The Death Of Civil Defence Officers, Our Story - By Police

The Death Of Civil Defence Officers, Our Story - By Police

The police authorities yesterday briefed the Presidency on the circumstances surrounding the death of two operatives of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSDC) in Lagos on Wednesday.

Both Messrs Adaji Gabriel and Innocent Akegbe, Assistant Inspector and Inspector of corps respectively were killed during a clash with policemen over policing of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipelines in Ikorodu area. The police delegation was led to the meeting by the DIG ‘A’, Suleiman Fakai. The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, is said to be currently out of the country.

The President had earlier met with the leadership of the NSCDC on Wednesday evening. Other members of the police delegation were Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko; Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Anti-Vandalism, Friday Ibadin; and the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, President Goodluck Jonathan was said to have at the meeting which lasted less than an hour stressed the need for co-operation between sister security agencies. Mba later confirmed to reporters that the police authorities came to brief the President on the clash.

He said the force also presented to the President what he called “the police perspective of the report” and presenting the facts as they are. Mba said: “The meeting is just one of those routine visits where the police leadership comes around to brief the President on co-operational related issues. Basically, that is why we are here this morning. “Of course, that (the clash between policemen and officials of the NSCDC) is one of those issues we discussed and we also have to come here to give the President a police perspective on that report and that is exactly what the leadership of the police has done.

Give the President a comprehensive report of what actually transpired, from police perspective and actually presenting the facts as they were’’. The Force Headquaters’ spokesman, while describing the incident as unfortunate, debunked the claim that the policemen involved set free vandals allegedly arrested by the NSCDC personnel. According to Mba, there was an exchange of fire by both sides during the clash as the expended bullets recovered from the scene clearly showed that different guns belonging to different security agencies were fired during the fracas.

Contrary to the reports that the police team that came to the scene were invited by the vandals allegedly arrested by the corps team, Mba explained that a Security Manager of Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) called the police for assistance when a drop was noticed in the pressure of the pumped fuel which suggested leakages. He noted that the police patrol eventually got to the scene where they met the NSCDC personnel numbering 14.

“When the police patrol team arrived at the scene, they met the NSCDC personnel but there were neither suspected vandals nor recovered products in their custody. “There was a slight altercation. The NSCDC operatives eventually disarmed and arrested the leader of the four-man police team. He was chained with handcuff on the wrist to one of the officers of the NSCDC.

“It was during that period that a member of his team made frantic effort to call for reinforcement’’, he said. Mba said that when the reinforcement eventually arrived, there were sporadic gunshots. “In the commotion, it was difficult to explain which bullets did what. As I’m talking to you, the expended bullets recovered from the scene showed that different guns were used and it would take ballistic expert analysis to determine the guns that caused the unfortunate death’’, he stressed.

To buttress his assertion that the police patrol team were actually responding to a distress call, the police spokesman said the PPMC security manager that made the distress call accompanied the police personnel to brief the President on the matter.

He said that the NSCDC officer who held the police Inspector that led the police patrol in handcuff has been detained to prove the truth about the incident. While regretting the incident, Mba called for caution and restraint among inter-security agencies, since, according to him, they have a common objective to maintain security of lives and properties
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