The Commissioner of Police in-charge of Delta State, Ikechukwu Ayodele Aduba, is certainly not happy. His unhappiness has nothing to do with the challenges he is having with criminals in the state because he has proved that he is equal to the task. It has to do with the role of those generally referred to as “learned men” or lawyers.
He has accused them of making the onerous task of curbing kidnapping in the state very difficult. He lamented that in spite of resolutions by lawyers in the state not to defend such cases, some of them still engage in that to the detriment of police efforts at curbing the menace.
IT is just as if from nowhere, you came to Delta State and started making waves, breaking through in crime prevention, etc. How were you able to make this?
I am passionate about policing, I am passionate about police job, there is no way the police can succeed globally without the cooperation of members of the public. As far as we are concerned here, without the members of the public, we are going to have problems.
And again, talk of training, you see the rules of engagement, that is why when I came to Delta state in 2012, honestly, we had our local training (not waiting for the main one at the headquarters level) carried out by the Commander Mopol 31 and 51 and locally, we trained more than 700 officers. They stay for about two to three weeks, even our women were equally involved too.
With the cooperation of government and the provision of logistics and the distribution of 120 vehicles, our men were happy. We now talk about the flashpoints, if you travel around the state you will see our men positioned almost everywhere strategically all over the place.
These are the successes. The vigilante groups, we use them and hold regular meetings regarding what to do. The response time in this state can not be more than 10 minutes with their walkie-talkie and once you use their distress call, you will get assistance immediately. So, the response is wonderful. That is why we really made waves and we are on course. That is why we need perfection on top of this situation. Usually, there is problem almost everywhere, usually security problems and we have made a difference.
Kidnapping has nose dived, over 200 robberies and kidnap suspects during cross-firing died in action and again over 1000 arrested. You talk of arms and ammunition, you cannot count it and Delta state is a flashpoint. The battle is up and the robbers, we have told them, it is either they stay away from crime or they will have problem with us.
Moreover, with the kind of incentives we have, if you give us information, we will assist you financially and because of our pressure and our recommendations to state government, they have signed the vigilante bill and anytime from now, they will come on board.
For us in the state, we do not do this alone. The Security Watch Africa, which is a media global outfit honoured me in 2012 as the most outstanding police officer in West-Africa. In some regions and in 2013, I was honoured in South- Africa as a crime bursting police chief and our command was rated the best in crime fighting.
Everybody in the state is a crime fighter and again, the synergy, it is not a question of saying we did it alone, we have the military, they are trying their best and also the SSS are trying their best. These two are really wonderful, though at times, there are hiccups especially between the junior ones, we are really pleasured.
How do you ensure that your men adhered strictly to directives during operations?
Like personal touch? Yes, there were instances in 2012, when Ibusa was raided by robbers and that operation was directed by me and the officer in-charge of mobile police 31. After that, the Inspector-General of Police commended it and even the people were happy that they gave our men cash gifts of more than one million naira.
Payment of ransom:
Not one not two and the irate mobs were happy with the personal touch of people rescued because we have rescued so many without payment of ransom. In fact, in wild jubilation, houses were burnt down and some people will say it was done by policemen, this is not true.
We also rescued an 85-year-old man and the three people involved were arrested. These people are animals because as far as we are concerned, they are not human.
Why should people identify themselves with those kinds of criminals. The lawyers took a resolution that they will not defend any of these people but they are doing it; we even caught one who gave bribe of N700,000 to a policeman and we arrested him and arraigned him in court but they have discharged the case, the DPPs will tell you better. That was a proven kidnap case, where millions were collected from the victims but the man is still walking freely. Everybody must have to sit up because it is a collective responsibility. There is no way we can do it alone.
That cooperation must be there. The judiciary have done a lot but, there is need to beam searchlight on some of their officers. There was a case where a woman faked her kidnap with the brother and the ransom was paid. But, we recovered it and discovered that the woman was involved. I have taken it up, I have written to the government because the magistrate that presided over that case needs to be looked at.
How have you been able to manage the excesses of politicians in the state?
To be frank, our state is predominantly ruled by PDP, so our job is reduced politically because it’s a one party state. The relationship between my command and government has been very cordial because the state government has taken us as their own because the police is a federal establishment. They assist us logistically like the renovation I told you about.
To what extent have you implemented IGP’s directives from Abuja?
We carry out regular checks to ensure that our cells are not only neat but decongested. We also give access to human rights groups to check them. We have improved the morale of our men. It has been manifesting because out of the 117 medals dished out by the AIG last year, our command got 44. There is nothing like road blocks here.
We have told them times without number that what we have is stop-and-search and it is only when we have distress calls. Recently, it paid off because there was a vehicle we stopped but the driver refused to stop and brandished fake identity card. Our men pursued him up to Onitsha and at the end of the day, he was arrested and we discovered that he had about 12 bags of Indian hemp. We are also coping with criminals. Although cases of kidnapping and robbery cannot be solved overnight, we are not relenting.
Charge for wandering:
You know our state is very liberal and our northern brothers prefer this place and it is a problem; we don’t charge people for wandering anymore. We have been carrying out raids on criminal hideouts and we are not resting.
How would you describe the leadership of the force so far?
On the leadership of the force, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, is a rare gem, a professional, an epitome of professionalism, a great reformer, it’s in a situation where everything he has done is documented, he is unparalleled . He has brought out so many books and even the code of conduct, he is the right man to be on the seat, the cap fits him. We have never had it so good.
How do you cope with activities of members of MASSOB?
MASSOB people are not troubling us here. It was only once we had an encounter with them where we arrested 12 of them and charged them to court.
What reminiscences would you clamour for when you leave the force?
When I leave this office, I want to be remembered as a crime buster. I have done it so well. Ikechukwu Ayodele Aduba is from Onitsha, my father was an educationist to the core and I have about 13 brothers, my immediate younger brother is a professor in the University of Jos. Aduba family is known as one of the largest in Onitsha and we have a street in Onitsha hinterland.
I joined the NPF in 1981 and I’m almost on my way out and I have no regrets. In my next world, I would still be a police officer. My last words to Delta State is to thank them for their love and co-operation with the police force because without their support, we wouldn’t have done it.
*Courtesy Vanguard Newspaper