- I don’t care what comes my way - Interpol chief
Asenior police officer attached to the International Police office in Nigeria, has been placed under priority investigation, following an allegation of “professional misconduct” levelled against him by a Lagos-based human rights organisation, Paths of Peace Initiatives.
Our correspondent gathered that the decision to investigate the Interpol Commissioner of Police, simply identified as Zubairu, was a fall out of a petition written by the human rights organisation against some public officials, accusing them of huge embezzlement of funds allegedly used to purchase choice property in Nasarawa and Osun states.
But the human rights organisation has alleged that Zubairu ordered the officers investigating the allegations against the suspected corrupt public officials to hands off the matter.
The petitioner had alleged that the individuals embezzled public funds, running into several billions of naira, which were spent on acquiring choice property in Dandinkwa in Keffi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State and a private estate in Mararaba Gurku, near Abuja and another estate in Ogbomosho, Osun State, among other allegations. The Point gathered that the petition was routed through the office of The Deputy Inspector General of Police, Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department, Louis Edet House, Shehu Shagari Way, Abuja.
The said the petition was received and acknowledged by the office of the Deputy Inspector General on July 28, 2016, and the Commissioner of Police in-Charge of Interpol was directed to investigate the matter.
On July 29, 2016, the office of the DIG, FCIID, Force Intelligence Bureau, located at Area 10, Abuja, in a letter with reference number CB;7000/X/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.398/37, addressed to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, FCIID, Annex, Lagos, was specifically directed to “deal” with the matter.
In Lagos, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, in-turn, directed the officer-in- charge of Team C, ”to investigate and report back,” among other administrative directives. In the course of the investigation, the petitioners, who were apparently monitoring the progress of the case, were not satisfied with the way the matter was being handled.
This development, ostensibly pushed them to petition the office of the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim K. Idris, bringing to his notice what they called “the unethical and corrupt activities of CP Zubairu, the Commissioner of Police, Interpol”.
In the said fresh petition to the IGP, the National President of the Paths of Peace Initiatives, Mr. Dandy Eze, narrated how his organisation wrote a petition against some public office holders suspected of embezzlement of funds and abuse of office.
Eze said that in the course of the investigation, the operatives at Alagbon, Lagos, started very well as the principal actor in the alleged embezzlement case was invited to defend himself, and probably state his own version of the story in the spirit of fair play and justice.
But Eze said, “Instead of reporting to FCIID Lagos Annex to defend the allegations against him, he started bragging about how he would bribe his way out. He went to Abuja to meet CP Zubairu.
“Before you knew it, CP Zubairu compromised and ordered the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Interpol, Lagos Annex, to stop the investigations against the suspect and even threatened to deal with any officer who invited or tried to investigate the suspect; adding that they should scan the petition to him and hands off, and they did as ordered.”
Eze said he put up a call to the said CP Zubairu to inform him that the petition was not assigned to him and, “he told me with impunity that he did not care; that if I have any problem, I should come to Abuja.”
The activist consequently implored the IGP to use his good offices to look into the matter with a view to ensuring justice.
”Sir, it is unethical for a Commissioner of Police to illegally hijack a case that was not assigned to him and threaten to deal with anybody that investigates the matter, thereby shielding a corrupt government official, who embezzled billions, from being investigated.”
Eze is now calling on the IGP for immediate dismissal of the said CP Zubairu, adding, “a criminal cannot investigate criminals”.
The Point was reliably informed that it was in the light of this that the Interpol commissioner of police, was, about two weeks ago, “invited by the IGP’s Special Investigation Panel, while the petitioner, too, has been asked to report at Louis Edet House for some clarifications.”
Replying a text message sent to him by our correspondent on the allegation leveled against him by the human rights body, the embattled Interpol commissioner of police wrote, “I am a policeman, and a civil servant, serving Nigeria. I don’t care whatever comes my way.”