Thursday, January 19, 2012

IGP faces sack over the escape of suspected Madalla blast

IGP faces sack over the escape of suspected Madalla blast: The Federal Government has indicated that Inspector General of Police (IGP), Hafiz Ringim may lose his job following the escape from police custody of an individual suspected to be the mastermind of the Christmas Day bombing of St. Theresa Catholic Church, Madalla, near Abuja.

The Minister of Police Affairs, Captain Caleb Olubolade (retd), who disclosed this to State House correspondents on Wednesday, said even as the minister in charge of police, his job was not also safe until an acceptable explanation had been given to President Goodluck Jonathan.

He confirmed that the IGP had been queried and given 24 hours to explain why disciplinary action should not be taken against him over the incident.

Olubolade also revealed that government had ordered the arrest of all policemen involved in the operation leading to the escape of the suspect, including Commissioner of Police Zakari Biu.

According to him, “that was an unfortunate incident but measures will be put in place now to address the [issue of the] escaped suspect.

“From the ministry, I have directed the IG to carry out full investigation and even at a higher level above that one, there will be another investigation to ascertain what led to the suspect’s escape.

“I have also directed that the officers involved and the personnel involved should be detained immediately.”

On what action might be taken against the police officers, he remarked that “you would have seen in the papers that the commissioner of police has been suspended. In fact, beyond that, I have ordered that he be placed under close arrest.”

He explained that the IGP was queried because “he has the responsibility to ensure all operations regarding arrest and all that are conducted in the usual manner.
“If he is found guilty of complicity, he himself will have to account for his mistakes.”

Olubolade denied insinuations that there had not been proper coordination between his ministry and the police, thus creating lapses in responsibilities, saying “it is not an indication of somebody has erred in his responsibility. The outcome of the investigation will prove that.

“What is important is that whatever steps we are going to take as a result of this neglect, we have to take it immediately.”

The Police Affiars Minister, who said he did not know whether the escape of the suspect was a confirmation of the president’s assertion that the Boko Haram sect had infiltrated the government, said what was important was that the suspect was missing and all steps must be taken to re-arrest him.

“While that is pending, the officers involved, who conducted the search, must be detained so that the outcome of the investigation will lead to whatever punishment will be given,” he said.

Police launch manhunt for re-arrest of Boko Haram chieftain

Meanwhile, as the police launch a manhunt for the Boko Haram chieftain, fresh facts have emerged on how Kabir Sokoto was arrested through tracking devices.

Informed police sources disclosed that the runaway suspect, whose nickname is Kabir Sokoto, was the second in command to the leader of the Boko Haram sect, Shekau Shekau, who took over the leadership of the group after the killing of their leader, Mohammed Yusuf, in 2009.

The source revealed that Sokoto, who was not even the second, took over as second in command with the responsibility of coordinating the bombing activities that had rocked the country in the last one year.

According to authoritative information made available to the Nigerian Tribune, Sokoto had been on the wanted list of the police as one of the leaders of the terror group.

The source said that the Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Ringim, got information that Sokoto had sneaked into Abuja to coordinate his terror group to unleash another mayhem in the nation’s capital.

Following the revelation and the contacts  Sokoto was making  through his GSM phone, the IGP tracking unit discovered that the call was being made from somewhere in Asokoro, Abuja.

The source disclosed that the ACP in charge of the tracking unit moved to Asokoro, but narrowed them down to between the Borno and Jigawa government lodge, which share a common wall.

The lorryload of anti-riot policemen ransacked the Jigawa Lodge, but did not find the suspect, but the tracking device continued to indicate that the last call was made around there.

The officer then moved into the Borno Lodge at about 2.00a.m. on Monday, where Sokoto was discovered hiding in the lodge and was immediately arrested.

Nigerian Tribune gathered that it was during interrogation that Sokoto confessed that they had a hideout at Abaji, which is about 70 kilometres to Abuja, from where the activities to attack FCT was being coordinated.

The source further revealed that it was on their way to Abaji early on Monday morning that the police team escorting the suspect was attacked and in the confusion that ensued, he escaped.

The source vowed that Kabir Sokoto would be re-arrested no matter how long it took, as his pictures had already been sent to the borders to watch out for him.
“I can assure you, he is still in this country, he can’t run to anywhere; we must get him,” the source said.

A Commissioner of Police, Zakari Biu, was, on Tuesday, queried and suspended from duties, following the escape of the most wanted suspect.

The suspect is widely believed to have coordinated the Christmas Day bombing at Madalla, Niger State, in which over 40 people were killed.


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