With threats, Rivers steps up war against Police anti-robbery commander


Governor Nyesom Wike led Rivers government stepped up its “war” against the Commander of Federal Special Anti Robbery Squad, FSARS, Akin Fakarode on Monday with warning that residents of the State may be forced to take steps whatever they deem fit if the Police officer is not redeployed based on what it called “unprofessional modus operandi” of the outfit he is leading.

Emman Okah, the Rivers Commissioner for Information and Communications therefore called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene urgently by deploying Fakorede from the state which, according to him, hosts many national assets. Okah who spoke at a press Conference in Port Harcourt on Monday did not specify what will happen to the national assets or indeed, the FSARS Commander if the bidding of the state government was not adhered to by the President.

He accused Fakorede-led SARS of sundry offences ranging from kidnapping, extortion, robbery and rape.

Okah’s boss, Governor Wike had at different in recent times also accused the FSARS Commander of leading his men to commit various crimes like armed robberies, kidnappings and extortion of the public in the state. This is in addition to accusation that the Police officer worked for the oppostion All Progressives Congress, APC during the riotous state and National Assembly rerun elections.

Significantly, Governor Wike’s criticisms of FSARS and Rivers State Police Command have gone notches higher since the annulment of victory of one of the Senators elected during the rerun election in favour of his APC opponent.

For one, the Governor hardly let an occasion he is availed of a captive audience- churches, events for commissioning of projects and such passed without accusing the Police of being behind the poll ‘robbery’ which, according to him, was responsible for the opposition capture of two out of the three senatorial seats meant for the state.

But Fakorede said all the allegations against him are all false and that he would not resign his job as a Police officer because the Governor or any other person says so.

The Inspector General of Police, Abubakar Idris had dismissed allegations against the FSARS Commander as “nonsense,” when he spoke to journalists in Aso Rock Villa, Abuja some weeks ago.

Fakorede, a Chief Supritendent of Police, had also dismissed the claims that by the Rivers Government and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, that he was posted to do the biddings of members of All Progressive Congress, APC while fielding questions in live radio show of Rhythm 93.7 in Port Harcourt last Saturday.

According to him, the FSAR is just one of the Elite Cops in the Police under the leadership and directive of the state Commissioner of Police, CP Zaki Ahmed whose primary duty is to provide security all person no matter the political persuasions.

“Are members of APC or PDP  deserving protection? The answer is absolutely yes. We are employed and paid to provide security for all persons because lives of people are sacrosanct.”

On his reaction to allegations by Governor Nyesom Wike that SARS under his leadership has been involved in heinous crimes like armed robbery and kidnapping, Fakorede said that he takes the criticisms as a call on his officers to perform better.

He however added that SARS members are not immune to prosecution and if there cases of their involvements in crime with evidence, the matter should be reported.

He assured that the matter will be investigated and if true, such officer (s) will be prosecuted.

On the calls by Federal lawmakers from the state for his redeployment and activities of the Unit investigated, Fakarode stated that he cannot resign his job just because the Governor or anybody for that matter said so.”I am not under the paid employment of the state government. Besides, redeployment of officers in the force is a routine affair.  What is a fact is that most of the allegations against us are hearsay. I challenge journalists to utilize the Freedom Of Information Act to dig into allegations and verify whether they are true.”

On allegations of rights abuses like the one made by the Governor that some SARS officers kidnapped someone and forcefully took him to ATM machine of Fidelity Bank branch in Rumuola, Port Harcourt, where the victim withdrew N500,000, Fakorede said the report is strange to him.

But he challenged journalists to put their investigative skills into works by finding out from Fidelity Bank if such transaction ever took place to know what to believe.

The SARS Commander made it clear that he cannot absolve all officers and men of SARS of any breach of rules of engagement: “This is because I am not omnipresent. But what is clear is that no Policeman is above the law.”

In an answer to a question from a caller on whether he was the same person captured in a photograph holding an umbrella shading Dakuku Peterside, DG of NIMASA and former Governorship candidate of APC from the rains, he answered by explaining no matter the position we occupy today, we must remember we are all humans,  and as such,  we are obliged to render help as petty as providing umbrella to shade any Nigerian being beaten by the rain should not attract so much negative attribution just because some persons want to play dirty politics making the photo go viral.

He explained that he had no regrets because as human being and a Police officer he is bound to provide security to anybody no matter the persons’ position in the society.

Fakorede appealed to journalists to always investigate stories and rumours woven around his officers and men so as to be able to puncture the lies for the benefit of the people.


Original post by http://thenewsnigeria.com.ng/2017/10/with-threats-rivers-steps-up-war-against-police-anti-robbery-commander/

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Senior Writer

Bura-Bari Nwilo lives in Port Harcourt, in Nigeria. He is the author of A Tiny Place Called Happiness – a book of stories.

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