MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
As the former Head of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Abba Kyari undergoes interrogation at the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), in connection with his alleged involvement in the trafficking of 25kg of Cocaine, some retired senior police officers have blamed it all on the preferential treatment extended to him and other officers considered to have exceptionally performed in their policing duties.
While the retired officers did not doubt the fact that Abba Kyari achieved some extra-ordinary feats in fighting armed robbers, Kidnappers and other criminal elements over the years, they argued that police authorities acted wrongly in giving him and his team so much latitude that enabled them to see themselves as a distinct authority that could operate outside the extant rules of the Nigeria Police Force.
Speaking on Wednesday with the AtlanticNewsonline on the basis of anonymity, some of the officers expressed dismay that the good intentions behind the creation of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) like the disbanded Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) were abused by young officers who became lord to themselves.
According to some ex-commissioners among the retired officers, some IRT operatives could not take instructions from Commissioners of police in charge of the state commands where they operate as they feel intoxicated by the fact that they are direct creation of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) office and so, are responsible only to the IGP through their Head.
To the former officers some of whom retired over ten years ago, the Nigeria Police Force is one institution where procedures, processes and rules should be applied in a standard manner that does not confer superiority on some people over others who are on the same or even higher ranks.
While acknowledging the fact that some official positions come with respect or authority on the occupier over and above his rank, such occupiers of the position should not get carried away with the trappings of the position. They gave example with office of the Police Public Relations Officer of a state command which can be occupied by an Assistant or Deputy Superintendent of Police.
According to them, the occupier by his position has the privilege and authority to speak for the state command whereas a Chief Superintendent or Assistant Commissioner of Police who is an Area Commander does not have the same privilege or authority to speak to the press on behalf of the state command.
They however argued that an Assistant Superintendent or Deputy Superintendent of Police serving as PPRO should not take advantage of his position to disrespect Divisional Police Officers or Area Commanders or other officers in higher rank but do not have the right to speak on behalf of the police command to the press.
To them, DCP Abba Kyari’s current problems linking him to internet fraudsters and drug cartel were precipitated by his inability to manage the exposure he got as the Head of IRT. “He operated as his own boss without any checks and balances from higher quarters” one of the retired officers posited.