The Inspector -General of Police, Mr. Hafiz Ringim, has withdrawn riot policemen from banks in the Federal Capital Territory.
The withdrawal followed the killing of a woman and a taxi driver by a riot policeman at Mpape, a surburb of the FCT.
The incident led to an attack on the bank, burning of nine cars and looting of an Automated Teller Machine by a mob.
A source at the Force Headquarters said the officers were asked to go back to their units on Tuesday, pending an appraisal of the situation by the police authorities.
“Mobile policemen attached to banks have been withdrawn by the IG and we have been asked to go back to our units for now,” the source, who was on special duty at one of the banks in the FCT said.
Investigations by our correspondent on Wednesday and Thursday at some banks indicated that most of the riot policemen attached to them had been withdrawn.
At a new generation bank along the Herbert Macaulay Way, Central Business District, only one riot policeman was seen on duty on Thursday. The bank usually had about four policemen on duty.
When contacted, the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Olusola Amore, said he had no information on the withdrawal of the policemen.
The policeman that triggered the mob action has been dismissed from service. It was learnt that Ringim had directed that criminal prosecution should be initiated against him.
It was also learnt on Thursday that the Commander of MOPOL Squadron Unit 44, Abuja had been removed from his post following the arrest of one of his men, Corporal Mohammed Uba, for his alleged involvement in the attacks on some villages in Plateau State.
The MOPOL Commander was removed for “vicarious liability” for the criminal action of the riot policeman who is currently in police custody in Jos.
Uba was arrested along with 29 other Fulani gunmen on January 27, 2011 following an attack on three villages in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State. Twelve people died in the attacks.
Meanwhile, clerics in Ekiti State on Thursday staged a peaceful protest over the killing of the wife of one of their colleagues, Mrs. Taiwo Oluwole.
The protest was led by the chairmen of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Irepodun/Ifelodun and Igede Local Government Area chapters, Reverends Clement Kayode and Peter Adegbami.
Mrs. Oluwole whose husband, John, is the pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church, Oke Age area of Ige Ekiti, was found dead in a farm.
Her death sparked a violent protest by the youths who almost lynched the monarch of the town and his chiefs on Tuesday.
The clergymen who carried placards and Bibles asked security agencies to unravel those behind the latest killing and the previous one in Igede Ekiti.
They said that lives were no longer safe as killers were on the prowl in the community.
Some of their placards read, “Save our souls from kidnappers, murderers and ritual killers at Igede.”
Policemen deployed in the town had a hectic time before they could prevent irate youths from hijacking the clerics’ peaceful protest.
The widower, while addressing newsmen at his residence, appealed to security agencies to find his wife’s killers.
He said, “When we got to the farm on Saturday, we went to different locations like we used to do. I heard when she was calling me, but I thought she was returning home as earlier agreed.
“But I was surprised when I got home and I did not meet my wife. I immediately commenced search for her until her dead body was found in the place where I had visited four times.”
The Police Public Relations Officer of the Ekiti State Police Command, Mr. Mohammed Jimoh, appealed to the people of the town to remain calm.
Jimoh, who said that autopsy had been carried out on the body of the deceased, added that the command would make the result public when it is out.
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