Time tested security experts, lawyers and some police officers have kicked against the disbanding of all satellite offices and bases of the Intelligence Response Team, IRT, and Special Tactical Squad, STS, announced at the weekend by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.
Reacting to the directive from the Force headquarters, a former Director, who retired recently from the presidency after many years with the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Mr. Jude Mekwunye shared the same position with a senior lawyer; Mr. Adeleke Debo and others (who spoke anonymously) condemning the move. They contended that there was no need of changing a winning team even as they believed that politicians who are bent on destabilising the system have some hand in this latest decision.
The IGP has directed that disbanding the formations followed moves by the Force Headquarters to reposition the police and ensure accountability and due process.
According to the police boss , the integration of the IRT and STS into the Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB) headed by Ibrahim Lamorde was done to improve efficiency.
According to a signal sighted issued from Force headquarters yesterday, the Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCPs) in charge of IRT (Abba Kyari) and Yusuf Kolo (STS) were directed to ensure that all bases and offices outside Abuja were shut with immediate effect.
Speaking on the issue, Mekwunye said, “The IRT is a good outfit as a unit in the police. Officers of IRT led by DCP Abba Kyari have been doing a good job across the country. Even if there are bad elements within the system, it is not enough to disband the outfit. Honestly, I am not favorably disposed towards disbanding IRT in particular. Even if, it remains in Abuja, the activities of IRT officers and men across the states with respect to quick intervention against kidnappers and other criminal elements are very critical”
Rather than disband IRT at state levels, the former NIA chieftain advised the Inspector General of Police to look into the activities of officials of the squad with a view to removing the bad ones.
Mr. Debo said many successes recorded by the two formations were too numerous to mention:” The achievements of the formations, especially IRT ,led by Kyari is second to none in the history of this country. Any progressive should not think of how to change winning teams , but should think of how to promote the winning teams to the position of Commissioners of Police to give them strength to bite . Removing Kyari and Kolo who have done well in intelligence and crime fighting will bring the security of this country to its knees.”
” The IGP should not contemplate of changing the winning teams if he wants to succeed. Abba Kyari in particular has done what Napoleon cannot do. Considering his monumental achievements, even when he was the officer in charge of Lagos State Police Command Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS),and what he has done so far in IRT, any person who thinks of removing him is an enemy of the police and the government.”
” Kyari was rewarded recently by the House of Representatives ; not because of his handsome face, but because of his monumental achievements .He was trained abroad and he performed creditably well ,to the extent that he was rated high by FBI. My advice to the government and the IGP is that Kyari and Kolo should be promoted to CP”.
However , some senior police officers who spoke on the condition of annonimity as they were not supposed to speak to the press ,said it was out of share jealousy by some close associates of the IGP who felt that the tactical units were shinning and becoming more influential in the Force that convinced him to to disband other units .
A senior police officer at the Force Headquarters , Abuja , said this is not the best time to cripple the units , considering the security situation in the country:” I must be frank with you ,ever since the House of Representatives honoured DCP Abba Kyari with an award, the centre can no longer hold in the force. Some senior police officers, especially Commissioners of police who are jealous of Kyari and Kolo have been talking to the IGP to cripple Kyari as he is becoming too powerful. They argued that Kyari would have convinced the House of Representatives to give the award to his boss rather than accepting it. Our IGP was initially happy with Kyari receiving the award, but as he kept listening to his friends, he decided to cripple Kyari.”
” Crippling Kyari and Kolo is the handiwork of some CPs who started complaining that they no longer have control over personnel of IRT in their states. They complained bitterly of some personnel who engaged in one misconduct or the other. But we have bad eggs in the entire Force and the only thing the force does is to deal individually with the erring personnel. We have internal mechanism of deciplining our men, why should the police high command rob the offences of few erring personnel on the entire IRT and STS?
Another senior police officer ,said: ” Kyari and Kolo have done a lot and their achievements are too nemerous to mention. Kyari’s 20 years Police is not what should be rubbished with the following milestones :Triple IGP Commendation Medal for courage 2012, 2013, 2014.Triple Lagos State Governor’s award for Gallantry, Leadership and Service excellence 2011, 2012, 2013. Lagos State Commissioner of Police Commendation Award for courage 2011. Best Anti-Crime Police Officer in West Africa from Security Watch Africa.Star Award from the Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria (CRAN )for nine consecutive years spanning 2011 to 2019, Star Award for Outstanding Gallantry in Africa 2018 by Security Aatch Africa. Africa’s Best Detective Of the Year 2018.The Best Police officer of the Decade Award .2018 HERO of the year Award by Silverbird Group ,Presidential medal for courage from President Mohammadu Buhari on April 1, 2016″
Also Kyari made many arrests such as Nigeria’s most notorious billionaire Kidnapper Chukwudumeme Onwaumadike (aka Evans in Lagos State and his gangmembers, now under prosecution. Arrest of the killers of former Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) Air Marshal Alex Badeh ‘rtd’ along Keffi-Gitata Kaduna Road, arrest of the most wanted Boko-Haram Commander Umar Abdulmalik and eight of his Terrorists gang members, Arrest of 22 Boko-Haram Terrorist gang members responsible for the kidnap of the Chibok School girls in 2014 and also responsible for series of suicide bombings/several attacks and ambush against Security agents in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States”.
Kyari was also responsible for the arrest of the Most deadly kidnapper in the history of Nigeria, Henry Chibueze (aka Vampire) in Owerri, Imo State and his gangmembers and the arrest of the deadly Offa Bank robbers who invaded Offa Town, Kwara State and robbed five commercial Banks. The gang also murdered over 31 innocent Nigerians making it the deadliest Bank robbery in the history Of Nigeria.
He was also responsible for the arrest of kidnappers who abducted a serving Assistant Comptroller of Customs In Portharcourt and the arrest of a syndicate of kidnappers, armed bandits and their sponsors in Zamfara State, after the gang had kidnapped the twin sisters before their wedding. While we were celebrating the arrest of Osama and gang of deadly armed robbers and murderers who escaped from lawful custody at the detention facility of SARS Lokoja, Kogi State; he struck again and picked the godfather/ grand commander of Criminals in Kogi State ; notorious assassin, armed robber and Kidnapper Zakari Yau Of Kogi State. He had over 200 Armed youth under his Control including the Osama.
Kyari’s achievements are too numerous to mention , even while as the officer in charge of the Lagos State Special Anti Robbery Squad ( SARS); he picked the most wanted armed robber , Abiodun Ogunjobi ( aka Abe Godogodo) , who was declared wanted by six commissioners of police .