IG suspends CP over Boko Haram member’s escape

Ringim_8_1_11Sect kills five, DIG says members not in police

Yobe  CAN decries govt’s insensitivity

THE Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Ringim, yesterday suspended a Commissioner of Police (CP) over the escape of a suspected Boko Haram member .

A statement by the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Olusola Amore, in Abuja said that the suspected Boko Haram member was arrested and handed over to the CP for further investigation in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)  but the senior police officer later handed the suspect whose identity was not disclosed by the police to some junior officers for purported further investigation.

According to the statement, it was while they were going for investigation in Abaji, a satellite town in Abuja, that the police team was allegedly attacked by suspected gang members and the suspect escaped.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in charge of  operations, Audu Abubakar,  has denied the membership of any police officer in Boko Haram.

Besides, suspected Boko Haram gunmen killed five persons in Damaturu and Maiduguri on Monday.

The suspects, according to two eyewitnesses in Pompomari and Madori wards, where the assassinations were carried out, came on foot in their flowing gowns with Kalashnikov rifles to the houses of their victims.

Also, the state chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Yobe State, Rev. Garba Idi has decried the alleged insensitivity of the state government to the killings of the  association’s members in the November 4, 2011 attacks and bombings of 10 churches and a pastor’s residence in the Jerusalem ward of Damaturu metropolis.

The cleric spoke yesterday at a press conference held at his Jerusalem ward residence in Damaturu, the state capital.

Abubakar stated that the Nigeria Police Force had no right to declare any person guilty until the person was arrested, tried and  convicted in the court of law.

The DIG stated this yesterday in Bauchi while reacting to the President’s statement that Boko Haram had its members in the police and other security agencies and  the legislature.

According to him, Nigerians have the right to express their opinion but the police cannot take a position until an issue is thoroughly investigated.

He also dismissed the directive from Boko Haram that  southerners and northerners should leave the north and the south  respectively. He said that no  meaningful Nigerian would ask another person to  leave his/her place of residence, adding that the order was just the handiwork of some terrorists who were instilling fear in the minds of the people to get  an opportunity to loot.

He warned that people should not base their decision on  rumours and that those that acted base on rumours would have themselves  to blame.

Abubakar stated that his purpose of visiting the Bauchi State Command was to assess the level of performance of his men and to re-strategize on how to fight terrorism in the zone.

He urged the public to provide the police with meaningful information on terrorists and hoodlums that would help the police perform their primary responsibility of protecting lives and property.

Speaking on the Damaturu’s killings, Yobe State Police Commissioner Tanko Lawan disclosed that a gunman walked to the house of the Chadians in Pompomari ward and fired several gunshots at three residents, killing all of them at about 11 a.m.

Lawan, however, told The Guardian that the suspect had already been identified by the police, stating that “we have identified the sole suspected gunman, because the same suspect had attacked some residents in the same ward, killing two of them.

We are on his trail and his facial description has been provided to the general public for his arrest.”

The Joint Task Force (JTF) Field Operations Officer, Col. Victor Ebhaleme confirmed the Maiduguri killings in Madori ward, disclosing that the gunmen attacked a residence and a shop, killing two people at noon.

He said the suspects were Boko Haram gunmen who defied the state of emergency by attacking innocent citizens in their houses and shops in broad daylight.

He urged the people to fully cooperate with the JTF by providing information on the hideouts and modus operandi of the suspected Islamic sect in the five council areas under the state of emergency.

The curfew, he added, had also been extended from 6 p.m. to 7a.m., instead of 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily, until the security situation improved.

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