…says 1,596 suspected looters arrested, 1 ,117 charged to court
*sets up assessment c’ttee on assets lost
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Adamu, has tasked officers and personnel on the need to protect themselves in the face of imminent danger.
Adamu, who had earlier disclosed that at least 22 police officers were killed during the wave of #EndSARS protests across the nation, spoke at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command, shortly after concluding an assessment tour of some facilities that were attacked by suspected hoodlums, including the NYSC orientation camp at Kubwa, a satellite town of Abuja.
The police chief also used the occasion to lift the morale of the officers and men, who had become lethargic, owing to the violent attacks that were visited on their colleagues, and stations as well.
“The unity of this country lies in the support that is given to police officers because if you are demoralised, the tendency is for criminals to take over the public space and the country is relying on us to make sure that the public space is not taken over by the criminals. So no amount of provocation, no amount of insult would make us shy away from our responsibilities,” the IGP said.
He added that: “In as much as we are aware that the government is behind us; so, we would encourage you to keep performing your duties.
“We would encourage you to be professional, to be civic, but if anybody touches you, if anybody comes to assault you, you can also protect yourself.
“When we talk of human rights, the police are human; so, the rights of police officers would also be protected.
“So, we are sending the message that legally, we have the right to protect ourselves.”
This came as the police chief met with Commissioners of Police (CPs) in charge of the 36 states’ commands, and the FCT.
During the virtual conference held in Abuja, Adamu disclosed that a total of 1,596 suspected looters had so far been arrested, with 1 ,117 of them charged to court.
And in a related development, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Adamu, has constituted a nine-man committee to undertake an assessment of losses the Force suffered during the #EndSARS protests that rocked the country for about two weeks.
The IGP had noted that 22 police personnel were killed in the wake of the nationwide protests, even as many stations were razed in many states.
Consequently, the police chief has established a panel of nine senior officers, for the purposes of strategic planning, reconstruction, and re-equipment.
The committee, which has a Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr. Abutu Yard as chairman, was inaugurated at the Force Headquarters in Abuja, Friday.
According to a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), DCP Frank Mba, the police incurred heavy losses in terms of human and material resources during the protests.
The police regretted that the #EndSARS protests, which commenced on a peaceful note, degenerated into violence, lose of lives and wanting destruction of property.
“The committee was…charged by the IGP to see the assignment as a call to service which must be undertaken with purposefulness, empathy, dedication and sacrifice.
“The terms of reference of.the committee include: ‘that the delegation should physically visit the scenes of incident and capture the pictorials of all damages done to police infrastructure and personnel;
‘Verify the fatalities suffered by the police; establish the weapons holdings that were lost during the incidents, amongst others’.”
Mba noted thus: “The IGP particularly emphasised that the delegates should visit families of deceased police officers and the injured on behalf of the Force.”
Meanwhile, a check on the profile of the assessment committee’s chairman, CP Yaro, showed that he was once Deputy Commissioner of Police at the General Investigation Department, FCIID, Alagbon, Lagos State.