The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on Monday warned Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers that, henceforth, they would be held liable for the professional misconduct of officers under their charge.
Mr Adamu spoke during a visit to the Police College in Lagos, following a spate of extrajudicial killings by police officers in the state.
“It is with a deep sense of professional concern that I visit you here in Lagos state command to address you on the state of affairs for the past few months,” Mr Adamu said.
“This visit has become expedient in view of the recent threat of unprofessional conducts of some police officers.
“Our visit is to reinforce the extant Force Accountability Policy which holds any officer professionally and criminally liable for the consequences of their actions, particularly if such misuse of power resulted into death, injury or indignity of citizens.”
“The line supervisors of such officers including the area commander, divisional police officer shall be held vicariously liable for lacking supervision and shall, be similarly sanctioned.”
Last weekend, police officers shot and killed a 20-year-old lady who was reportedly returning from a club with her partner. Her partner is still hospitalized for gunshot injuries.
The police chief said in order to reduce the extrajudicial killings, the police would now use “technologies and weapons systems” instead of firearms for law enforcement.
“This will include the use of electro-muscular disruption technology which is commonly known as Taser or stun guns by police for patrols,” he added.
Zubairu Muazu, the Lagos police commissioner, while welcoming Mr Adamu, said it was unfortunate the IGP was visiting the state “on such a bad note.”
“The command would have loved to welcome the IG’s official visit to the command on a better note than the one that brought the IG,” he said.
“It is sad and unfortunate that the IGP is visiting Lagos command due to insistent misdemeanours of the Nigerian Police Force, Lagos State.”
Mr Adamu condoled the families of victims of misuse of firearms and other forms of abuse of powers by the Lagos police. He assured that the police would not condone the abuse of power resulting in misuse of firearms, overzealousness, and unprofessional conducts of police officers.
After the meeting with police officers in the state, Mr Adamu; Frank Mba, the force spokesperson; assistant inspector-generals present; and other officials went into a closed-door meeting.
Somali Jihadists Kill Three Americans in Attack on Kenya Military Base
Jihadists from Somalia’s Al-Shabaab group on Sunday stormed a military base used by US forces in Kenya’s coastal Lamu region, killing three American citizens and destroying several aircraft and military vehicles, officials said.
Attackers breached heavy security at Camp Simba at dawn but were pushed back and four jihadists killed, said army spokesman Colonel Paul Njuguna.
The American military, however, said three US citizens died in the attack including a service member and two civilian defence contractors.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of our teammates who lost their lives today,” General Stephen Townsend, the head of US Africa Command (Africom), said in a statement.
Two other US Department of Defence personnel were wounded, the statement added, without giving further details.
Al-Shabaab has launched regular cross-border raids since Kenya sent troops into Somalia in 2011 as part of an African Union force protecting the internationally backed government — which the jihadists have been trying to overthrow for more than a decade.
The Lamu region, which includes popular tourist beach destination Lamu Island, lies close to the Somali frontier and has suffered frequent attacks, often carried out with roadside bombs.
Njuguna said “an attempt was made to breach security at Manda Air Strip” at 5:30 am but it was repulsed.
“Four terrorists’ bodies have so far been found. The airstrip is safe,” he said, adding that a fire had broken out but had since been dealt with.
Kenya’s Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai said officers were “on high alert” after the attack.
An internal police report seen by AFP said two Cessna aircraft, two American helicopters and “multiple American vehicles” were destroyed at the airstrip.
Local government official Irungu Macharia said five people had been arrested near the camp and were being interrogated.
Shabaab claimed to have killed 17 Americans and nine Kenyan soldiers after the attack.
The nearby civilian airport at Manda Bay, which brings tourists visiting Lamu Island — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — was closed for several hours after the incident, according to the civil aviation authority.
Al-Shabaab said in a statement it had “successfully stormed the heavily fortified military base and have now taken effective control of part of the base”.
AFRICOM accused Al-Shabaab of lying in order to create false headlines.
Shabaab countered with a second statement, saying it had been a 10-hour firefight and mocking the US “inability to fend off an attack by just a handful of steadfast Muslim men”.
The group referred to an uptick in US military airstrikes under President Donald Trump, accusing the US of “strafing villages from above and indiscriminately bombarding innocent women and children.”
AFRICOM said in April it had killed more than 800 people in 110 strikes in Somalia since April 2017.
US military network
The Somali jihadists have staged several large-scale attacks inside Kenya in retaliation for Nairobi sending troops into Somalia as well as to target foreign interests.
The group has been fighting to overthrow an internationally-backed government in Mogadishu since 2006, staging regular attacks on government buildings, hotels, security checkpoints and military bases in the country
Despite years of costly efforts to fight Al-Shabaab, the group on December 28 managed to detonate a vehicle packed with explosives in Mogadishu, killing 81 people.
The spate of attacks highlights the group’s resilience and capacity to inflict mass casualties at home and in the region, despite losing control of major urban areas in Somalia.
In a November report, a UN panel of experts on Somalia noted an “unprecedented number” of homemade bombs and other attacks across the Kenya-Somalia border in June and July last year.
On Thursday, at least three people were killed when suspected Al-Shabaab gunmen ambushed a bus travelling in the area.
According to the Institute for Security Studies, the United States has 34 known military bases in Africa, from where it conducts “drone operations, training, military exercises, direct action and humanitarian activities”.