President Goodluck Jonathan has given the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Hafiz Ringim, 24 hours to produce Boko Haram suspect Kabiru Sokoto who escaped from police detention on Monday.
Earlier, the Commissioner of Police, Zakari Biu, the head of the Zonal Command -7 of the Nigeria Police Force handling Boko Haram investigation in the Crime Investigation Department was suspended by the IGP. Police sources said they were shocked that Mr. Biu was brought into the unit in the first place, given his background. Under Mr. Biu, many Boko Haram suspects have been released under questionable circumstances.
The suspect was allegedly responsible for the Christmas bombing of St Theresa's Catholic Church, in Madalla, Niger State, about which he made useful statements to the police concerning the masterminds of the sect.
Apparently in a bid to prevent him from exposing the sponsors of terrorism, he was allowed to escape in questionable circumstances.
Whereas he was arrested by two lorry loads of mobile policemen on Saturday, only three policemen were detailed to accompany him to his house yesterday for a belated search.
It is an unusual practice that the suspect was accompanied only by a few police officers, which is at variance with police procedures that ensure that high value terror suspects are accompanied by well-armed mobile police officers with advance parties as well as surveillance teams in mufti.
Mr. Biu acted as an enforcer for former military dictator Sanni Abacha. In his heyday in the force in the 1990s, he was responsible for detonating bombs that were later ascribed to opposition figures in the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO).
Mr. Biu was dismissed by President Olusegun Obasanjo, but he was later reintegrated into the force as an Assistant Commissioner of Police, and then promoted to Commissioner of Police under Mr. Jonathan.
A source told SaharaReporters that Mr. Biu was very bitter about the death of his son, Tahir Zakari Biu, an officer at the EFCC who was killed in the October 1, 2010 Independence Day bombing that claimed 27 lives in Abuja.
The blast was allegedly carried out by the Niger Delta militant group, MEND.
In a new petition yesterday to President Jonathan today, prominent Nigerian civil rights lawyer, Femi Falana called on Mr. Jonathan to remove IGP Ringim himself from office, or he will request the special prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to investigate and prosecute him for aiding and abetting crimes against humanity.”
Mr. Falana, commenting on the escape of the Boko Haram suspect from police custody, recalled Mr. Jonathan’s recent disclosure that the federal government has been infiltrated by the sect. He noted that although the statement was borne out of frustration, the government should be blamed for rejecting the genuine calls for the removal of incompetent security chiefs.
“It was particularly embarrassing that Mr. Hafiz Ringim was retained as the Inspector-General of Police after hosting a co-founder of the dangerous Boko Haram sect last year,” Mr. Falana said. “When asked to justify the meeting which was held at the police headquarters, the police chief claimed that he handed over the prime suspect to an unnamed security agency! In an interview aired on AIT later the wanted suspect claimed that he alerted the IGP, in advance, of the bombing of the police headquarters.”