Police Officers kick as IGP disbands IRT, STS state offices
Some senior police officers have said the disbanding of the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team Satellite Offices across the nation was a move occasioned by jealousy of some close associates of the IGP, Mohammed Adamu, who felt the unit was becoming more influential in the Force.
A senior police officer at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, argued that this was not the best time to cripple the units, considering the security situation in the country.
He said: “I must be frank with you, ever since the House of Representatives honoured the Head of the IRT, Abba Kyari, with an award, the centre could no longer hold in the Force.
“Some senior police officers, especially Commissioners of Police, who are jealous of Kyari and the Head of the IGP Special Tactical Squad, Yusuf Kolo, have been talking to the IGP to cripple Kyari as he is becoming too powerful.
“They argued that Kyari could have convinced the House of Representatives to give the award to his boss rather than to have accepted it.
“Our IGP was initially happy with Kyari receiving the award, but as he kept listening to his friends, he decided to cripple Kyari.”
Another officer disclosed that some Commissioners of Police had been complaining that they no longer have control over personnel of IRT in their states, especially those involved in misconduct.
He said: “We have bad eggs in the entire Force and the only thing the Force does is to deal individually with the erring personnel.
“We have an internal mechanism of disciplining our men.
“Why should the police high command rub the offences of few erring personnel on the entire IRT?”
Security experts have also frowned on the disbandment.
A former Director, who retired recently from the Presidency after many years with the National Intelligence Agency, Jude Mekwunye, opined that it was not a good move.
Mekwunye said he didn’t understand why a winning team should be changed.
This was even as he opined that Adamu might have bowed to pressures from politicians who were bent on destabilising the system.
It was, however, gathered that the disbanding of the unit was due to ongoing repositioning of the Force to ensure accountability and due process.
It was gathered that the integration of the IRT and STS into the Force Intelligence Bureau, headed by Deputy Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Lamorde, was done to improve efficiency.
According to a signal from the Force Headquarters on Sunday, the Deputy Commissioners of Police in charge of IRT (Abba Kyari) and STS (Yusuf Kolo), were directed to ensure that all bases and offices outside Abuja were shut with immediate effect.
It was learnt that the disbanded offices were ordered to submit all firearms in their possession to central armoury, all suspects in their custody transferred to the state command’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad, while cases already charged to court but investigation not concluded be moved to State Criminal investigation Departments.
State Commissioners of Police were also directed to monitor strict compliance of the directive.
Already, DCP Kolo in compliance with the directive has asked his sector commanders to “fall-in” with their men, exhibits, suspects’ arms and ammunition on July 16 at the unit’s Abuja office to be inspected by the DIG.
In the signal, Kolo told sector commanders: “You are further directed to warn all your operatives to remove the IGP inscription on their operational kits. The correspondences should bear FIB STS.”
Mekwunye said: “The IRT is a good outfit as a unit in the police.
“Officers of IRT led by DCP Abba Kyari have been doing a good job across the country.
“Even if there are bad elements within the system, it is not enough to disband the outfit.
“Even if it remains in Abuja, the activities of IRT officers and men across the states with respect to quick intervention against kidnappers and other criminal elements are very critical.”
He argued that rather than disband IRT at state levels, the Police should look into the activities of officials of the squad with a view to removing the bad ones.
Another security expert, Dr. Onah Ekhomu, described the move as an error.
Ekhomu said: “The IRT should be left alone as it is a specialised formation that has proven that it is capable.
“If the police are winding down the offices of IRT nationwide, they are telling kidnappers to have a field day.
“It will be an unpardonable error to do so.
“That the police are trying and being cheered is because of the achievements of IRT.
“The Squad is doing well in intelligence and it uses highly technical and sophisticated equipment to track hoodlums.
“It will be a fatal mistake to wind IRT down, but for STS, I think they have a reason to make the Squad work with the Federal SARS because they are doing the same work with States SARS, fighting armed robberies and violent crimes in the state, but for IRT, it should be left on its own.”