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IGP withdraws police escorts from Christ Embassy, Fani-Kayode, 58 others

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No fewer than 60 VIPS and companies in Nigeria, including the Christ Embassy Church and a former Minister of Aviation – Femi Fani-Kayode,  have had their police escorts withdrawn.

The police escorts withdrawal came on the orders of the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.

The dignitaries affect by Adamu’s order include a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal; Senate Deputy Majority Leader, Ajayi Boroffice; sheikhs, and bishops.

Other VIPs whose police escorts are to be withdrawn include Chairman, Ocean Marine, Captain Hosa Okunbo; oil magnate, Emeka Offor; former All Progressives Congress National Vice-Chairman, Pius Akinyelure; former Lagos Senator, Tokunbo Afikuyomi; a former Rivers State Senator, Magnus Abe; ex-Kano Senator, Basheer Mohammed; a former Minister of Environment, Suleiman Hassan; and former Katsina State Senator, Lado Yakubu.

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Some notable companies which will have their police escorts withdrawn include Nuel Ojei Holding Company; Oriental Energy Resources owned by billionaire businessman and in-law to the President, Muhammadu Indimi; and construction company, Salini Nigeria Limited.

The directive is contained in a document titled, ‘Order and Directives Immediate Withdrawal of Police Personnel Attached to Unentitled(sic) Corporate Bodies/Individuals’ dated November 4, 2020.

The document, which was signed by DCP Idowu Owohunwa, the Principal Staff Officer to the IG, was marked CB:4001/IGP.SEC/ABJ/Vol.116/32 and was addressed to the Deputy Inspector General in Charge of Operations.

The IG had on October 21, 2020, in the wake of riots across the country and lack of police personnel, ordered the withdrawal of all policemen from VIPs except those in government houses and others attached to the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

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The order was given in a bid to increase the number of policemen on the streets so as to curb the riots across the nation in the wake of the #EndSARS protests.

However, this newspaper had reported that many of the VIPs had been able to lobby the police authorities and retained their police escort.

The fresh directive issued by the IG read in part,

“The attention of the Inspector General of Police has been drawn to the fact that the police personnel attached to the underlisted corporate bodies and personalities are yet to be withdrawn in spite of extant directives to the effect.”

Others who are expected to lose their police escorts include: Think Nigeria First Initiative, Hon Uche Chukwu; Managing Director, Summer Set, Mr Suleiman Idris; Hon. Prince Ukachukwu; Hon. Mutu Nicholas, Prince Yahaya Audu, Apo Apartments, FCT, Abuja; Uche Sylva International, Eddinho Nigeria Limited Guinness; and a former Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency, Mustapha Maihaj.

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The Police Service Commission had said in 2018 that over 150,000 policemen were attached to VIPs and unauthorised persons in the country.

The PSC put the current total number of policemen at an estimated 370,000 which means about 40 per cent of the police are attached to private persons.

The figure means Nigeria has failed to meet the United Nations recommendation which is 340 police officers per 100,000 people or a minimum police strength of 220 per 100,000 people.

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