Boko Haram: Nigerian Army contradicts police on officers’ abscondment

Boko Haram: Nigerian Army contradicts police on officers’ abscondment

- Many police officers has reportedly departed without official permission from a counter-insurgency training facility in Yobe state

- Nigerian Army said some of the officers were caught in Damaturu which is about 60 kilometres away from the training centre in Buni Yadi

- The police spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, however, stated that the matter was investigated and it was found out not to be correct

Emerging reports have claimed that Nigerian Army admitted on Wednesday night, December 26, that many police officers departed without official permission from a counter-insurgency training facility in Yobe state.

Premium Times reports that the army said some of the officers were caught in Damaturu, the capital of Yobe state about 60 kilometres away from the training centre in Buni Yadi.

A. S. Ishaq, coordinator Nigeria Police Force for Operation Lafiya-Dole, said “There was nothing like policemen absconding, but just a case of some recalcitrant personnel leaving their training base for a reason which was not cogent.

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“What happened was that some of the police officers insisted on going for the Christmas holiday. But in line with standard military operations, there was no way officers undergoing special training on a combat-operation, could leave their base when the training exercise has not rounded up.

“So, we refused to grant them permission. However, the unruly ones among them left our Special Forces School at Buni-Yudi, venue of the training. But thank God, the unruly personnel were tracked at Damaturu, the state’s capital.

''Right now, some of them have been brought back to the School,” A.S. Ishaq, a brigadier-general and coordinator of police deployment in the Boko Haram operation, told PRNigeria on Wednesday night.

''The special training, which should have been concluded last Friday, was extended for one week to enable the police officers take part in all the requisite military combat exercises before they depart the camp, PRNigeria, a pro-government public relations firm, reported. The training is expected to be concluded on December 28.

Ishaq’s account of what transpired, which he insisted did not amount to abscondment, conflicted with the claim by Force Headquarters that there was no case of any officers leaving the training school without permission.

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Meanwhile, the police spokesperson Jimoh Moshood said: “This story was investigated and it was found out not to be correct, there is no reason whatsoever that police personnel deployed for the operations in the North-east would abscond.”

“The Police Mobile Force (PMF) personnel have been engaged actively in the front line along with the military in the fight against the Boko Haram terrorist group since the inception of the insurgency.”

Meanwhile, four policemen attached to Ijanikin division in Lagos state Police Command arrested for allegedly robbing one Theodore Ifunnaya of 350,000 CFA (about N221,508).

The police spokesman in Lagos, CSP Chike Oti, said that the victim was a Nigerian based in Togo. Oti said that the policemen faced dismissal if found guilty, stressing, however, that the victim was not stripped naked during interrogation as being alleged in some quarters.

The spokesman said that the affected policemen had been transferred to the Provost Section of the Command for investigation.

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