The acting Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, has accused his predecessor, Solomon Arase of ‘illegal’ carting away with 24 police vehicles.
This is even as he claimed that seven Deputy Inspectors-General of Police, who retired alongside him, also made away with several cars belonging to the force.
Speaking to pressmen on Sunday in Abuja, the IGP revealed that in a bid to get the cars back – which included two official bullet-proof BMW 7 series cars – he wrote to Arase and his DIGs, adding that they had yet to return the vehicles.
The Punch quoted Idris as saying that a special investigation team was already in place to look into the records of police vehicle purchases in the last three years as well as how they were distributed.
He said, “If you look through the windows of my former office and from the report from my (Force) transport officer, you would see cars, but a week to the day I would resume, all these cars disappeared.
“So, what I am telling you is that I have signed a directive to my SIP (I have a special investigation panel, I set it up). It is going to investigate all the vehicle purchases, contributions to the police and the distribution of those vehicles in the last three years; we are going to look into that.
“When I took over, there was no vehicle, even the vehicle I would use. I discovered the last IG went away with 24 vehicles; the DIGs, some of them eight, some of them seven. The IG’s vehicles included two BMW 7 series, one armoured; and he left me with an old car.
“The last time I followed the President with it, he 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.
“I wrote back to him and said, we have a policy that says when a policeman retires, if you are an IG, AIG, a CP, you are entitled to some vehicles; please, the extra, return it. Four vehicles are enough for an average human being, but what will you even do with four vehicles; but he took 24 vehicles, including two BMW cars.
“I wrote to him (Arase), I wrote to the DIGs.”
Reacting swiftly with a denial, Arase said he didn’t leave the force with any police vehicle, even as he described the allegations as a malicious propaganda to dent his image after serving the country faithfully for years.
He said, “What am I going to do with 24 cars? Do I want to open a car shop? This is a malicious accusation. There are ways of verifying issues rather than engaging in media propaganda.”