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 Army detains 10 policemen over refusal to join B’Haram war

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PostSubject: Army detains 10 policemen over refusal to join B’Haram war   2015-04-25, 07:03

Ten policemen who were trained in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism in Belarus, are being detained in a military facility at Gwagwalada, Abuja.

A detainee, who spoke with one of our correspondents on the condition of anonymity on Thursday, said that the 10 policemen were detained on April 20, 2015 for demanding explanation from the Army authorities on the procedure for their conscription into the Army.

The policemen were expected to be drafted to Borno State for the ongoing campaign against Boko Haram.

Investigations revealed that the affected policemen were among 96 policemen, who were taken for training in counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, handling of rocket propelled grenades, and machine guns among others in the eastern European country.

In all, the 96 policemen, who were mostly rank and file, were trained in three batches in Belarus in response to a memo from the office of the National Security Adviser for the selection of policemen for the three-month special security training.

It was learnt that the last batch of 32 police trainees, who departed the country for Belarus in September arrived Nigeria in December and were kept at the Nigerian Army Forward Operational Base for four months.

The source said that the police delegation became worried because the Force headquarters did not send any officer to debrief them while the SSS contingent who were trained alongside the cops, were dispatched to their various offices across the country.

It was gathered that the fears of the policemen were confirmed on April 20, when soldiers drove six luxury buses and a military truck loaded with Army kits to the base and ordered the policemen to enter the buses for a journey to Jaji for further training.

An Army colonel, who briefed the policemen, reportedly told them that they were going to be converted into the Army and then trained for additional three week in Jaji for onward movement to Borno State to participate in the ongoing onslaught against the Boko Haram.

It was further gathered that some of the policemen demanded to be briefed by senior police officers on the seeming conversion as they had not been briefed since they arrived the country from the foreign training exercise.

The source said that the policemen were also not hinted on the plan while they were in Belarus.

Investigation further revealed that the Army Officer, who was assigned the duty to move the policemen to Jaji then asked those unwilling to go to Jaji to step aside and ten of the policemen did.

The colonel, it was learnt, directed that the ten policemen be taken to the Force headquarters Abuja in a military bus but were diverted by a Captain to Kuje. They were later taken to Gwagwalada where they are being detained.

The source said, “Sometimes around September, last year, the NSA released a signal to the Force Headquarters to release policemen for training in Belarus. The training involved the Army, the Air Force, the Navy, the SSS and the Police.

“We went for training on counter training, body guards, snipers, RPG, Machine gun operations and others.

“Immediately we returned from the course, the SSS were asked to go but the three batches of policemen totalling 96 were asked to remain at the Forward Operation Base. We completed the programme in December. We as policemen were given passes to meet our family for a week or two weeks and to return to the base.

“When we returned, nobody from the police came to address us; the NSA did not come to address us. Instead, two colonels from the Army came to tell us that they were still waiting for instructions and that they did not know what they wanted to use us for.

“We were there till April 20, when six Marcopolo luxury came into the premises with an Army truck loaded with Army kits. A colonel said that we were to go to jaji for three weeks training for movement to Maiduguri. All the 96 policemen are affected. The highest ranking policemen among us are inspectors.

“When he requested for questions, some of the policemen now called his attention to the fact that they are not soldiers but policemen and they insisted that the police authorities must know where they are taking them to.”

“We were kitted in Belarus military uniform. The officer then asked us to dress with the Army uniform and some of us said no, we are not soldiers, we are policemen.

“We did that because we needed to be sure and thoroughly briefed by our superiors from Force headquarters of the new development which nobody did. We also did not want the police authorities to deny us and deprive our families in case anything goes wrong. “Out of the 96, some people did not return before the movement occurred, the rest went to jaji. The colonel directed that we should be taken to force headquarters but along the way, the captain took us to Kuje Military Barracks and from there they took us to Gwagwalada Military Barracks. We have been there for three days.”
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