Following the brouhaha that ensued since the past week concerning the where- about of the 24 missing police vehicles allegedly carted away by the former Inspector General of Police, IGP Solomon Arase by his successor, AIGP Ibrahim Idris, some members of the Motoring Public has said it was needless to have raised issues, since there was no proper communication enquiring into the matter in the first place.
Speaking to Motoring World, most people spoken to believe that there was complete break down of communication between the two Police Bosses on the issue.
Mr. Bright Oke, a fairly used Peugeot cars dealer, popularly called Tokunbo, noted that barely 24 hours after the incident began to rare its ugly head, the cars were recaptured by the Police, meaning that if proper enquiries were conducted there wouldn’t have been any issues about the matter at all, saying it was supposed to have a been a strictly police affairs.
“You don’t begin to talk about police matters like that.” Oke started, “the Acting Inspector General of Police was supposed to know that and I do not think that his action to call a Press Conference to that effect was meant to discredit his predecessor, IGP Arase, because whether retired or not he is still relevant to the police force.
“The issue was blown out of proportion and most of us informed auto dealers and friends do not think that was necessary.”
Mr. Adebowale Ajale, who also deals in Tokunbo Peugeot cars added, “Since all the vehicles have been recovered now, what is next? Is somebody going to be apologizing to the other, to what extent could that repair any damage done to the other’s reputation? You see, there are many questions that require answers now, despite the insinuation that could have emanated from the rumours. I call it remours, because if it was an accusation which can not be said to be proper.”
According to Oke, “The first flaw by the AIGP’s Investigating Team was not asking from the Auto Computer Company which repairs most government cars, at least they would have provided useful information, or is somebody insinuating that the former IG hid those vehicles there? No, it was not possible, because here, on seat is a Federal Government that must ask questions, no matter how little.
“And also, there was supposed to have been proper handing over between the outgoing and the incoming. The question of trying to connive all 24 police cars, at the same time, should not arise at all. Nigeria is too big for that now and anybody who would attempt such must be living in the past.”
All 24 Police vehicles, including the official IGP Staff Car, which is armoured plated and bullet proof as well as the spare staff car, both of which are BMW’s, have been reportedly found at an auto repair shop where they were also said to have been submitted to for comprehensive repairs by the former IG’s maintenance team.
investigation however revealed that the cars were sent to Auto Computers located in the Jabi district of Abuja and that the spare BMW car was already completed and repainted as at the time of search. The spare staff car was said to have developed engine problems since five years before the last administration sent it for repairs.
Reports from Auto Computer told correspondents that the spare car was delivered to the Police headquarters last Sunday afternoon after completion of repairs and that officials of the company were intending to visit the Acting IGP for payment of the job done.
For the armoured plated Staff Car, it was also discovered that because of the high technology embedded in the car, the company needed more time to put the identified problems of the car right, as some of the needed parts will come from abroad.
Clarifying their position about the enshrouding circumstances the Auto Computer said “no body asked us about the whereabouts of the cars, and that since it was the police that brought them, we were more concerned about their repairs. Perhaps, we would have been in position of clearing all doubts and the question about been carted away in the first instance would not have arisen because they always parked here; and would have been seen by the police investigators if they came here earlier.”
Investigation to confirm if the proper procedure for ascertaining location of the cars were followed, it was however discovered that the Works Department and the Force Transport Department that would have been contacted for explanations were not approached, thereby making the entire search exercise premature. And in place, the IGP secretariat made up of newly posted officers, were said to have written the former IGP demanding the whereabouts of the staff cars and other 22 vehicles, which also seemed to have been misinterpreted by former IGP, Arase.
Further report regarding the whereabouts of other vehicles showed that they were in order; and that while some were arrayed for operations, the record of the location of others was not in question.
It could be that when news about the alleged missing 24 vehicles became public issue last Sunday, the former IGP, Arase responded to questions saying that the allegations were the handicraft of mischief makers who were bent on trying to tarnish his good reputation.
AIGP Idris Ibrahim had called a press conference concerning the 24 vehicles and the ex-IG Arase having refuted what seemed an allegation by his successor.
AIGP Idris probably propelled by the question by Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari, concerning the old car that took him on the entourage with him has said that his special investigation team was already probing on the number of vehicles purchased by the police in the last three years and how they were distributed.
AIGP Idris had told journalists at the Press Conference that, “The last time I followed the President with it (the car that took him to the entourage), he (President Buhari) was asking me, ‘what are you doing with this old car?’ because, if you see the headlight, the thing has changed colour, which means they parked it and rains and everything had fallen on it, but the new ones that were bought, he (Arase) went with all of them; they are part of the 24.
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