President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, directed the Department of State Security, DSS, to investigate Wednesday’s clash between the Police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, in Ikorodu area of Lagos, which resulted in the death of two NSCDC personnel.
Jonathan also summoned authorities of the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, over the clash. It was gathered that Jonathan asked an independent body to investigate the cause of the of clash between the Federal Government’s agencies, following accusation and counter accusation on which party actually pulled the trigger that killed the NSCDC staff.
It was learnt also that the president met behind closed doors for about an hour with a police delegation led by the DIG ‘A’ Division, Suleiman Fakai at the Presidential Villa.
Other members of the police delegation were the Commissioner of Police in Lagos, Umar Manko; ACP in-charge of Anti-Vandalism, Friday Ibadin and the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba. The Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Mr Muhammed Abubakar, is said to be currently out of the country.
The president had met, Wednesday evening, with the leadership of the NSCDC, led by the Commandant-General, Dr Ade Abolurin.
Mba told State House correspondents shortly after the meeting that the clash formed part of the issues discussed with the president, adding that the police used the opportunity of the meeting to give the president “the police perspective of the report.”
However, while the NSCDC maintained that the police killed their men, an action that resulted in a reprisal attack by its personnel, the police debunked the claim, saying the former was responsible for the shooing.
Vanguard learnt that during the interrogation of Inspector Sunday Gabriel and three other policemen, including the NSCDC personnel picked from the scene of the incident, by Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Umar Manko, the NSCDC officer, identified as Gbedogun Olarewaju debunked the claim that they were ambushed.
Rather, he was said to have explained to Manko that “we went to the area to raid at midnight in two Hilux cars. We arrested eight vandals and exhibits and put them in our vehicles. We did not shoot or attempt to shoot. As we were going, we saw a Toyota Camry car coming and our men stopped to know who were inside because it was not a patrol vehicle. A man (Inspector Sunday) came out first with a pistol.
“He was not wearing uniform. Then, the Sergeant came with a loaded double barrel. The man in mufti asked my boss, DSC Olufemi, who he was and my boss said he had no right to ask him that question since he saw him in his uniform.”
During the argument, Olarewaju reportedly said Inspector Sunday pushed his boss.
“My boss then ordered us to arrest the man, that he would like to know him better since he was not wearing uniform. In the process, we tried to handcuff and move him into the car. But before we knew what was happening, we saw some Mobile policemen who started shooting,” Olarewaju was quoted to have said.
Asked at what point his colleagues bodies were found on the ground, Olarewaju reportedly said, “I was in the car with the Inspector then. I was only informed on the telephone by my boss that two of our men were dead.”
On his part, Inspector Gabriel who was clad in a blue Jean’s jacket and brown trousers, reportedly told the investigative team that he identified himself as an Inspector attached to the Inspector-General of Police Special Squad on Anti-Pipeline vandalism.
He was quoted thus: “ the next thing I saw was that they started beating me and handcuffed me.”
Meanwhile, the NSCDC has allayed fears that their man in police custody could be forced to make statements