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Imo state police command denies assaulting NSCDC officers, shares its own side of what transpired

The Imo state police command has denied claims it assaulted men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in the state.

The NSCDC commandant in the state had earlier granted a press briefing where he alleged that some police officers forcefully took him to their office and assaulted him after his security details challenged an officer who was blocking his convoy on Sunday, April 24.

In a statement released today April 26, the spokesperson of the Imo state police command, CSP Michael Abattam, denied the allegation, saying it was the NSCDC officers that assaulted a police officer unjustly and detained him for no reason.

”The attention of the Imo State Police Command has been drawn to a news making rounds on social media captioned “Police Attack Civil Defence Personnel in Imo State”. It is most unfortunate that, some news media will publish stories without confirming same to ascertain the true facts of the story.  

The Command view this with all seriousness and sees it as a calculated attempt to dent the robust synergy the Command is enjoying with other Security Agencies in the state since the assumption of office by the Commissioner of Police, CP Mohammed Ahmed Barde, psc+.  

The true facts of the incident that occurred on the 25/4/2022 at about 1630 hours, in the Civil Defense Corps Office, was that on 24/4/2022 at about 2010 hours, a Police Superintendent Ezenwanne Nonso, a Mobile Police Officer and the Armament Officer of No. 18 Mobile Police Force, Owerri,  was driving in his car heading to Imo Police Command Headquarters on an assignment, on reaching Control Post Round About, there was a heavy traffic Jam, where drivers were trying to maneuver their vehicles to free themselves from the traffic.  While the officer was trying to make way for himself, the Civil Defence Personnel who alighted from his rear, hit the Police Officer’s vehicle violently, shouting and ordering him to remove his vehicle from the road. He replied the Civil Defence Officer that he is equally trying to see how he can free himself from the traffic, only for the Civil Defence Officer to slap him hard on his face calling him a stupid man. At that point he alighted from his vehicle, introducing himself as a Police Superintendent serving at Police Mobil Base, Owerri. It was as if he angered him the more and he gave him another slap and others joined in beating him. The police officer then brought out his phone to put a call to his Commanding Officer but they seized the phone, rushed into their vehicle and zoomed off. 

The police officer had to manage and followed them to their office. On getting there, he demanded for his phone, but they refused rather they dragged him into their office, beat him up and seized his service pistol. After much torture, he was locked up in their cell not minding his plea to call his Commanding Officer. The officer slept in the cell till the next day. 

For the sensitive office the officer is holding, his disappearance became alarming to every office in the Base and they were suspecting kidnapping. Hence, a search party was organized. When all efforts made to trace his whereabout proved abortive, his phone was tracked and the result led the team to the Civil Defence Headquarters Owerri.  

On arrival, the team of Policemen made inquiries to confirm if there was any Police officer detained in their custody. The Civil Defence Personnel became hostile, ordering them to leave or they will shoot them. When the Police insisted, they started shooting into the air. The Mobile Police Officers sensing danger, professionally used minimal force to defend themselves by using teargas. Hence, the Civil Defence Personnel scampered for safety and in the process the Police Superintendent was rescued gallantly from their custody leaving nobody hurt or injured. 

It is pertinent to mention here that in the ethics of the Force, whenever any member of the Force is arrested by any Security Agency, it is mandatory that the arrested personnel’s office is immediately informed, which is the standard practice.

It is laughable that a very Senior Police Officer of the rank of a Superintendent was arrested and detained for over Twenty-Four (24) hours by the Civil Defence Corps, Imo Command and the Commandant never deemed it necessary to inform the Commissioner of Police as required by law, moreso, when the victim pleaded for them to allow him put a call to his Commanding Officer or the Commissioner of Police.

Meanwhile, the officer is presently on admission at the Police Medical Centre, Amakohia.

The Commissioner of Police, Imo Command, CP Mohammed Ahmed Barde, psc+ while commending Imolites for their unalloyed support, pleaded for calm and appealed to Imolites go about their lawful businesses without fear of harassment. He then directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police in-charge of State Criminal Investigation Department (SCIID) to commence detailed investigation into the remote cause of the incident, promising that, at the conclusion of investigation the outcome will be made public.”

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