In an apparent move to reposition the Nigeria Police, its high Command weekend disbanded all satellite offices and bases of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Squad, IRT and the Special Tactical Squad, STS.
Consequently, Commanders of both units have been urged to ensure the discontinuation of investigations and other police duties, as well as outright closure of their bases outside Abuja. This followed the recent integration of both units into the Force Intelligence Bureau, FIB.
To this effect, operatives of the bases outside Abuja have been directed to transfer suspects in their custody to their respective State Commands Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS and their firearms the armoury.
The directive which was contained in a signal issued by the Inspector General of Police was to ensure accountability and due process.
Commissioners of Police in the states where these bases are located were also directed to monitor strict compliance of the directive. However, reactions have begun to trail the disbandment, with calls to the IGP to reconsider his stance.
Security expert, Dr. Ona Ekhomu, who described it as an unpardonable error on the part of the Police High Command to scrap the IRT or put it under the FCIID, said it could give criminals a field day.
He said: “The IRT should be left alone because it has different functions and also , has a technical way of getting things done. So, you cannot put it under FCIID which seems to have become unproductive. It is not purposeful, the whole point is a bad move. “It will be a fatal mistake to wind IRT down because all the cheers the Police are getting from the Police is because of IRT’s achievements. As for STS, I think they have a reason to make the Squad work with the Federal SARS because they are doing the same work.
“ This may not change anything because the directive has been issued. We will allow them to have their way while we have our say. At the end, they will come back to what we have said”.
On his part, Mr. Adeleke Debo, a legal practitioner, said: “ achievements of these formations, especially IRT, led by DCP Abba Kyari, are second to none in the history of this country. Any progressive should not think of changing the winning teams but should think of how to promote them. The IGP should not contemplate changing the winning teams if he wants to succeed.
“DCP Kyari was recognized recently by the House of Representatives, not because of his handsome face, but because of his monumental achievements in IRT, which are evident in the arrest of Nigeria’s most notorious Kidnap suspect, Chukwudumeme Onwaumadike aka Evans, in Lagos State and his gang members, now under prosecution.
“Others are the arrest of suspected killers of former Chief of Defense Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh (rtd) along Keffi-Gitata Kaduna Road, arrest of the most wanted Boko-Haram Commander, Umar Abdulmalik and eight members of his gang, including the arrest of 22 terrorists who were responsible for the kidnap of the Chibok School girls in 2014, among countless arrest of high perpetrators of profile crimes across the country”.