The Lagos State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps says 12 suspended officials, who allegedly robbed and tortured two tanker drivers and a manager, have a case to answer.
The command said the report of a committee set up to investigate the operatives had been sent to the corps headquarters in Abuja for further actions.
It added that the fate of the men would be determined by a board in the Ministry of Interior, adding that some of them were senior officers.
PUNCH Metro had reported that a team of the corps had flagged down a diesel-laden tanker driven by one Lawal Amobi around 6pm on Friday, May 5, along Wilmer Road, Ajegunle, asking him to produce the product’s waybill and an operating licence issued by the Department of Petroleum Resources.
Amobi had begged the team that the licence was not with him. But on their insistence to see it, he called the manager of the firm that he works with, Tolu Oyinloye, who brought a photocopy of the document.
The officials reportedly seized the documents and demanded a N5,000 bribe, while the manager begged them with N500, saying the vehicle documents were complete.
They were said to have zoomed off in their van, with number plate, CD 167 A01, after collecting N500, without releasing the documents.
The victims followed them in a motorcycle to Lacasera bus stop, Mile 2, Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, where they met another tanker driver, Abolore Ajiroba, being assaulted by another team of the corps.
It was reported that the men, apart from inflicting injuries on Amobi, robbed him of two phones and a sum of N32,000, while the manager was dispossessed of N48,000, a wristwatch and an Infinix phone.
As Amobi and Oyinloye ran to escape the torture, the officials were said to have shot at them.
The NSCDC Commandant in Lagos State, Mr. Tajudeen Balogun, on Monday told our correspondent that the enormity of the case required that the command forwarded the outcome of its investigation to Abuja for proper actions.
He said, “The committee has concluded its report. There are public service rules that need to be complied with. The seriousness of the matter is even beyond the command. It is now with the national headquarters. And in view of the ranks of some senior officers involved; the Ministry of Interior handles issues that have to do with senior officers. The ministry will rely on the committee’s report.”
Asked why the identities of the officials had not been disclosed, the commandant said investigations into the case was procedural.
Balogun assured members of the public that the corps would not shield the officials from facing necessary punishments.
He said, “There are some things within the command that you can answer and there are some things which you cannot answer. The organisation will follow the case to a logical conclusion and they will be dealt with decisively. There are public service rules that need to be followed. The first is committee’s recommendation. The committee has met with the victims, interviewed them and submitted its report, which has been forwarded to the national headquarters.
“Despite the busy schedules of the headquarters, they are looking into the matter seriously and as soon as possible, the result will be made known.
“The NSCDC is known for effectiveness and efficiency and our integrity and credibility matter a lot. We don’t condone bad behaviour. The national headquarters will not shield anybody.”
The NSCDC Public Relations Officer in Abuja, Emmanuel Okeh, confirmed the receipt of the command’s report, adding that another committee had been set up at the headquarters to investigate the case.
He said, “It was the headquarters that approved the suspension of the officials in the first instance. In government, everything has procedure. Another committee will invite the officials to defend themselves based on the report received from the command so that nobody would come up with litigation later and say they are unjustly punished.
“The committee will look into the public service rules to know what the law says in such a case – Is it dismissal or suspension? They are still facing a panel; when the panel concludes its job and they are found guilty, their names will be disclosed.”
Source: The PunchThe Punch