Acting Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Ibrahim Idris, yesterday said investigations into the disappearance of many vehicles parked at Force Headquarters a week to his appointment had commenced.
Idris, who disclosed this at an interaction with some reporters in Abuja, alleged that from preliminary investigations, the former IGP, Solomon Arase (retd) alone took 24 vehicles, while some of the retired Deputy Inspector-Generals of Police (DIG) also went away with quite many.
He said the police had already written to Arase and others to return the vehicles they took, as the former IGP was entitled to only four vehicles.
Efforts to reach Arase last night for his response proved abortive but a source close to him, said the former IGP did not go away with 24 vehicles, describing Arase as the embodiment of a professional officer who will not stoop so low to confiscate operational equipment which he fought for the police to have, into personal use.
“In this era of anti-corruption crusade which Arase fought in the Police force in all ramifications, how can the same Arase turn around to soil his integrity built over the years with operational vehicles. The confidant added that the act of mischief may be connected with a plot to discredit the former IGP for the tough stance he took both administratively and sticking to the rule of law and fairness in the manner he ran the police force during his tenure.
But Idris said: “A week before I was announced, when you look through my office window, you could see so many cars. But the cars all disappeared when I came in. ‘’What I did was to assign a directive to the Special Investigative Unit, SFU, for them to investigate all vehicles’ purchases and donations to the police in the last three years. “When I took over, there were no vehicles.
I discovered that the last IG went away with 24 vehicles, including two BMWs. ‘’The DIGs took seven, others eight. And they left me with an old vehicle. Even the one I follow the President with the last time I went for an engagement, the President asked what I was doing with that kind of vehicle. ‘’The headlight has changed colour, which means it was parked for long under the rain. But the new ones that were bought, including an Armoured BMW 7 series, he took them away.
So, I wrote to him and reminded him of the need to return the vehicles. ‘’When a policeman retires as IG, DIG, AIG or CP he is entitled to some vehicles. And so, he should take his entitlement and return the extra. I believe four vehicles are enough for an average person. What does one need 24 vehicles for?” The IGP also disclosed that the force had concluded plans to investigate the irregularities in promotion, assuring policemen that due diligence would be done.
Idris said he could feel the pains of those who felt marginalised by the promotion, recaling that he spent five years as Commissioner of Police, while some of his juniors were promoted above him.