since he assumed office in July 2023, IGP Kayode Egbetokun has matched actions with words which has resulted in unprecedented achievements above the achievements of some of his predecessors.
In June 2023, IGP Kayode Egbetokun, acting Inspector General of Police, unveiled a new policing vision aimed at improving the performance of the force and re-igniting public trust.
He unveiled the vision during his inaugural conference with strategic police managers.
The IGP assured Nigerians that the police under his watch will symbolize excellence, integrity, and compassion.
I recall that the highlights of the IGP’s policing vision include upholding the sanctity of the legal framework of the Nigeria Police Force; tackling the menace of crimes and criminality with the establishment of a specialized quick intervention squad comprising combat-ready police mobile force personnel with effective and enhanced training in crisis de-escalation and violent crime reduction strategies; leveraging cutting-edge tools, data analytics, and intelligence networks for a robust and effective human and technical intelligence gathering process to enhance police capacity; and strengthened inter-agency collaboration.
He further said that the new policing vision will focus on enhancing the police training curriculum with a special focus on attitudinal and behavioural changes; improved welfare and resuscitating the police officer support unit (POSU) of the Police Medical Services to serve as confidential support and counselling facility for all police officers; implementing a new Recognition and Reward system to better motivate and encourage our dedicated personnel; and community policing, through a more vibrant engagement of the police community relations committee (PCRC), and the establishment of a citizens engagement focus group.
I saw the excitement on the faces of officers and journalists who attended the meeting as the IGP reeled out the substantial progress that had been recorded since the beginning of the year.
Of particular significance is the launch of the Special Intervention Squad in the FCT which has started to yield positive dividends.
Among the successes recorded following this launch include the arrest of one Idris Ishaku a.k.a Yellow, a notorious kidnap kingpin in the Bwari axis, and two others. Apart from engaging in kidnapping activities, the suspects form part of the network of spies providing information on potential victims to other criminal gangs and syndicates.
On the 24th of January 2024, the Special Intervention Squad in conjunction with some officers from the FCT Command, and vigilantes stormed a kidnapping syndicate camp in Ukya Village Nasarawa where they were able to secure the rescue of 14 hostages unhurt after a fierce gun battle.
Between December 2023 to date, police operatives have recorded thirty-five cases of terrorism/secessionist attacks, three hundred and two cases of murder, one hundred and eleven cases of armed robbery, one hundred and seventy-two cases of kidnapping, sixty-seven cases of banditry, and fifteen cases of unlawful possession of firearms.
Some of the strategies and plans formulated at the last conference paid off as the Nigeria Police personnel arrested eight hundred and fourteen suspects for their participation in various crimes, rescued one hundred and seven kidnapped victims, and recovered one hundred and sixty-six various firearms, one thousand and seventy-four ammunition and forty-one vehicles.
In affirming the vision of IGP Kayode Egbetokun, the Rivers State Police Command rescued ten victims after receiving a distress call from a member of the public that an 18-seater bus coming from Owerri to Port Harcourt was attacked by unknown gunmen along Umuanwa/Ubima Road.
Operatives of the Special Intervention Squad deployed to the Mangu area of Plateau State, area swung into action following the recent attack in the area to prevent further attacks. The operatives arrested nine suspects in connection to the recent attack and recovered from them dangerous weapons including machetes, and petrol kegs, which are suspected to have been used by the hoodlums to set fire to houses in the area.
Normalcy has since been restored and security operatives are fully on the ground to thwart any further attack, while a manhunt for the attackers continues till they are hunted down.
The Kaduna State Police Command operatives acting on intelligence raided one hotel in Tafa Area, Kaduna, where one Bello Mohammed was arrested with the sum of Two Million, Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N2,250,000) suspected to be part of ransoms collected from kidnapped victims.
