Efforts Ongoing says IGP, Four Weeks After Abduction of NYSC Members
The acting Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, on Friday, said collaborative efforts were ongoing to secure the “swift” release of eight National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members kidnapped in Zamfara State about four weeks ago.
IGP Egbetokun stated this while delivering his remarks at the meeting with strategic police managers and media briefing highlighting policies, breakthroughs, and achievements of the Nigeria Police Force in the last five weeks.
The police boss stated that the safety and well-being of all citizens, particularly young NYSC members, remained of utmost importance to the Force.
“We are firm in our commitment to intensify our efforts at ensuring the safe rescue of these abducted Corp Members and all others still in captivity of criminal gangs in any part of the country,” he said.
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“Currently, we are actively engaged in the sharing and analysing intelligence gathered thus far, while also exploring collaborative efforts with security agencies to secure the unconditional release of these individuals as swiftly as possible without harm.
“It is imperative to note that rescue operations generally demand a careful, tactical and deliberate approach, conducted with the utmost caution to avoid unintended harm to the victims.”
See the full address below:
REMARKS BY THE INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF POLICE, Ag. IGP KAYODE ADEOLU EGBETOKUN, Ph.D., NPM, AT THE MEETING WITH STRATEGIC POLICE MANAGERS AND MEDIA BRIEFING HIGHLIGHTING POLICIES, BREAKTHROUGHS, ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE NIGERIA POLICE FORCE IN THE LAST FIVE (5) WEEKS HELD ON THURSDAY 14TH SEPTEMBER, 2023.
I am delighted to welcome you all to this important gathering where we shall outline some of our notable achievements and breakthroughs in the last five (5) weeks, and discuss topical issues bordering on security and safety of our communities.
2. With the understanding that we owe a duty to the public to get them abreast of our activities, policies, and crime control mechanisms and successes, we are poised to ensure a constant engagement with the public to show transparency, accountability, and commitment to changing the policy narratives in our country.
3. This meeting is significant as we enter this year’s ‘ember’ months, and it will spur us to review the internal security situation of the country with a view to revamping our strategies towards bolstering the nation’s security governance, economic growth and national development, especially as we traverse the unique last quarter of the year.
4. The meeting will also avail us the opportunity to enumerate some of our operational plans towards policing the off-season gubernatorial elections which will be held concurrently in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi States in November.
5. The internal security situation of the country, over the last one month or thereabout, has been relatively calm despite the threats of political and socio-economic instability that greeted the removal of fuel subsidy and post-election tribunals across the country. Comparatively, we have recorded lesser number of violent crimes and other major offences across the country.
6. We are all aware of recent Government efforts towards economic recovery and growth through local and international engagements with investors and technocrats, the Nigeria Police Force is poised to support the efforts of government by providing the needed security and enabling environment for all legitimate businesses and other economic activities in Nigeria. We are not leaving any stone unturned and will continue to be on our toes in ensuring that we play our role well in the efforts towards achieving economic recovery, growth, as well as social and political development of our nation. Consequently, all Command
Commissioners of Police and other Tactical Commanders are hereby directed to ensure adequate security is emplaced and sustained in their areas of responsibilities. Any attempt by unscrupulous person(s) to sabotage the economic revival that our country is about to witness will be met with stiff opposition from all of us.
7. In the past five weeks, our committed officers have demonstrated relentless determination in upholding law and order. Through meticulously planned and well-coordinated operations driven by actionable intelligence, the Nigeria Police Force has effectively disrupted multiple infamous criminal syndicates involved in organized crimes, leading to arrest of 288 armed robbery suspects, 187 kidnap suspects, 198 homicide suspects, 59 suspects for possession of prohibited firearms, 168 suspects involved in cases of rape, defilement and other sexual offences, 265 suspected cultists, and 1891 suspects for various crimes.
8. A total of 127 firearms of different calibres, 612 assorted ammunition, and 89 stolen vehicles were recovered nationwide while 71 kidnapped victims were rescued unhurt and subsequently reunited with their families and loved ones within the same period of five (5) weeks.
9. In order to tackle all forms of arms related cases in the country, we have set up an ad hoc committee tasked with the comprehensive review of firearms licensing and regulations in line with the Firearms Act and other extant laws, in the interest of public safety and general security. The Committee’s mandate will encompass a thorough assessment of current firearms licensing procedures and regulations, with the aim of enhancing their effectiveness, transparency, and accountability. This will be done in collaboration with relevant stakeholders to ensure a holistic and well-informed review.
