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IGP, Edo police commissioner on the spot as criminals terrorise state

IGP, Edo police commissioner on the spot as criminals terrorise state
October 07
07:57 2017
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Why has Ibrahim Idris, the inspector general of police, failed to allow a new police commissioner to assume duties in Edo state since the transfer of the incumbent, Haliru Gwandu?

This is at the heart of the panic that has gripped senior government officials in the state as criminal gangs unleash terror on the citizens.

The criminals are believed to be those who used to collect illegal tolls as well as land speculators and touts who have been now been dislodged by the government.

During the week, Paul Otasowie, a professor at the University of Benin, was murdered by suspected hired killers.

Kidnapping has also been rampant in the state in recent times — Andy Ehanire, CEO of Ogba Zoo, Osayomore Joseph, a popular local musician, and Lawrence Adorolo, a Catholic priest were all abducted.

TheCable understands that Godwin Obaseki, the state governor, has lost confidence in Gwandu, but the replacement, Johnson Kokumo, has not been allowed to assume duties since the transfers were announced in July.

Kokumo was the commissioner of police (armament) before his transfer to Edo by the Police Service Commission (PSC).

Gwandu… sitting tight

Garba Umar, who was deployed from Bayelsa state to Anambra state as police commissioner at the same time as Kokumo, has since assumed duties at his new post.

Some police officers in Edo state, sources told TheCable, are of the opinion that the recent upsurge of crimes is orchestrated by the leadership of the police command in Edo state, but accusing fingers are also pointed at the inspector general over the continued stay of Gwandu.

The leadership of Edo command “is either complicit in the growing insecurity or are compromised and providing cover for a ring of organised criminals”, insiders said.

There are allegations that divisional police officers (DPOs) are forced to remit money and many have resorted to criminal activities to stay in their jobs.

TheCable was informed that Obaseki has made efforts to ensure the new police commissioner assume duty, but he has been rebuffed by Idris and Gwandu — while the police commission appears to be powerless.

 

A spokesperson for the PSC asked TheCable to direct questions to the police since the body had already done its own part with the transfers.

Jimoh Moshood, the police force spokesman, did not pick his calls or reply text messages.

Meanwhile, Obaseki,has said the state will not be forced by criminal elements and organised crime overlords to the negotiation table, maintaining that law and order, as well as the liberty of the ordinary law-abiding Edo citizens and residents, “are not for sale”.

He called on Edo people to remain calm but vigilant.

He said: “We are opening up various sectors of the economy to ensure that jobs are available to both the skilled, semi-skilled and even the unskilled. We are also building vocational and technical training institutions where these people will be directed and trained for free in order to reintegrate them into the society where people live off the fruit of their daily labour in legitimate enterprises.”

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