MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
What seemed an impossibility over the years has finally come to pass for Eburuaja Nwachukwu as the Police Service Commission (PSC) recently recognized his commitment to his duties as a police officer and promoted him appropriately to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP).
Nwachukwu, until his elevation from the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) never handled his duties with levity. His outstanding performance in recent time was his brazen display of gallantry during the 2020 ENDSARS protest when as the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Elemoro in Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Area of Lagos State, had to contend with the rampaging hoodlums who attacked his station.
The attackers who came in buses and trucks and armed with deadly weapons, had jumped over barricades and launched attacks with bottles, stones, firecrackers and other dangerous weapons on the station. Some of the hoodlums reportedly fired gunshots as they made efforts to break through the locked gate.
Even though officers and men of his Division including himself were in grave danger as the attackers stormed the station, Nwachukwu resorted to use of minimal Force, obeying the rules of engagement with his men as they tactically repelled the invaders with teargas and warning shots only. They did not aim to kill any of the protesters even though opportunity to do so offered itself.
They ensured there was no casualty as the protesters were resisted and turned back but the battle was not yet over as the hoodlums were poised to destroy the police station.
The battle lasted for almost a whole day and when it became glaring that the attackers were not giving up anytime soon, Nwachukwu having noticed that his men were running out of smoke shells and ammunition, decided to retreat into a nearby forest after making distress calls to the authorities at the Lagos State Police Command headquarters, Ikeja.
Regrettably before help could come, the mob had mobilized reinforcement from neighbouring communities and the station was eventually vandalized and set on fire, with Nwachukwu’s vehicle, refrigerator and other valuables destroyed. Many policemen were injured, though no life was lost.
The DPO Eburuaja Nwachukwu and his men were pushed into the forest where they stayed without food and water for three days before they were eventually rescued by the Area ‘J’ Commander, ACP Gbolahan Olugbemi who incidentally was still nursing his own wound from a car crush. He had embarked on the rescue mission with about five patrol vehicles at about 4pm on October 23, 2020.
Unlike many of his colleagues who suffered one loss or the other during the ENDSARS protest and were eventually rewarded by police authorities with promotion or special commendation, Eburuaja Nwachukwu’s name was missing when the reward came in form of promotions in 2021. The authorities had earlier promised to reward officers who suffered during the bloody protests.
The newly promoted ACP Eburuaja Nwachukwu had enlisted in the Nigeria Police Force on 1st March, 1991. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nigeria and Master of Science in Administration and Management from the University of Lagos. In addition, he has Advance Diploma in Security Operations Management and Specialist Certificate in Investigation and Intelligence.
Over the years Nwachukwu had served in several locations in various capacities. Prior to his deployment as the DPO in charge of Elemoro, he had served as Acting DPO, Ketu Division, DPO Iju Division all in Lagos State Police Command.
He had also served as Area Crime Officer, Area Lima and Area Kilo Commands in Borno State, Staff Officer DFA, Admin Officer, Police Airwing Command, Team Leader Anti Fraud Unit Force CID, Annex Alagbon Close, Ikoyi Lagos. Prior to his recent election, he has been in charge of Conflict Resolution, Area E Command (FESTAC).