Apostle Suleman is seeking IGP Intervention over an attack on his convoy by unknown gunmen and the murder of an arrested suspect by the DPO.
Glamtush reports that the President of Omega Fire Ministries Worldwide, Apostle Johnson Suleman, has sought the intervention of the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, over the brutal attack on the hiss convoy, a situation that led to the death of three policemen, two drivers and two others.
This online news gathered that during the attack Friday, youths and members of a vigilance group in the state arrested one of the suspects alive and handed him over to the Divisional Police Officer in Auchi, CSP Ayodele Suleiman, who allegedly shot the suspect dead.
Earlier, the cleric, in his reaction to the 42-second video clip showing the corpse of the suspect in a vehicle, slammed the police, as he alleged that it was an attempt to cover up traces that could lead to those behind the attack.
He tweeted, “Lies…there weren’t kidnappers… He was caught and handed over and the police killed him immediately. Why? Why killing him on the spot? Who is trying to cover up traces?”
But reacting to the development, Suleman, through his adviser, Dickson Osajie, urged the IGP to set up a board of enquiry to ascertain the reason why the DPO killed the suspect, adding that his (DPO’s) decision to eliminate the evidence that could unravel those behind the dastardly act was suspicious.
He said “I do not expect a senior police officer that is well trained at that level to eliminate concrete evidence that can be used to track the remaining suspects. The IGP as a matter of urgency should get the DPO arrested and as a matter of urgency, set up a board of enquiry to ascertain the reason why a DPO of a police station will stoop so low and shoot a suspect dead.
“The DPO, by eliminating the suspect, eliminated evidence and it means he does not want the public to know what happened. It means he has closed the investigation by eliminating the evidence. What manner of policing is this? This is a policing tragedy and I will advise that the IGP gets him arrested immediately because the DPO’s action gave the Nigeria Police Force a bad name.”
“When Abba Kyari arrested Evans, was Evans eliminated? He wasn’t. So, how will you get a suspect red-handed and shoot him dead in broad daylight? For what purpose? A high-profile personality was attacked, eight people were killed, a suspect was arrested alive and he killed the suspect. It is an intentional operational error.
“The Commissioner of Police, Edo State, should take over the case and get the DPO arrested immediately so that he can explain why he shot the suspect dead. The phone of the suspect should be taken over from the DPO before it is destroyed.”
Meanwhile, the state Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, Jennifer Iwegbu, in a statement on Saturday, said the Commissioner of Police, AIG Abutu Yaro, ordered the removal of the DPO as part of the measures to unravel the circumstances that led to the death of one of the surviving members of the gang that attacked the cleric’s convoy on Friday.
The statement read in part, “The outgoing CP, now AIG Abutu Yaro, has ordered the withdrawal of CSP Ayodele Suleiman, DPO Auchi, for debriefing at the state headquarters with immediate effect. We urged members of the public to remain calm and patient, assuring that no stone would be left unturned to unearth the circumstances surrounding the incident.”
Also speaking, Suleman’s lawyer, Samuel Amune, while also demanding a thorough investigation into the case, said, “One of the boys (suspects) was caught yesterday by vigilantes and he was handed over alive to the Auchi Police Division. But ironically, we don’t know what happened and the next thing we heard was that the police have shot him dead. I don’t know what the police will cook up later to be responsible for shooting him as the police station was not attacked by the youths.”
The Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, declined to comment on the matter, noting that it was under the Edo State Command of the Nigeria Police Force.
“Kindly contact the Edo State Command PRO to comment on the issue; it’s under his jurisdiction, and I can’t speak on it,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Edo police spokesperson, Chidi Nwabuzor, faulted the use of a bus for conveying the cleric’s security aides, saying it was against the ethics of security.
Nwabuzor said, “The vehicle that the armed guards – the policemen – ought to have used is a Hilux, the open van with a roof so that they can see all corners, rather than a bus that is covered and locked. That is against the ethics of security, and we urge the Federal Government to look into that because it’s now like anything goes for the police when the VIPs get any kind of vehicle and since we don’t have ours, we’re bound to go by it.”
The state PPRO, however, described the allegation that the suspect was handed over to the police alive and was shot dead by a policeman as an attempt to malign the efforts of the policemen during the attack.
He added, “We have heard the allegations of a cover-up by the police making the rounds. But in this case, three policemen were murdered. So, what could be the interest of the divisional police officer to cover up anything when his men were murdered? So, I do not think that the allegation is true. However, it is an allegation, and it’s subject to enquiry.”
However, one of our correspondents learnt that normalcy has returned to Auchi. A source said some youths in the area held a vigil in the cleric’s house to commiserate with him and his household.
“Normalcy has returned to the town and we were at the apostle’s house on Friday night. It was not planned but we just trooped down to his house to commiserate with him. We were all there and were all moody and sad. I also saw people who wore long faces. Hopefully, we will not see this kind of occurrence in future. I can’t imagine people after another person’s life,” the source added.