NEWS REVIEW: As security agencies battle for supremacy

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By WALE SOKUNBI

Between March 27 and 29 last week, two federal security agencies – the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) – treated the nation to an embarrassing supremacy battle over responsibility for protection of the nation’s oil pipelines.

The NSCDC, which first drew public attention to the face-off, alleged that policemen, in a bid to release oil pipelines vandals arrested by its officials in the dead of the night on March 27, shot dead two Civil Defence men identified as Assistant Inspector of Corps, Adaji Gabriel, and Innocent Akegbe, an Inspector. The incident occurred at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipelines in Ikorodu, Lagos State.

The police, however, claimed that they were alerted by the Deputy Manager, Security of Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) about a drop in pressure along the pipelines in Ikorodu area, and the possibility of a leakage or vandalism of the lines. The authorities said they, therefore, dispatched police operatives to patrol the vandals-prone areas in Ikorodu.

The patrolling officers claimed to have heard gunshots at the Konu axis, where men of the NSCDC questioned their presence in the area and engaged them in a confrontation. The policemen reportedly called for reinforcement and the ensuing gun battle with NSCDC officials resulted in the killing of the Civil Defence men. While the NSCDC, through its National Public Relations Officer, Mr. Emmanuel Okeh, insists that policemen actually ambushed its men, shot two of them dead, injured others and allowed oil pipeline vandals they had arrested to escape with their loot, the Deputy Inspector General of Police ‘

A’, Suleiman Fakai, who briefed President Goodluck Jonathan on the matter, was reported to have claimed that the policemen on patrol at Ikorodu were harassed by the NSCDC men, leading to their call for reinforcement and a gun fight during which the Civil Defence men were killed. Whatever the circumstances surrounding the confrontation between the Police and NSCDC, it is appalling that two agencies of the Federal Government engaged in a gun battle for any reason. This incident amply demonstrates the trigger-happy disposition of our security operatives and the glaring lack of coordination in the efforts to secure oil pipelines in the country.

This disorganized approach to securing of oil pipelines is condemnable. It is responsible for the situation in which officials of the two agencies opened fire on one another. The charge of NSCDC that policemen ambushed its men and freed the vandals they had arrested on the night in question is very serious. It suggests that there may be complicity of the police in pipeline vandalisation in that part of the country. The killing of the two NSCDC officials is also condemnable. The face-off between operatives of the two agencies is unfortunate and unhealthy. The task of securing oil pipelines is a serious one that should not leave room for any conflict between the agencies responsible for the assignment.

The present case in which the Civil Defence agency is accusing the police of collaborating with oil thieves is very bad. Under this situation, it does appear that at least one of the two parties has vested interest in the vandalisation of the pipelines. The conflicting stories emanating from the two agencies suggest that at least one of them is being economical with the truth. Nigeria cannot afford to toy with the task of securing oil pipelines.

Vandalisation of these pipes has led to loss of billions of naira in recent years, with attendant loss of lives when there are fire incidents. The agencies that are charged with their protection cannot, therefore, afford to work at cross-purposes. In the present instance of the murder of the two Civil Defence operatives, the attempt by the police to exonerate their men involved in this incident is unhelpful to the resolution of this case.

Instead of this bid to downplay the matter of responsibility for the killing of the Civil Defence officials, there should be concerted effort to identify the killers and prosecute them. The matter of determining the killers cannot be rocket science. They can be identified through examination of the bullets that killed the men by ballistic experts, who are available in the country. It is very important to determine the killers of these men not only to ensure justice for them and their families, but also to teach all security operatives in the country not to be trigger-happy. The police must be careful not to create the impression that it does not want Nigerians to know the people who actually killed the Civil Defence men.

Let this incident be properly investigated and the killers apprehended and brought to book. While not pre-judging the outcome of this investigation, it is not good for operatives of the nation’s security agencies to be at loggerheads. Apart from the very poor picture this paints of our security efforts, such disagreements give room for the people the security agencies are supposed to monitor to get away with their criminal activities.

