A former commander of the now defunct special anti-robbery squad (SARS), Vandefan Tersugh, has claimed that it is normal for suspicions to be raised when a young man drives certain range of luxury cars.
This disclosure was made by Tersugh during an African Independent Television (AIT) programme on Monday where the activities of the special police unit came under interrogation.
It was his views that police officers including former operatives of SARS cannot detect crime casually but they have to interrogate such persons to find out the source of their income.
The retired police superintendent spoke in the light of the recent nationwide protests against the anti-robbery squad accused of excessive use of force, arbitrary arrests and extrajudicial killing of several young Nigerians.
Tersugh revealed that while working as a police officer, he would suspect a Nigerian aged between 20 and 30 who was driving an expensive car and would probe deeper to dig into the individual’s means of livelihood and other information that may help in identifying if the person is a criminal or not.
According to him, “The mandate of the policeman is to detect crime and you can detect crime also through most of these technologies coming on board.”
“We were not trained during our manuals to talk about cybersecurity and cybercrime, but today cybercrime has become something very endemic in our society. And this can be done by asking questions and examining some of these things physically
He argued that police officers do not need a search warrant in such occasions, stating that the manner the individual replies the security operatives will determine what follows.
“If I stop you on the road and I want to have a look at your phone, I want to see your Facebook, I don’t think I have committed any crime because I am only asking you a simple question,” he said.
“It is your answer that will lead me to go beyond where I have started. I can’t detect crime by mere seeing you but by asking you questions. I have seen you with a car, and now I have assessed your age, and I know in Nigeria how difficult it is for someone who is 20, 30 to start having a car worth N7 million.
I cannot, as a policeman, see you there and assume something is not wrong with the way you are with the car, except I am able to ask you a question and I know your background, your family background, where you are working and where you got money to buy this car.”
Many Nigerians have reacted harshly to the views expressed by the retired police officer, arguing that the methods adopted by SARS is subject to abuse by its men who cut deals with the criminals and continue to extort them without actually charging them for crimes.
Inmate Who Escaped From Prison in Edo Kills Neighbor Who Testified Against Him
Police in Edo state have arrested one of the 1993 inmates who escaped during the jailbreaks at Oko and Benin prisons for killing neighbor who testified against him in court.
Recall that hoodlums broke into the premises of Benin Prison popularly known as White House and freed several inmates in one of the cells.
Police in Edo state arrested 10 out of the 1,993 inmates of Oko Correctional Centre on Airport Road, Benin and the Benin Correctional Centre on Sapele Road who escaped on October 19 after jailbreaks, immediately returned to crime.
Speaking on the development, the state commissioner of police said “we have commenced actions against the criminal elements. It will interest you to know that 10 of the criminal elements who escaped from Oko Correctional Centre on Airport Road, Benin and the Correctional Centre on Sapele Road, Benin were also arrested.
One of them, after having escaped from Oko correctional centre, ran back to his village on the same day, to kill the person who stood as a prosecution witness in the case that took him to the correctional centre. He has been arrested and he is among the suspects.
“Another group of three escapees from the correctional centre in Benin also went ahead to snatch a Lexus Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV). Three of them met at the correctional centre and they were caught by the police.
A set of two escapees equally stole a Toyota Camry car. They also met at the correctional centre. They were arrested by Okada Division of Edo State Police Command. We have a total of ten escapees.
The guns were also recovered from the criminal elements.”
He assured the people of the state that the police “have the capacity to provide adequate security for their lives and property”
” We are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that there is total safety. Edo residents should go about their lawful businesses without fear of being molested and without fear of criminals coming to wreck violent attacks,” he said
The commissioner also said five AK-47 rifles; two locally-made exhibit guns; one locally-made gun; one Lexus 330 SUV with registration number KWL 205 AZ; one Toyota Camry saloon car with registration number LSD 231 GD; two bags of 50kg and one bag of 25kg rice and 24 crates of assorted drinks were recovered.
RSG TO PAY N20MILLION EACH TO FAMILIES OF POLICEMEN, SOLDIERS KILLED BY IPOB
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has announced N20 Million compensation to the families of each of the soldiers and policemen killed by members of proscribed Indigenous Peoples Organization of Biafra (IPOB) in Oyigbo last week.
In addition, the Governor has promised to rebuild all burnt police stations in Oyigbo and vowed to ensure that the terrorist organisation no longer exist in Rivers State.
Governor Wike stated this during a condolence visit to the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan and families of the slain policemen at the Rivers State Police Command on Wednesday.
The governor who was accompanied by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Tammy Danagogo; the Commissioner of Information, Paulinus Nsirim; and the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Professor Zacchaeus Adangor, described the gruesome murder of the policemen and soldiers as unacceptable and unfortunate.
He stressed that the State Government will support the Police to make sure that all IPOB members who masterminded the killing of the policemen and soldiers, as well as the wanton destruction of Police stations in Oyigbo are apprehended to face the full wrath of the law.
“IPOB masterminded the killing of our gallant officers of the Nigerian Police and Army. We want to state clearly that Rivers State Government will support you to make sure that any of the perpetrators of this hideous crime does not go free. Enough is enough. You cannot continue to kill our policemen who have not done anything; who have not committed any crime” he said.
Emotionally stricken by the presence of the grieving wives and children of the killed policemen, Governor Wike, vowed to ensure that IPOB will no longer exist in any part of Rivers State. According to him, the killing of policemen was one crime that the State government will never condone.
The Governor announced that the State Government has decided to pay the sum of N20 million to each of the families of those killed by IPOB members in Oyigbo.
He further assured the Police Commissioner that the State Government will rebuild all the police stations torched by IPOB, and provide necessary support to policemen whose residence were vandalised and rendered homeless.
The Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, said the Governor by his decision to commiserate with the Command and the deceased families, has demonstrated he is a compassionate father of the State.
Mukan explained that the Police and the Army have taken over all IPOB stronghold in Oyigbo and will ensure that the group cease to exist anywhere within the State.
The Police Commissioner maintained that the Command will not abdicate its responsibility by ensuring that IPOB which had been declared a terrorist group by the Federal Government in 2017, continue to use Rivers State as launch pad for its terrorist attacks.
Special Assistant (Media) to the Governor.
October 28, 2020
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