10. On this note, all individuals involved in the wrongful possession of arms and light weapons are hereby warned to submit such illegally possessed weapons to police at the police stations nearest to them. This will attract no sanction. All State Commissioners of Police and supervising Assistant InspectorsGeneral of Police in charge of Zonal Commands, as well as Tactical Commanders are by this announcement mandated to immediately commence a total clampdown on the illegal fabrication, sales, possession, and use of prohibited firearms in the country. All Nigerians are hereby urged to report all suspicious firearms related activities to their local police stations. They can also report through the various NPF social media platforms for prompt response and action.
Special Intervention Squad (SIS)
11. In furtherance of our resolve to ensure that all forms of violent crimes in Nigeria are adequately prepared for, identified, and tackled, and in line with my earlier directive for the establishment of a 40,000-strong Special Intervention Squad, a team of 25 trainers and instructors from various police colleges and training schools have been carefully selected to embark on a specialised training abroad. The mission is to give them relevant training in the Special Intervention Squad program, an initiative aimed at equipping our personnel with advanced skills and techniques for handling complex security challenges across the country.
Deliberate Technological Drive for Smart Policing
12. Recognizing the importance of cutting-edge technology in modern law enforcement, we have made significant investments in upgrading our infrastructure and digital capabilities and these are yielding positive results.
13. The Central Motor Registry (CMR) which was recently automated and rolled out have revolutionized police response to the challenge of stolen vehicles in the country. The platform affords Nigerians the opportunity to register their vehicles online which improves the chance of recovering such vehicles in the event that they get stolen. In the period under review, the CMR platform has witnessed a total registration of one thousand, two hundred and forty-four (1,244) vehicles, out of which two hundred and thirty-four (234) were found to have been reported stolen on the platform. The swift response of the CMR desk officers in conjunction with field operatives led to the recovery of forty-six (46) stolen vehicles so far. This number is included in the total number of eighty-nine (89) stolen vehicles recovered in the last five weeks. Efforts are still ongoing to recover more with the hope of recovering all. We hereby encourage members of the public to access the platform at cmris.npf.gov.ng and register their vehicles for optimum security and safety.
14. Recently, in response to the escalating cyber threats targeting the Banking and Financial sector, as well as the unfortunate incidents of several unsuspecting members of the public falling prey to High-yield Investment Fraud (HYIF), the Nigeria Police Force – National Cybercrime Centre (NPF-NCCC) was given approval to convene a pivotal symposium which brought together Compliant and Fraud Desk Officers from various banks across Nigeria with the primary objective of fostering active collaboration and engagement in our ongoing fight against cybercrime.
15. Building on this initiative, a well-coordinated, intelligence-led operation was initiated, resulting in the apprehension of ten (10) notorious cybercriminals. This operation, conducted from August 16th to 20th, 2023, was in direct response to the emergence of a novel cyber threat characterized by the creation of cloned banking websites facilitating high-yield investment scams and money laundering.
16. The arrested suspects, all male residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have provided confessions regarding their varying degrees of involvement in these criminal activities. Following the completion of the investigation, they have been charged to court accordingly.
17. I strongly urge members of the global cyber community to maintain vigilance and promptly report any platforms promising unrealistic high returns on minimal investments or any other forms of cybercrime through the Police dedicated e-reporting portal at incb.npf.gov.ng.
Safe Schools Initiative
18. In line with our commitment to bolster the safety of educational institutions across the country, we will soon be commencing the deployment of technology in the operational activities of our School Protection Squad, we are delighted to have engaged technical partners who are already collaborating with us in this regard. Our focal officers as well as strategic managers have already undergone training in preparation for the implementation of this technology-driven approach. Similarly, we launched the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) manual for the Schools Protection Squad (SPS) on August 9, 2023, at the Abuja Continental Hotel, Wuse Zone 4, Abuja. This significant step follows the recent establishment of the Schools Protection Squad, is a specialized unit dedicated to safeguarding schools and educational institutions nationwide.
19. The SOP manual serves as a comprehensive guide outlining the operational framework for the Schools Protection Squad (SPS). It delineates the unit’s organizational structure, mobilization procedures, and the code of conduct for its officers. Additionally, it establishes protocols for collaborative efforts with other security agencies, ensuring a coordinated response to threats against educational institutions with operative strategies including intelligence gathering, community policing partnerships, fostering police-public cooperation, collaborating with other agencies, securing Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), deploying logistical assets, offering humanitarian services, and providing training to school managers, teachers, and local communities to effectively respond to emergency situations.