The Police and the NSCDC should stop this needless squabble over supremacy. The two agencies should stop washing their dirty linen in the public. There should be better coordination of activities targeted at protecting oil pipelines. A proper investigation should be conducted to unravel all the puzzles surrounding the killing of the NSCDC men.

When incidents like this occur in advanced countries, the investigating authorities are usually able to come up with both the circumstances surrounding the killing and the motives within a matter of hours. Our investigating agencies can do this too if there is sincerity in the efforts to resolve the killings. Let our security experts give the nation answers to the actual circumstances that led to the killing of the Civil Defence men.

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37 Comments

  1. OGBENI NAIJA on

    The problem with the Nigeria Police is that they feel threatened with the good performance and the good job NSCDC officers are doing. Mostly now that there is no more road block, so they are looking for every avenue to frustrate NSCDC officers.AN AVERAGE NIGERIA POLICE MAN CAN KILL OVER 170,0000000 NIGERIANS BECAUSE OF DIRTY,FILTHY #20.THEY ARE AS WORST AS THAT.
    IT IS THE MESSAGE THEIR OGA AT THE TOP SENT THEM BECAUSE THEY ARE NO LONGER GETTING MONEY FROM THE VANDALS WHO GIVE THEM BRIBES FOR SABOTAGE.

  2. I don’t know what really transpired and how it happened. But this is a serious National disgrace/embarrassment. The worst of it all is that the defaulting institution will always try to suppress the truth. But at the end of the day, the truth must surface. God is watching.

  3. The truth must be told, the two federal agencies involved in the squabble should not be part of the investigations, let the FG engage the FBI and SSS to investigate the killings, so as to ascertain the truth of the matter. There should not be any civilian or politician in this case.

    • OGBENI NAIJA on

      @Aniogu you get it right, this is what i said in my comment three days ago. If there is anything like investigation coming up both parties should be excluded from the panel. And if Police is locked out of investigation in the country it shows that they have loosing their importance and relevance everyday.Simply means that NIGERIA POLICE HA S BECOME THE MOST USELESS INSTITUTION IN NIGERIA.

  4. OGBENI NAIJA on

    @Aniogu you get it right, this is what i said in my comment three days ago. If there is anything like investigation coming up both parties should be excluded from the panel. And if Police is locked out of investigation in the country it shows that they are losing their importance and relevance everyday.Simply means that NIGERIA POLICE HAS BECOME THE MOST USELESS INSTITUTION IN NIGERIA.

  5. After DSS investigation police still prosecute in the court unless AGF takes over the case. Give civil defence corps power to prosecute, police will rest.

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  7. There is no need for ballistic experts in the matter.It has been confirmed that police killed the civil defence.The question now is what led to the killing?Which agency is in charge of the area?Is there no comrade friendship amongs the two agency?

      • When they got there and found the NSCDC men making arrests,the next thing is to open fire on them?It is the primary duty of the NSCDC to protect the pipelines,every other agencies can only complement them.As for your language,it speaks volumes about your home training or lack of it

  8. Both of them re in territorial struggle..both institutions are CORRUPT and should stop disgracing the nation..jst take a look at d two civil defence guys dat was shot dead..ARE THEY TRYING TO VE THEIR OWN SLICE OF NATIONAL CAKE or PROTECTING IT?can a BLACK MAN risk his life in an unprofitable venture?

  9. benson tamino on

    My broda uchebest na you talk the real thing. Can a black man risk his life in an unprofitable venture.

  10. Good citizen on

    Dubblication of functions and it’s fall-outs, Army, police, DSS and indeed local and sophisticated vigillant groups are all for security in their various capacities, one wonders, what interest are these inexperience and greedy NSCDC (Civil defence) group pursuing? This confirms the saying that Two equal Capt’s cannot manege one ship…..Civil defence will never acknowlege that NPF has the soul resposibility of internal security others supposed to be asistants, and not to play craft in order to subdue the elephant.

