By Yakubu Lawal
The Force Headquarters has ordered the arrest and prosecution of 190 riot policemen who absconded from the ongoing training at the Special Forces School, Buni-Yadi, Yobe State.
The fleeing policemen were part of the 2,000 Police Mobile Officers mobilised for the training preparatory to their deployment for combat against Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East.
They were deployed by the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, about three weeks ago for purely military duties under the ‘Operation Lafiya Dole.’
The Police authorities had argued that the deployment of the men was consistent with Section 4 of the Police Act and Regulations, which allows them to perform such military duties both within and outside Nigeria as may be required of them.
According to the Punch, the 190 missing cops were believed to have bailed out of the SFS because they did not want to participate in the counter-insurgency operations.
Findings indicate that the policemen were drawn from MOPOLs 2, Keffi; 3 Enugu; 5 Benin; 8 Jos; 11 Calabar; and 16 Abeokuta.
Others were from MOPOLs 17 Akure; 18 Owerri; 19 Port Harcourt; 20/22 Ikeja; 23 Keffi Str.; 26 Uyo; 28 Umuahia; 30 Yenagoa; 31 Asaba; 32 Abakaliki; 35 Dutse; 39 Ogbomoso; 43 Lion Building; 50 Kubwa; 51 Oghara; 54 Onitsha and 56 Ogoni.
A Police wireless message with reference DTO:241610/12/2018 sighted by our correspondent on Wednesday, and signed by the Commissioner of Police in charge of MOPOL, directed that the errant operatives should be arrested and produced under escort.
Checks showed that over 120 of the absconding officers were Sergeants, while the rest included some Inspectors and a few Corporals.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Acting DCP, Jimoh Moshood, could not be reached for comment on the development as he did not respond to calls and text message.
The spokesman had disclosed that the Nigeria Police Force had on ground 47 PMF units in Borno, 26 units in Yobe and 18 units in Adamawa, in addition to the regular PMF Squadrons in the three states.