The suspect instantly offered the DPO Tafa Division a bribe of One Million Naira (N1,000,000) which was rejected. During interrogation, the suspect confessed to his membership of the gang that kidnapped the family members of one Barrister Ariyo in Bwari, FCT, and killed some kidnapped victims, including Ms Nabeeha, daughter of the legal practitioner.
Also, some operatives of the Intelligence Response Team (FID-IRT) intercepted a group of persons along the Abuja-Kaduna expressway who were suspected to be major suppliers of arms and ammunition to bandits operating in Kaduna, Niger, and Zamfara States. The suspects have confessed to the crimes and assisting us in further investigations into the matter.
Another breakthrough was recorded when acting on credible information and intelligence, that some dreaded and unrepentant criminals who specialize in terrorizing Kogi State, Kaduna State, FCT and other parts of Northern Nigeria were taking refuge at their hideout at Obajana in Kogi State. A crack team of FID-IRT was immediately detailed to go on their trail.
The operatives succeeded in arresting one Usman Yunusa and Samila Haruna and recovered two AK47 rifles from them. The suspects are aiding the ongoing investigation.
Also, security operatives uncovered the clandestine operations of one Abdul-Azeez Ibrahim AKA Butcher of Imaweje community by Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun Campus, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State as the armourer for Aye confraternity, a cult group responsible for serial attacks on students and innocent members of the community.
The suspect was trailed to his criminal hideout where the following exhibits were recovered; one serviceable Brownie Pistol loaded with 4 rounds of live ammunition and its magazine, one pump action rifle-jojef with 10 rounds of live cartridges, one English long double barrel rifle, on English short double barrel rifle, one locally made revolver pistol loaded with 2 rounds of live ammunition, one axe of aye confraternity, charms, locally fabricated body armour, etc.
Following a tragic incident in Ekiti State which claimed the lives of two traditional rulers, the kidnap of five school children, three teachers and a driver, a joint operation comprising officers of Ekiti and Ondo States Police Command in conjunction with other security and local security groups stormed the forest in search of the perpetrators of this heinous act. This led to the arrest of thirteen suspected kidnappers. Exhibits recovered from them include cutlasses, an axe, daggers, two motorcycles, four mobile phones, one cow and other food items.
On 4th February, local vigilantes, and hunters as well as the family members, successfully rescued the five abducted school children and three teachers.
The IGP did not relent in his vision when he deployed a police chopper to Kwara State following the kidnap of the Olukoro of Koro Kingdom, Late Oba Olusegun Aremu-Cole, who was gruesomely murdered in his palace on the 1st of February 2024.
The aerial surveillance operation of the forestry boundary between Kwara and Ekiti State led to the successful rescue of the wife of the late monarch and one other.
Also, thirteen male suspects were arrested and are presently aiding the investigation.
Aside from the successes recorded in some parts of the country, the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit (EOD-CBRN) Unit of the Nigeria Police Force has also continued to exhibit exceptional operational skills and recording exploits, particularly during the peak of Boko Haram Terrorist (BHT) activities which saw the Unit effectively halting terrorist’s incessant bombing campaigns.
Among the EOD-CBRN’s recent achievements was an incident which occurred on the 4th of December 2023, where personnel from Base 13 Maiduguri safely handled an Anti-Disturbance Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at the University of Maiduguri entrance.
Additionally, Base 13 was instrumental in numerous road clearance operations, neutralizing buried IEDs and Unexploded Ordnances (UXOs) in Mallam Fatori, Abadan LGA, Baga, Doro Baga, Bama, Marte, Auno, Jakana, Dikwa, Monguno, Magumere, Danboa, Gamboru Ngala, Konduga and Maiduguri., facilitating the safe return of residents to their homes.
Personnel of the EOD-CBRN Base 36 Awka, stationed at the Military Forward Operational Base, Anambra State, successfully recovered five IEDs from an unregistered Lexus Jeep following the neutralization of three IPOB members in Ihiala, Anambra State.