NPF Gender Policy
20. As a follow up to efforts aimed at promoting gender inclusivity and enhance professional development within the Nigeria Police Force, our administration has approved a reviewed Gender Policy for the Nigeria Police Force which was recently launched to cater for the gender sensitivity of our present clime. Similarly, our administration has overseen a mentoring program for young women officers. This initiative aligns with our commitment to implementing the National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, in line with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325. The program, which began with an interactive session led by the Force Gender Advisor and other senior female officers, aims to equip young female officers with the skills and confidence needed for successful careers. They will receive continuous mentorship and guidance from experienced female officers, fostering personal and professional growth which will in turn promote attitudinal and behavioral change in our officers, not only the female, but also the male officers will benefit in this initiative. The Nigeria Police Force is dedicated to fostering gender diversity and inclusivity at all levels as we adapt to modern challenges, contributing to a more effective and resilient policing system in Nigeria.
21. Discipline is paramount in entrenching professionalism and we will spare no effort in instilling and upholding discipline in our officers. The IGP Monitoring Unit and X-Squad operatives, along with supervisory senior officers, are now being deployed to check the checkpoints on our highways. Our goal is to ensure strategically placed and corruption-free checkpoints that prioritize public safety and minimize inconveniences. While we acknowledge concerns about checkpoints, they are vital for visibility policing. I therefore urge members of the public to be patient with our men deployed to the checkpoints. Their presence at the checkpoints is for our safety. Members of the public who experience any ugly encounter with the men are urged to report such ugly experiences promptly through the phone numbers that have been publicized nationwide. If the experience is also pleasant, you may as well share with us.
22. We are equally aware of the challenge posed by the continued presence of unauthorized persons on the various highways around the country in the guise of revenue collection who constantly constitute nuisance on the highways by obstructing the flow of traffic, and engaging in mischievous activities such as the seizure of vehicles, collection of fines and other unlawful activities. All States Commissioners of Police are hereby directed to immediately commence the dismantling of all such non-security checkpoints within their areas of responsibilities, and arrest all violators for prompt prosecution.
23. To bolster accountability and transparency within the Force, we have taken steps such as reinforcing the IGP Monitoring Unit and the Complaint Response Unit (CRU) based at the Force Headquarters, and efforts are ongoing to establish CRU offices in all states. Directive has earlier been given to all State Commissioners of Police to establish CRU offices in their respective State Command Headquarters, as part of our commitment to combatting corruption and improve professionalism in the Nigeria Police Force. Those Command Commissioners of Police who are yet to comply are hereby given a deadline of three (3) weeks from today to do so.
Administration, Infrastructure and Welfare
24. This present police administration very well understands the importance of welfare to bolster efficiency of police officers. Hence, we have commenced the review of the policy and contract agreements on renovating, remodeling and reconstructing existing police barracks and office accommodation infrastructures around the country. To this end, the board of the Nigeria Police Force Properties Development and Construction Company, where I sit as Chairman, recently appointed one of the best hands in property development in Nigeria, Mr. Hakeem Oguniran, as the Executive Consultant to drive a special housing agenda for the Police. I have no doubt that the Consultant will bring his expertise and experience to bare in making our dream of house for all Police Officers and Men in Nigeria a reality.
Training and Development
25. In alignment with the firm commitment of the current Police administration, under my leadership, to foster a culture of improved behavioral and attitudinal change within the Nigeria Police Force, I am pleased to announce that I have given full approval for the commencement of an extensive nationwide reorientation program for all our Officers and Men to be anchored by the Department of Training and Development. This initiative aims at catalyzing a transformative journey, emphasizing essential facets such as cultivating emotional intelligence, ethics and professional conduct, refining effective communication skills, and instilling positive values across the ranks of our esteemed Force.
26. The foundation of any effective Police Force lies in the character and conduct of its officers. As such, this comprehensive reorientation program represents a pivotal step towards not only enhancing the professional competence of our personnel but also nurturing a new ethos grounded in integrity, respect, and service to our communities. It is our firm belief that by focusing on these fundamental aspects, we can foster a more compassionate, efficient, and responsive Police Force that serves as a true beacon of hope and safety for all citizens across our great nation.
