Ten counter-terrorism police officers attached to the Nigeria
army peacekeeping forward operation base in Abuja are
currently unlawfully detained at a military barrack in
Gwagwalada, Abuja, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.
The personnel were locked up since Tuesday without food
and medical care for refusing to wear military fatigues for an
operation they feared could be illegal.
According to the detainees, they were detained on the
instruction of a Colonel Kalejaye, head of the army forward
operation base, because they refused his directive to
“impersonate” soldiers by wearing their uniforms for a
training in Kaduna State.
Some of the detainees told PREMIUM TIMES the Colonel
wanted to send them for training at War College, Jaji, Kaduna
State, without the knowledge of the Nigeria police authority
that deployed them in the first instance.
One of the policemen said he and his colleagues were kept in
a cell without food or water for three days, and that they were
denied health care.
“We told them that as policemen, we are not entitled to wear
military uniforms, unless, we need a corporate signal from
our IGP or our authority at force headquarters, that will
enable us to go for the operation,” he said.
“Even as I’m talking to you, our luggages are in Jaji now, so
we told the Colonel that, as a policeman, we have our own
law, you have your law, and we cannot do anything without
signal.”
The source said after their complaint, the colonel gave an
order that they be moved to the police headquarters in Abuja.
Midway, they were instead taken to an army barrack in
Gwagwalada, called Special Force barrack, 172 battalion.
“From there, they now moved us to Gwagwalada in one bush,
and the barrack is under construction. So when we got there,
we said we are not entering into this cell except a senior
police officer is here with a detention order.
“Before we knew it, they mobilized more troops about 50,
with arms, and started molesting us, beating us, to the extent
that some of our men were wounded, some complained that
they have ulcer, they did not answer.
They just packed all of us inside the cell, no toilet, no food,
where we are sleeping is where we pee,” he told PREMIUM
TIMES.
The police officers were part of the team sent to Russia for
counter terrorism training, this paper understands.
Since their return December 2014, they had been camped at
the UN peace-keeping camp in Abuja, before they were given
instructions to dress as soldiers for a training.
The officers were nominated by the National Security
Adviser’s office for the Russian course. The latest returnees
were the third batch, numbering between 45 or 46.
Only 10 were asked to wear uniforms.
PREMIUM TIMES could not establish the exact details of the
training or assignment in Jaji.
Pressed on the nature of assignment they were instructed by
the army to go for, the police officers, who spoke to
PREMIUM TIMES, said.
“Because we don’t know that is why we insist(ed) that the
police authority must be aware before we proceed for any
movement or put on military uniform because we believe that
wearing army uniform without approval is tantamount to
impersonation, illegal and unconstitutional,” he said.
The spokesperson for the Nigeria Police, Emmanuel Ojukwu,
confirmed that the police were aware of the matter and were
investigating it.
“We are aware and we are looking into it, that’s all I can say,”
Mr Ojukwu said on the phone, before abruptly ending the
call.
This paper could not reach the Army spokesperson, Sani
Usman, a colonel, as repeated calls to his telephone lines
were unanswered.
Source: Premium Times

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