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Police repel militants’ invasion of marine post in Ajah, kill dozens


File photo of a police gun boat

• Three cops arrested for chaining man to generating set
Policemen yesterday gunned down dozens of militants during an attempt to invade Elemoro Marine police post in Ajah area of Lagos State. It was gathered that the militants, numbering about 50, stormed the post at the wee hours of Tuesday in an attempt to steal police gunboats and other weapons.

The Guardian learnt that Tuesday’s attack was one of several attempts by the militants between Ajah and Epe axis, which the police have repelled. The criminals, according to a source, had ran short of arms following the sinking of some of their boats and recovery of certain weapons in the wake of the kidnap of pupils at the Lagos State Model College, Igbonla.

The source said the militants thought the policemen were either asleep or out of their post at the time of invasion. “Unknown to them, the police has beefed up intelligence gathering and had lately deployed men and material to safeguard the coastlines.

“The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, got information of their plans and put us on watch. The militants have attacked so many times since the kidnap of the Igbonla students but they have never succeeded. What we did yesterday was to take cover in case of any eventuality. As suspected, they struck and our men engaged them in a battle. A lot of them were killed. Some of them escaped with gunshot wounds. They abandoned their boat and we retrieved it.

“We called for reinforcement and the CP came to the place that night with some policemen from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS). We are happy that the militants did not succeed. I cannot say the number of people who died at the moment but they were many,” said the source.

When contacted, Owoseni confirmed there was a failed attempt by militants to invade the police post but declined further comments on the issue. He said there was an ongoing operation between the police and the navy to keep militants off the waterways, adding that information would be provided in due time.

Meanwhile, three policemen attached to Bariga division headquarters of the Lagos State command, may be sacked for allegedly handcuffing a man and chaining him to a generating set in the station.

The erring policemen, who include a Police Inspector, are currently facing disciplinary action, popularly called ‘police orderly room trial’. If found guilty, the three cops may end up losing their jobs.

It was gathered that the policemen had allegedly arrested a suspect along Bariga road on July 16, 2017, but rather than hand him over at the station, they proceeded to chaining him to one of their generating sets.

It was gathered that the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the station uncovered the ‘inhuman act’ during an inspection tour of the division. On enquiry, the DPO was able to identify those who chained the suspect and ordered their immediate detention.

Owoseni, who confirmed the arrest at a press briefing held yesterday, said the policemen are being tried in accordance with the extant rules regulating the activities of policemen.

“In view of the desire by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to sanitise the force, the three policemen involved in the act are being tried and adequate disciplinary action will be taken against them at the end of the trial. The command frowns at any case of misconduct by its men. Policemen are advised to operate within the ambit of their guidelines. Anyone found wanting in the discharge of his duty would be made to face the wrath of the law.”

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