Inspector General Ibrahim Idris has ordered the removal of Kogi State Police Commissioner Ali Janga, following yesterday’s escape of six suspects from custody.
Idris asked the Commissioner of Police, Federal Operations, Force Headquarters, Abuja, Esa Sunday Ogbu, to proceed and take over as the state’s new police chief.
He also redeployed the Commander, Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, the Divisional Police Officer ‘A’ Division, Lokoja and other police officers implicated in the escape for negligence, dereliction of duty and gross misconduct.
The police, in a statement signed yesterday by Force spokesman ACP Jimoh Moshood, said the IG was dissatisfied with the circumstances surrounding the escape of the six suspects, including two principal suspects, Kabiru Seidu (a.k.a Osama) and Nuhu Salisu (Small), who indicted Senator Dino Melaye and Mohammed Audu in a case of conspiracy and unlawful possession of prohibited firearm.
The case already filed at the Federal High Court, Lokoja, was expected to come up in court yesterday.
Moshood explained that the policemen on duty when the suspects escaped were facing serious disciplinary action.
The removed Kogi State police commissioner, at a news conference in Lokoja yesterday, said the two suspects named Melaye as their arms supplier.
Janga said the two suspects escaped at 3.21a.m. from the ‘A’ Police Division in Lokoja, where they were kept.
According to the commissioner, both Seidu and Salisu escaped when they were supposed to be arraigned before a Lokoja Federal High Court, alongside Melaye and Alhaji Mohammed Audu, who was also named by the suspects as one of their sponsors.
Janga identified Aliyu Isa, Adams Suleiman, Emmanuel Audu and Musa Mohammed as four other suspects that escaped from the custody.
The police commissioner said 13 policemen, comprising five operatives of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and eight conventional policemen on duty when the incident happened have been detained for interrogation.
“The 13 police officers, who were on duty when the incident occurred, were defaulted and detained for interrogation,” he said.
Janga added that the names of the six fleeing suspects and that of Melaye as well as Mohammed Audu have been declared wanted and sent for watch listing by the INTERPOL for arrest anywhere they are found.
He appealed to residents to assist the police with useful information on the whereabouts of the suspects by reporting to the nearest police station.
The police enjoined members of the public to about go their lawful duty as the command was in full control of the situation and determined to provide adequate security for live and property
But Melaye gave the Inspector-General a 48-hour ultimatum to produce the two suspects involved in his case.
He threatened to sue Idris for “mental assault” should he fail to produce the two suspects.
He made this statement in a point of order he raised at the Senate yesterday, stating that the suspects are “presumed innocent until proven guilty and they also have right to life”.