There is growing disquiet among rank and file of the Nigeria Police Force as well as other Nigerians following the arrest of police escorts attached to a famous praise-singer of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Dauda Adamu Kahutu Rarara.
It was learnt that two of the Rarara’s police escort were arrested and transferred to the Force Headquarters, Abuja, over what was described as “unauthorised celebratory gunfire”.
In a viral video, two of the policemen attached to him were seen shooting in the air indiscriminately while the singer was heading towards his parked SUV after distributing Ramadan packages in his Kahutu hometown in Katsina.
Force spokesman, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, who confirmed their arrest, said they would appear before a disciplinary panel at the Force Headquarters.
He stated: “The NPF has condemned the unprofessionalism and act of indiscipline displayed by the policemen caught in the video that is trending where some policemen were seen firing shots to rob the ego and hype a musician in the Kano city recently.
“The police officers have been identified and arrested. They will be brought to the force headquarters for an interview and necessary disciplinary action. Such an act is unpoliced and cannot be condoned.”
Some police officers, who spoke to Daily Trust yesterday on condition of anonymity, described the arrest as “unwarranted”, noting that the famous singer had paid for the police services legally as directed by the authority of the force.
“It’s going to be tantamount to injustice if those two officers arrested are punished because they were not acting illegally. The police services had already been paid for”, one of the officers said.
Another officer said, “For now, we’ve not seen what the police officers did wrongly to have warranted their arrest. I saw the video, and I didn’t see where they acted wrongly. I believe their arrest has political undertone!”
“Ordinarily, why should police officers be attached to private individuals like Rarara?! Because he has money? Because he can pay for their services? Did the officers deploy themselves to be guarding him (Rarara)?” he queried.
Rarara, who spoke to journalists in a telephone interview, said he was aware that the police had recalled his security escorts, saying he wished to plead on their behalf.
According to him, “We are all human beings, nobody is infallible but I want to make it clear to you that, those shots were not celebratory, they were meant to be warning shots for likely threat in the trip”.
Daily Trust had, in its investigation in February, uncovered how the police authorities do collect humongous amounts of money from prominent Nigerians to provide them cover amid shortage of manpower in the Force.
The report noted that Nigerians had since raised concerns over the commercialisation of security services of personnel of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to those who can afford to pay.
Prominent personalities, who have the wherewithal can “rent” police operatives through the latest platform of the NPF called Police Specialised Automated Services Programme (POSSAP).
Some citizens have expressed concern that this is happening at a time the number of police personnel is less than 400,000 and below the one police officer to 400 citizens for Nigeria’s population of 214 million people.