By Nairaland Forum •IRT now has splinter groups, one still loyal to him
BY Our Reporters
When the 18th indigenous Inspector-General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, created the Intelligence Response Team, IRT in 2015, as one of his innovative initiatives, it was aimed solely, to combat violent crimes, especially kidnapping, which had become an intractable scourge before he assumed office.
It was not difficult for Arase, who formerly headed one of the topmost intelligence gathering units of the Nigeria Police Force; the Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Bureau, to choose DCP Abba Kyari, who was then a Superintendent of Police and Commander of now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, Lagos state, to head the IRT, known then as IGP IRT.
His choice of Kyari, among other gallant policemen across Police commands in Nigeria, was because of his sterling achievements as the SARS commander, Lagos.
Indeed, Kyari and his team hit the ground running, by cracking high profile cases with bewildering rapidity, through the use of cutting-edge technology, in the IGP IRT. Highly complex crimes of national security importance ranging from kidnapping, robbery and bombing, were cracked with suspects arrested and prosecuted and exhibits recovered.
For the first time in many years, Nigerians, both home and abroad, as well as the international community, applauded the efforts of the IRT, with special encomium showered on Abba Kyari, who was seen as the pride of the police. It got to an extent that most people who were not conversant with the hierarchy in the Nigeria Police Force assumed he was the police boss, as he became more visible than the IGP and successive Force Public Relations officers in the media space.
Kyari, enjoyed rapid promotions in recognition of his achievements described as unprecedented in the history of the Nigeria Police.
But as time progressed, there were complaints about the excesses of Kyari and his men at the IRT unit. Before the disbandment of SARS, some of the atrocities attributed to SARS were actually perpetrated by operatives of the IRT. Among these complaints were human rights abuse and acts of brutality in their bid to extract the truth from suspects.
They were also accused of converting suspects’ property to theirs, as well as withdrawing suspects’ money from their accounts during interrogation but only tendered one-tenth of the amount as exhibits.
Some of these suspects were kidnappers, drug barons and robbers, who either died from bullet wounds or were serving jail terms in correctional centres.
Although there were reportedly Read More
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