The IGP commended the prompt response of the personnel of the EOD-CBRN in Oyo State Police Command to the regrettable explosion incident at Ibadan on 16/01/2024. He said that their swift response and expertise in managing explosive incidents across the nation have significantly contributed to mitigating such occurrences reducing avoidable loss of lives.
The IGP Special Task Force on Petroleum and Illegal Bunkering (STFPIB), which is a Unit of the Nigeria Police Force responsible for tackling the menace of illegal bunkering and other crimes associated with the oil sector has not relent in attaining the vision of IGP Egbetokun.
The renewed vigour of the current Police administration, to stem the tide of activities of Illegal Oil Bunkering and other nefarious activities directly hampering progress in the Oil and Gas sector, has led to doubled efforts targeted at checkmating the perpetrators of these illicit acts, and leading to the arrest and interception of some criminal elements sabotaging the country’s economy.
The IGP Special Task Force on Petroleum and Illegal Bunkering in January and February 2024, arrested a total of fifty- nine suspects and recovered two vessels, six trucks, one Toyota Camry vehicle, two hundred sacks of adulterated automotive gas oil (AGO), eighty drums of adulterated AGO, forty Gee Pee tanks of adulterated AGO, and sixty-two thousand (62,000) litres of adulterated AGO.
According to the IGP, one of their prominent achievements was the arrest of twenty-three male suspects and the recovery of vessel MT Kali following intelligence received from a private security contractor employed by the NNPC Ltd that the vessel and its occupants were involved in tampering with pipeline and stealing crude oil at the Ekeni Area, Southern Ijaw LGA of Bayelsa State.
The Task Force promptly responded, successfully arrested the suspects, and took them into custody along with the vessel.
The NPF-National Cyber Crime Centre is not left out as well. Within the period under review, the Centre has recorded notable successes in its quest to tackle the scourge of cyber-related crimes.
The arrest, investigation, and arraignment of one suspect in connection with Two Million US Dollars ($2,000,000.00) financial security breach. The investigation, arrest, and arraignment of twelve (12) suspects in connection with Interswitch Thirty Billion Naira (N30,000,000,000.00) security breach. The efforts led to the recovery of thirteen (13) cars, forty-three (43) houses and landed properties, One Billion, Seven Hundred and Twenty-Four Million Naira (N1,724,000,000.00) cash and another sum of One Hundred Million Naira (N100,000,000.00) digital assets trashed and frozen.
Finally, the investigation, arrests of suspects and recovery of funds in a case of fraud and breach of trust involving One Billion Two Hundred Million Naira (N1,200,000,000.00) for the establishment of an e-governance platform for the Enugu State Government where the sum of One Billion, Ninety-Seven Million, Seven Hundred Thousand Naira (N1,097,700,000.00) was recovered.
The recent peaceful and successful conduct of the run-off and bye-elections across 26 states of Nigeria on February 3rd, 2024, is another evidence of result-oriented proof of the strategic deployments of the Nigeria Police Force and resilient support for our democratic process.
While the majority of the elections proceeded smoothly, there were pockets of challenges encountered in some areas. In response, the Police took swift action, making several arrests to prevent the disruption of the electoral process.
In total, fourteen suspects, including two public officials, were apprehended across the affected States.
In Akwa Ibom State, a locally made pistol was recovered, while a suspected thug was lynched by members of the public in Kaduna State.
The IGP further said that the arrested suspects will be handed over to the INEC upon the conclusion of investigations for further actions in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 (as amended).
Under IGP Kayode Egbetokun, the Nigeria Police Force has remained unwavering in its commitment to safeguarding people and property.
He has aggressively tackled the country’s security risks by developing deeper community connections, utilising intelligence-led strategies, and improving operational capabilities.
The safety of Nigerians is IGP Egbetokun’s priority, and he is committed to taking on these difficulties head-on and reestablishing peace and stability throughout the nation.
Adewole Kehinde is the publisher of DSwift Reporters and can be reached at 08166240846. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org