  11. D truth of d matter is dat civil defence is xhibiting over zealousness which led 2 d death of d two members, if not, d police and d civil defence who is 2 respect each other in d protect of lives and properties? Why must d incident raise dust 2 dis level? How many time has d police had problems wth d Army dat led 2 d death of several police officers and destruction of barracks? Which agency investigated it? Civil defence should remember dat their coming into existence was out of parliament.

  12. @ Arinze F, there is noting like overzealousness of NSCDC in this matter, Nigerians should imbibe the culture of encouraging any agency of govt that put relentless effort on duty performance, this is in view of the challenges ahead.

  13. when u weigh d whole matter thoroughly, u’ll agree with me dat d Nig police has a greater share of d blame 4 d unfortunate, shameful outcome of dis whole fiasco/pandomonium, although both security agencies shouldn’t have involved themselves in any squabble whatsoever 4 any reason. It is really embarrassing, esp 4 2 security agencies dat are suppose to be role models in d protection of lives & properties, but have incidentally turned out 2 be d culprits & victims. So if d allegations dat d police shot dead their security personnel counterparts and also allowed pipeline vandals 2 escape free, is true, then it leaves much more to be desired. Because any right thinking person will immediately suspect d police to have had some shady deals with those pipeline vandals 4 allowing dem to go free and 4 murdering their fellow security agents. Thus, if at all we want justice to be done in dis issue, then a neutral, independent investigative body should be invited to look into dis matter, to avoid justice being denied anyone. Both security agents should be made to learn their lessons.

    • OGBENI NAIJA on

      @Gaiya, you don’t know more than FGN that established NSCDC.You could as well asked what are the duties of EFCC,ICPC etc.
      The answer to your question is this NSCDC was established after the civil war to maintain peace and to respond to disaster,but because the Nigeria Police is becoming useless to the society and has fallen short of their expectation as years goes on, that is why the FGN decided to add public safety to the duties of NSCDC which include the security and protection of government facilities,lives and properties. Just like FGN removed some Police responsibilities and entrusted it to EFCC,ICPC etc. I think it is because The Police is no longer capable and no longer competent of securing lives & properties due to their corrupt nature.In advanced country like USA,there is a security outfit called public safety,they do almost the same thing NSCDC do in Nigeria.THE PEOPLE AND GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA KNOWS THE WORTH,IMPORTANCE AND RELEVANCE OF NSDC. NSDC IS MORE USEFUL TO THE GOVERNMENT AND PEOPLE OF NIGERIA THAN THE POLICE.THAT IS WHY THEY NOW CARRY ARMS TO DEFEND THEMSELVES.

  14. The incident is a reflection of the state of the nation: nothing works. Security agencies are supposed to exercise the highest level of discipline even in the face of provocation. When two sister security agencies fight over criminal activities of a third party, something is fundamentally wrong. Any way, this is Nigeria, as they say: nothing works right. Nigeria we ‘hell’ thee!

  15. Francis Nwosu on

    Have Police any duty to perform in this Country again, after relinquishing their responsibilities to other Agencies that were created as a result of their inefficiency, from Customs, Immigration, NDLEA, EFCC, FRSC to Civil Defense Corps. The only duty i see Police perform well now is Orderly to Politicians who employ them to protect their looted mandate, and other money bags with questionable characters. Police have outlived their usefulness and should be merged with these other Agencies after through screening of their personnel.

  16. OGBENI NAIJA on

    @Gaiya, you don’t know more than FGN that established NSCDC.You could as well asked what are the duties of EFCC,ICPC etc.
    The answer to your question is this NSCDC was established after the civil war to maintain peace and to respond to disaster,but because the Nigeria Police is becoming useless to the society and has fallen short of their expectation as years goes on, that is why the FGN decided to add public safety to the duties of NSCDC which include the security and protection of government facilities,lives and properties. Just like FGN removed some Police responsibilities and entrusted it to EFCC,ICPC etc. I think it is because The Police is no longer capable and no longer competent of securing lives & properties due to their corrupt nature.In advanced country like USA,there is a security outfit called public safety,they do almost the same thing NSCDC do in Nigeria.THE PEOPLE AND GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA KNOWS THE WORTH,IMPORTANCE AND RELEVANCE OF NSDC. NSDC IS MORE USEFUL TO THE GOVERNMENT AND PEOPLE OF NIGERIA THAN THE POLICE.THAT IS WHY THEY NOW CARRY ARMS TO DEFEND THEMSELVES.