27. I am also pleased to announce that the annual Police Strategic Managers Conference and Retreat for the year 2023 will come up between 29th October and 2nd November, 2023 in Owerri, Imo State.
28. This conference and retreat serve as a paramount platform for knowledge exchange, strategic planning, and the strengthening of our collective resolve to enhance policing in our nation. It is an opportunity for us to reflect on our achievements, discuss emerging challenges, and chart the course for even more effective policing. Your active participation and engagement are crucial, as we work together to continue improving the safety and security of our citizens. This year’s Conference promises to be more innovative than the previous years. Further details on the Conference and Retreat will be communicated in due course, and I look forward to seeing you all there.
ACROSS THE STATES
Zamfara Police Command
29. In light of recent distressing events, we must not forget the abductions of eight (8) National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members in Zamfara. The safety and well-being of all our citizens, particularly our young NYSC members, remain of utmost importance to us. We are firm in our commitment to intensify our efforts at ensuring the safe rescue of these abducted Corp Members and all others still in captivity of criminal gangs in any part of the country. Currently, we are actively engaged in the sharing and analysing intelligence gathered thus far, while also exploring collaborative efforts with security agencies to secure the unconditional release of these individuals as swiftly as possible without harm. It is imperative to note that rescue operations generally demand a careful, tactical and deliberate approach, conducted with the utmost caution to avoid unintended harm to the victims.
Rivers Police Command
30. The tragic killing of a Divisional Police Officer, SP Bako Angbashim, in Rivers State is another event which serve as a stark reminder of the multi-dimensional challenges we face in maintaining security and order across our nation. We have mobilized efforts to ensure the perpetrators of the mindless killing of SP Bako Angbashim are brought to swift justice while we sound a note of serious warning to those who have penchant for killing our officers to desist.
31. The slain officer was known for his courageous exploits against vicious criminal elements terrorizing the communities where he served. His gruesome murder and subsequent mutilation of his body is unacceptable to us. The perpetrators of this heinous crime have murdered sleep and they obviously will sleep no more. They will be hunted down with all resources at our disposal. Never again shall we be ordinary in our response to the killing of our Officers. These murderers will pay dearly for their callous acts.
Kano State Command
32. In Kano, we recorded the evacuation of large quantities of fake and expired drugs on 22nd August, 2023, discovered in two different warehouses located at Mallam Kato Market. Those who engage in the illicit business of trading in expired and substandard drugs are as callous as those who kill innocent citizens in our country. We will from now on, intensify our collaboration with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in ensuring that these group of criminals are no longer given space to operate in our communities.
Lagos Police Command
33. Similarly in Lagos State Police Command, proactive intelligence-based operations have significantly contributed to maintaining law and order in the state. This has led to the arrest of 66 suspects engaged in varying crimes including armed robbery, unlawful possession of arms, impersonation, cultism, murder etc., and the recovery of 14 firearms including two AK47 rifles, one of them locally fabricated; 2 locally fabricated toy guns; 15 live cartridges; 4 expended cartridges; 25 live ammunition; 34 bags of weed suspected to be Indian hemp; 6 vehicles; 2 bags containing fake US Dollars, fake Pound Sterling note; and 66 kegs of fake Total engine oil.
FCT Police Command
34. The FCT Police Command in the past five (5) weeks have recorded the arrest of 948 suspects for various violent crimes, and the recovery of various sophisticated arms and ammunition of different calibres, as well as stolen vehicles. 903 of the arrested suspects were charged to court where 876 were convicted.
35. This demonstrate the dedication and effectiveness of the Nigeria Police across various states in Nigeria in responding to criminal activities and ensuring the safety and security of the public.
36. The past five (5) weeks have been a period of good and bad for the Nigeria Police. Inspite of pockets of ugly incidences recorded in some parts of the country, Nigeria is presently witnessing a steady decline in the general crime rate when compared with the previous figures. The combined efforts of our officers, the support from the government, the cooperation and assistance received from state governments, and members of the public have been integral to the achievements. I need to restate that the Nigeria Police Force, under my watch, will continue to adopt and embrace modern policing strategies, and an allinclusive paradigm shift to tackle the various dimensions of crimes and criminality in Nigeria.
37. Furthermore, we will always welcome and appreciate support from all well-meaning Nigerians and stakeholders in driving our mandate to uphold our collective heritage and national safety. As we move forward, we remain committed to upholding the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, and service to the nation.
38. Thank you for your attention.