Rukayat Akanbi, Bauchi
Bauchi State Police Command has denied alleged role in a robbery attack in Dambam local government area of the State, along Maiduguri–Kano highway.
A viral video that has been trending on social media was recorded by one of the victims who claimed that the Police officers championed the robbery. In the video, women and children where in Police Van attached to Dambam Division. The narrator also threatened that if something was not done they would take laws into their hands.
But the Commissioner of Police in the State, Philip Maku while addressing the press on Wednesday, described the allegation as “unfounded and mischievous.”
He said it is “totally unfounded and mischievously fabricated video clip, that is currently circulating online aimed at causing disaffection between the police and general public.
“In the viral video, which shows a patrol vehicle belonging to Dambam Police Division of the Command carrying victims of armed robbery attack mainly women and children, a background voice was heard maliciously alleging that, the police were responsible for that robbery attack.
“This allegation is not only false but misleading and is viewed as calculated attempt by mischief makers to incite the public against the police.”
The Commissioner of Police explained that on 18 February, at about 3:00am a report was received by Dambam Police Division that, a group of armed robbers numbers about nine blocked Kano-Maiduguri Highway near Bam village, Dambam LGA. It was said that innocent motorists were robbed of their belongings.
Philip added that police patrol team was promptly mobilised to the area, “however on sighting the police, the robbers took to their heels to the bush, leaving some robbed passengers on board of a Sharon motor vehicle with registration number: XA 300 ABS, Kano, driven by one Umar Mohd from Ambursa Kebbi State, heading to Maiduguri Borno State.
“Upon team’s arrival at the scene, they calmed down the victims, assured them of their safety and equally chased the armed robbers to the bush for possible apprehension. It was during that period a group of motorist from Kano axis heading to Maiduguri arrived the scene and met the victims and the police patrol vehicle parked.
“Consequently, when the team came back to the scene, they met some angry drivers with victims, while some maliciously accused them of being responsible of the robbery. Unfortunately, at that time, the victims could not refute the allegation as they were seriously traumatised which can clearly be noticed in the viral video.”
He said “when the group reached the Village Head’s house, the victims felt safe and informed the gathering that, it was not the police that robbed them, in fact police were actually the ones that rescued them and chased the robbers to the bush. These statements doused the tension and put the situation under control, only for the Command to saw that unfounded video on social media.”
He appealed to the public to disregard the video saying it was totally unfounded but said he has directed “discreet investigation” in to the armed robbery incident and the purported video clip and all findings would be made available to the public.