Palpable fear may be greeting men of the Nigeria police as a colleague of theirs, corporal Torbee Atorough, attached to the Ibafo police division, Ogun state, is reportedly abducted by unknown gunmen believed to be militants.
The Punch reports that Atorough was abducted at his post in Ibafo, notorious for pipeline vandalism and oil theft on May 11 2016.
It was learnt that the alleged militants operating around the creeks in the area were flagged down by the corporal and three of his colleagues at about 8.30pm.
Rather than wait, the driver of the snatched car in which the militants travelled zoomed off. This prompted Atorough to chase them with a motorcycle alone.
However, since he went after them, he is yet to be seen.
His colleagues were said to later trail the alleged gunmen but could not find them or the corporal who is from Benue state and has five children.
The police, after a futile effort to get their colleagues later arrested the owner of the car and three other suspects. The other three police officers were also detained.
One of the arrested suspects confessed that the police officer was with his colleagues.
Wilson Atorough, who came from Benue as a result of the incident, said corporal Atorough had earlier complained that he was suspecting some of his colleagues at the police division.
“On May 13, I received a call from one of our people in Ibafo that my brother had been missing since May 11, while he was on duty with his colleagues.
“I came to the station and was told that the case had been transferred to the command’s headquarters in Abeokuta. On getting there, I learnt that the owner of the vehicle and three other suspects were in detention.
“The car owner said he had called the police station that evening to report that the vehicle was stolen at gunpoint, but he did not get any response.
“He claimed that he later recovered the vehicle where it was parked. One of the three other suspected militants confessed in my presence that he was among those who abducted my brother. He said he was shot and taken away by other militants.
“I was taken to a deputy commissioner of police and after I explained to him that my brother had earlier told us that his colleagues were after his life, he ordered that the three policemen should be arrested.”
Dorcas Atorough, wife of the policeman, also accused his colleagues at the post when the incident took place of complicity.
“Why did his colleagues on duty allow my husband to chase the gunmen alone when there was a patrol van that all of them could use? Why didn’t the Divisional Police Officer contact the family immediately the incident happened?
“The inspector-general of police and the Police Service Commission (PSC) should prevail on the Ogun state commissioner of police to expedite action towards releasing my husband.”
The police could not confirm the incident as its spokesman in the state, Muyiwa Adejobi, did not pick calls made to his line and did not respond to a text message to him.
The police inspector-general, Solomon Arase, had on Tuesday, May 24 deployed a helicopter, 35 federal special anti-robbery squads and four detachments of mobile police men to Kogi state to bring the security situation in the state under control.
According to Vanguard, the offensive against the hoodlums in the state began on Sunday, May 22 and has led to the arrest of several suspected kidnappers. Some criminals in the state have also been killed by the special force in their various hideouts during a gun battle according to reports.