A major crisis is brewing at the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) over the decision by the retiring Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, to sell off the multi-billion naira Police Officers Mess located at Onikan, Lagos State few weeks to his retirement.
According to investigation, the Lagos Officers Mess, Onikan, contains about 40 chalets, two big halls, Squash Court, Lawn Tennis Court renovated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with about 40 rooms’ apartment.
As a prelude, it was learnt that mostly the maintenance civilian staff and police personnel in the inspectorate ranks as well as other ranks and file have been forced out of Lagos with indiscriminate transfer to the Northern parts of the country.
Investigation further revealed that several attempts by successive IGPs to sell the multi-billion naira asset had been thwarted until the fresh attempt was being plotted by the outgoing IGP.
It was gathered that already, a private developer had started moving equipment and materials to the site for renovation and reconstruction work as the civilian staff and senior police officers in the premises had been hurriedly chased out by the developer without alternative accommodation in place.
Our source stated that the matter had also caused crisis between the outgoing IGP and the members of the Police Management Team who reportedly raised concerns over the sale without following due process.
Findings further revealed that some concerned senior officers in the force were not taking the matter lightly and would want the Presidency and the Police Service Commission (PSC) to intervene on the matter by prevailing on the outgoing IGP to put the act on hold in the interest of peace in the force.
According to one of such concerned officers, “This is a serious matter that the Presidency and the Police Service Commission have to intervene. Why now? The IGP’ is going in a few weeks’ time.
“Several attempts made in the past under previous IGPs failed woefully and so also the fresh plot will not succeed. This illegal act is not limited to the Officers Mess at Onikan, it applies to other police choice landed properties in such areas as Ikeja, Falomo, Surulere, Apapa amongst others.
“We will go to any lawful length to stop the illegal act. Why the sale in the first instance? This cannot and will never happen in the military, it is only in the Nigeria Police Force.”
According to the source, fresh information at their disposal revealed that the “occupants of the edifice had just been made to contribute various amounts of money for the renovation of the Mess before the developer came up suddenly even without the knowledge of the Force Commissioner of Works who incidentally occupies an apartment at the building.
“Findings revealed that the deal is being done secretly but we are appealing to the prospective buyer to keep off as it will not stand the test of the time after the exit of the outgoing IGP, because we are not in a banana republic where anything goes.”
Neither the Force Public Relations, (FPRO), Frank Mba, a Commissioner of Police, nor his Deputy, CSP Aremu Adeniran were available for comments as their phones were unreachable as at press time.
However, a top police officer told Sunday Independent that the plot was real and called on well-meaning Nigerians, including the current Chairman of the PSC, Alhaji Musiliu Smith, who was also a former IGP, the Oba of Lagos, Oba Riliwanu Akinolu, a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), as well as the Presidency to wade into the matter urgently.
Credit: Sunday Independent