Family of missing officer threaten legal action against police

Family of missing officer threaten legal action against police

The family of a missing police officer, Emmanuel Gene, has threatened to sue the Nigeria Police Force.

Mr Gene, who was serving with the Ogun State Police Command, has been missing for nine months.

According to a petition to the Police Service Commission, the family requested that Mr Gene be declared dead or alive. The petition was also copied to the Inspector-General of Police and the Ogun State Commissioner of Police.

The missing officer was said to have been kidnapped by some hoodlums during an operation in Aba Tuntun in Ogun East senatorial district in December 2020.

In the petition, lawyer to the family, Kehinde Bamiwola, noted that Mr Gene had just given birth to a baby before he went missing, causing his family anguish.

“It is the brief of Our Clients that, sometimes around 1st to 3rd of December, 2020, the Divisional Police Officer (D.P.O.) at Ijebu-Igbo, S.P Kazeem Solatan, upon the request of one Chief Abiodun Bello, the Baale of Aba-Titun at Ijebu-Igbo Area, mobilized his men (Men and Officers of the Nigeria Police Force) including PC Emmanuel Gene on an alleged ground of preventing trespass to land,” the petition read.

“Trespass to land is not within the jurisdictional powers of the Nigeria Police, unless the Police are on a mission of enforcing a valid judgment of a Court of competent jurisdiction, on the order presented by the Sheriff of the Court and in Compliance with the provisions of the Sheriff and Civil process Act, Laws of the Federation, 2004.”

The family stated in the petition that Mr Gene was not kidnapped by land grabbers, as stated by the police, “but got missing during an illegal operation authorised by the Divisional Police Officer”.

“It is disheartening that the facts leading to the illegal operation that led to the disappearance of PC Emmanuel Gene have been kept in the dark,” the petition continued.

“The Divisional Police Officer has not opened up on whether PC Emmanuel Gene is dead or alive. This is the most confusing and traumatic aspect of the entire issue since December, 2020.

“S.P Kazeem (the D.P.O.) later claimed before the Commissioner of Police, Ogun State that PC Emmanuel was kidnapped by land grabbers in Aba-Titun. However, it defies logic to hear that his phone, bag and service gun has been recovered ever-since.”

The family demanded an investigation into the incident.

“We hereby call on the authority of the Nigeria Police to intervene by raising questions on the disappearance of PC Emmanuel Gene.

“The Commissioner of Police, Ogun State, the Area Commander of Ijebu-Ode, AC Abiodun Onuoha and the D.P.O., SP Kazeem Solatan should provide answers to the questions. We are after rescuing the missing PC Emmanuel Gene.“

Police react

Although the reporter could not get a reaction from Mr Solatan, the police command has reacted.

When contacted, Abimbola Oyeyemi, the police spokesperson in the state, said Mr Gene was abducted during a gun duel with some gun runners within the local government.

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“It happened that the police got a tip-off about some people stockpiling arms around Ijebu-Igbo and the police mobilised and went there, rounded the suspects up and arrested them.

“On their way back they were ambushed and in the process four police men were abducted. The DPO then re-mobilised and went back there, during that operation three out of the four abducted (officers) were recovered remaining the officer in question alone and since then we have continued to search for this officer and by God’s grace we would get him as well.“

Mr Oyeyemi said those arrested in connection with the incident are “all currently in prison custody.”

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