  17. Police are the real thron in the fresh of Nigeria! Just imagine, the other day the military boy who are trained to kill arrested a Boko-Haram king-pin and handed over to the police for prescution who instead murder the man! thereby bringing the wrath of the sect on innocent Nigerians and non Nigerians alike! And also it’s the police and judicary that shield the politicians to loot the economy of the nation dry!

  18. Nigeria Police.They hv corrupted dz country. They intentionally kill de civil defence.4them 2get oportunity 2free deir fellow thieves

  19. Good citizen on

    It is possible that the so called civil defence are all Nigerians like their NPF counter parts they could not do better, just to get a cheap public attention to discriminate their rivals.

  20. Good citizen on

    @ OGBENI NAIJA please keep it up, defend with all possible might the organisation (civil defence) that gave you employment.

    • OGBENI NAIJA on

      @Good citizen for your information am not a job seeking fellow,if you need job i can employ you or borrow you ideaS on how you can be gainfully employed.
      WHAT I KNOW IS THAT THE NIGERIA POLICE CAN NEVER I REPEAT NEVER BE BETTER THAN ANYONE IN NIGERIA NOT EVEN BETTER THAN THE WORST CRIMINALS IN OUR SOCIETY. THAT.JUST LOOK AT ZAKARI BIU (A DISMISSED BOKO HARAM POLICE COMISSIONER) WHO WAS DISMISSED FROM THE SERVICE,SECRETLY RECALLED & FINALLY DISMISSED FROM THE POLICE.
      TAFA BALOGUN (EX-CONVICT IGP)
      DSP GEORGE IYAMU (LAWRENCE ANINIH’S CO ARMED ROBBERY GANG STRATEGIST),
      SAM CHUKWU (DPO IN CHARGEAWKUNANAW POLICE STATION & LOTACHUKWU EZEUDU’S KIDNAPPER CUM KILLER). SO TELL ME WHICH CRIMINALS ARE WORST THAN ALL THESE I HAVE MENTIONED.

  21. Ogbeni Naija, you are not even intelligent enough to hide your emotion which has betrayed you outrightly. You should go and learn how to comment on serious issues and not writing like an intellectual dwarf.

  22. Alhaji Dan-azumi Gana on

    The action of the policemen that shot dead two personnel of NSCDC is unprofessional and condemnable, the Federal government should ensure that the trigger happy policemen pay for their actions in other to prevent future occurrence. The Federal government should also intervene in the matter by sharing task for the two security agencies.

  23. the nigeria police as we all know the truth as the kind of person and what they have been doing should be properly disciplined as they have brought shame,disgrace and insecurity to nigeria as a country

  24. Peace Benson Nwaoruruaku on

    Why is it that some people are not objective in their response, remarks & contributions to issues? The report has it that the Police & NSCDC had a gun battle, which left 2 civil defence men dead. Also, that the police claim to have received a distress call, which prompted their movement to the area and that investigations are on. Much as I’m not holding brief for the Police, there is no gainsaying the fact that the Police are saddled with more responsibilities than civil defence; they are better trained and more qualified on security and even civil matters etc; and to buttress this point, in the gun battle, the civil defence lost, even as we acknowledge that the Police, to show supremacy, have divisional offices of their own and others, while the civil defence are attached to local govt. office headquarters. Everyone of those condemning the Police, say corruption is their reason. I therefore challenge them to mention one institution that is corruption free. whether we like it or not, there are constitutional ways of handling issues, so we should wait for the law to take its course.

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