The Nigeria Police Force experienced a series of attacks leading to the death of personnel and loss of ammunition in recent times.
A 2021 report by SB Morgen (SBM) Intelligence revealed that at least 322 police officers have been killed in the last one year.
From police internal documents, some of which were directly transmitted from the office of the Inspector-General of Police, and different media reports, FIJ documents attacks on police formations from March to date.
While this report does not include all cases of attacks on police, it highlights some specific details such as names of officers killed and firearms stolen.
On March 4, some special duty police officers from MOPOL 29 squadron were on patrol at Ibeno riverside along Iwekpom village when some pirates opened fire on them. During the duel, four of the attackers were gunned down. On the side of the police, an officer was mildly injured. The officers were able to recover some firearms.
The guns and other items recovered were handed over to the Divisional Police Officer in charge of the Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom.
On March 10, officers attached to J-C Best International School in Abuja were attacked by armed robbers. FIJ learned that the team of five officers was led by Inspector Ishaya Iliya.
One of the officers, Sergeant Kefas Habila, was hacked with a machete in the security room while his AK 47 rifle, number S6/25037158, was taken away. However, the police immediately swung into action. They recovered the gun and arrested four suspects.
Fast forward to July 19, a team of four police officers led by Inspector Obida Yusaya ran into road robbers while escorting some mining materials from Jos to Makurdi. The officers were attached to Nippon Integrated Concept Company.
Notably, it was a gun duel that ended well for the police as they recovered some guns from the robbers and shot some dead. An injured gunman was also arrested and handed over to the officer in charge of Kanke Division in Plateau.
On September 26, hoodlums attacked police officers attached to Onipanu Division, Lagos State Police Command, and carted away an AK-47 rifle 804611 with 30 rounds of live ammunition.
A source told FIJ that the police team comprises Nasiru Azeez, an assistant superintendent of police, and Inspector Atari Friday, who sustained an injury to the head.
When FIJ contacted Adekunle Ajisebutu, Lagos police spokesperson, he denied knowledge of the attack. However, FIJ confirmed that the police beefed up security in the area following the attack.
A source told FIJ that the police spokesman feigned ignorance because he was aware of the query that might come with such an attack if the IGP learned of it.
On November 26, two policemen, Assistant Superintendent (ASP) Ofem Ubi and Inspector Julius Yongyei, were killed along Azumini-Aba road in Abia State during a gun duel with some unknown gunmen. The officers were attached to Mobile Police (MOPOL) Squadron 29 in the state.
A Makarov pistol, serial number IM391186, an AK 47 rifle, serial number 2620392, and 68 bullet rounds were carted away.
A source told FIJ that a team of sixteen police officers led by Superintendent Ben Lawrence combed nearby bushes to find the suspects but their efforts were not successful.
Around 9 am on the same day, a group of assailants disguised in army camouflage intercepted two officers of MOPOL 29 escorting a principal officer of Jetlinks Company.
Owing to the multiple attacks on police officers on special duty, the police reviewed the conditions for hiring officers for VIP escort.
In an internal memo exclusively obtained by FIJ, Hyelasinda Kimo Musa, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, instructed officers attached to VIPs to avoid road travel, especially if their employers would be travelling by air.
Not only police officers at checkpoints or on special assignments have been attacked. Different police formations have also been targeted.
Amid a sit-at-home ordered by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), unknown gunmen, on August 9, attacked the Nnewi Police Area Command, Anambra State, carting away some weapons.
Again, in late September, over seven gunmen besieged Ajali Police Station, Orumba North LGA, Anambra State, killing five policemen and setting the station ablaze. They also freed detainees in police custody.
On December 15, some fully-armed men suspected to be members of the Indigenous People of Biafra disguised in military camouflage and opened fire on the mobile police officers attached to MOPOL 28 squadron in Anambra State.
During the gun duel, a police inspector, Friday Adams, attached to the 17PMF, was shot dead. His rifle is also yet to be found, despite a police search.
This attack prompted Usman Baba Alkali, the IGP’s warning to top police officers across all police formations.
On Wednesday, the IGP vowed that punitive actions will be taken against top officers, including Commissioners of Police and Assistant Inspectors-General of Police, in any commands, zones or areas where a police formation is attacked.
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