Police Deploy More Officers To South-East, S’south; To Stop Kanu From Fleeing:
Adelani Adepegba, Ifeanyi Onuba and Ihuoma Chiedozie
The police have increased the numerical strength of their personnel in the South-East and South-South zones of the country as part of measures to prevent a breach of the peace, which may result from the activities of Biafran agitators ahead of the upcoming Anambra State governorship election, Saturday PUNCH has learnt.
And apart from the Mobile Police Force operatives, the force told Saturday PUNCH on Friday that it had deployed the Counter-Terrorism unit, the Intelligence unit and other conventional policemen, who would work with the state commands in the South-East and South-South zones.
In addition, top sources in the police told Saturday PUNCH that the security agency had placed the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, under surveillance to prevent him from fleeing the country should the court revoke his bail and order his re-arrest for allegedly flouting his bail conditions.
The Federal Government had last week asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to revoke the bail granted to Kanu, who is being prosecuted along with others on treasonable felony charges.
The government had accused the IPOB leader of flouting his bail conditions and filed an application asking the court to revoke his bail and direct security agencies to re-arrest him.
The prosecution had said that instead of using the opportunity of his bail to attend to his health needs, Kanu had gone ahead to inaugurate a security outfit, known as Biafra Security Service.
The prosecution said this constituted a threat to national security.
But when contacted, the Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, confirmed that the police had deployed more riot policemen in the South-East and South-South regions to avert a breach of security and maintain law and order.
But Moshood did not confirm if Kanu was under surveillance to prevent him from fleeing the country should the court rule in favour of the government, even though, sources in the police maintained that that was the situation.
Moshood said, “We have made additional deployments, particularly in Anambra State, because of the upcoming governorship election and also to other South-East and South-South states to ensure that IPOB did not actualise its threat of stopping the election.
“So also, any pronouncement from the court would be strictly enforced, irrespective of the persons involved. Nobody is above the law, so any court pronouncement would be enforced by the police.”
Moshood reiterated that the force was closely monitoring the situation in the South-East.
“We are strictly monitoring the situation for any eventuality from the court, since there is an ongoing judicial process,” the police spokesman explained.Moshood said the police would not leave anything to chance, while noting that any judicial order in respect of Kanu and other agitators would be enforced immediately.
He added, “We are not leaving anything to chance; we are to ensure there is law and order and any pronouncement from the court would be strictly enforced. We are watching the situation closely. We have made enough deployments and we are going to act appropriately.”
But when asked to give the number of the police operatives deployed for the operation, the Force PRO said it was against the policy of the police to give out the number of the personnel on deployment.
“We have yet to deploy helicopters because the situation is not ripe for it,” he added.
Kanu had, in his application filed on July 1, 2017, urged the court to vary the conditions of the bail granted him on April 25, 2017. But the Federal Government had, in its application filed on August 25, 2017, asked the court to revoke the bail granted Kanu, on the grounds that the IPOB leader had flouted the bail conditions.