Yesterday, July 18, the Acting Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris accused his predecessor, IGP Solomon Arase (rtd) of moving away 24 Police vehicles including the official IGP Staff Car, which is armoured plated and bullet proofed, and the spare staff car, both of which are BMW’s.
Nevertheless, in less that 24 hours after the accusation, reports have emerged stating that the two police vehicles have been found.
According to Vanguard, it was gathered that the vehicles were sent to an auto repair shop for total and comprehensive repairs for use of the next IGP.
Investigations revealed that the cars were sent to Auto Computers located in the Jabi district of Abuja and that the spare BMW car has been completed and repainted. The spare staff car was said to have been having engine problems for the last five years before the last administration sent it for repairs.
The spare car was delivered to the Police headquarters on Sunday, July 17, in the afternoon after completion of repairs and the officials of the company would visit the Acting IGP to demand for payment of the job done, said a source at Auto Computers.
Because of the high technology embedded in the armoured plated Staff Car, it was disclosed that the company will need more time to fix the identified problems of the car as some of the needed parts will be imported.
Following the information revealed by the Auto Computer source, nobody approached the company to ask about the whereabouts of the cars, and since it was the police that brought them, they (company) just went about their repairs.
Efforts made to find out if the proper procedure of ascertaining location of the cars were followed showed that the Works Department and the Force Transport Department were supposed to have been approached for explanations but were not. Instead, the IGP secretariat made up of newly posted officers, were said to have written the former IGP demanding the whereabouts of the staff cars and other 22 vehicles, an action which the former IGP was said to have interpreted as a slight on his person.
More investigation in other relevant departments regarding the whereabouts of other police vehicles revealed that the vehicles were intact and that while some were deployed for operations, the location of others was duly recorded by the Police.
Meanwhile, former IGP, Solomon Arase, has said it was wrong for his successor to take the issue to the media, without asking him first. He said:
“I suspect there must be a disconnect somewhere because every information needed by my successor are provided in my handover notes.
“I’m also not aware that any letter was written to me because if there was any dropped in my house, someone would have alerted me.
“It’s unfortunate that this matter is being made a media issue because my successor has my telephone number and could have called me for any clarification or even sent me a text message rather than addressing the media on an issue well documented in my handover notes.”
When news of the alleged missing 24 vehicles made the rounds on Sunday, the former IGP responded to questions saying the allegations were the handiwork of mischief makers bent on trying to tarnish his integrity.