The Imo State Police Command says the incident involving its personnel and officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Owerri, Imo State on Monday, April 25 was solely to rescue its officer held captive in the corps’ gulag.
The spokesman of the command, CSP Michael Abattam offered the explanation in a statement made available to correspondents on Tuesday, April 26.
Abattam disclosed that the Armament Officer of No 18 Mobile Police Force, Owerri, Ezenwanne Nonso had his car bashed at Control Post, Owerri by an NSCDC vehicle in a traffic jam.
According to the police spokesman, instead of making peace with Nonso, the NSCDC personnel who alighted from their vehicle slapped Nonso hard on the face.
Abattam said Nonso’s introduction of himself as a police superintendent further angered the NSCDC officer who gave him another slap while ordering him to clear from the road.
The police spokesman further disclosed that the NSCDC officer also seized Nonso’s telephone handset and zoomed off as he brought it out to put a call across to his Commanding Officer.
He said the Armament Officer had to follow the NSCDC vehicle to their office located on Okigwe Road, Owerri to beg them to release his handset but instead of doing so, he was slammed in the cell and his service pistol seized.
Abattam added that owing to the sensitive position of the officer, his disappearance raised alarm across offices in the base and a search party was organized to locate for his whereabouts.
He further disclosed that the police suspecting kidnap tracked his phone and the result led the team to NSCDC headquarters in Owerri.
The police spokesman stated that on arrival at the NSCDC office, the personnel were hostile to the team of policemen leading to the mobile policemen applying minimal force to defend themselves.
According to him, the minimal force applied by the mobile policemen to defend themselves resulted in the NSCDC officers scampering for safety and in the process the detained police officer was rescued gallantly unhurt.
He described as laughable that a senior police officer of the rank of a superintendent was arrested and detained for a day by the NSCDC Imo Command and the commandant never deemed it necessary to inform the Commissioner of Police, CP as is the standard practice.
Abattam equally disclosed that the concerned officer is present on admission at the Police Medical Centre at Amakohia in Owerri North Local Government Area of the state.
He revealed that the Commissioner of Police, CP Mohammed Ahmed Barde had ordered a full-scale investigation into the matter, promising to make the outcome of investigation public at conclusion.