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Apo Six: How Garki DPO Escaped, By Police Chief

Posted by From Onwuka Nzeshi in Abuja on 2005/07/27 | Views: 580 |

Apo Six: How Garki DPO Escaped, By Police Chief


Deputy Commissioner of Police, Force Criminal Investigation Depa-rtment (FCID) Abuja, Mr. Amusa Bello, has told the Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing the killing of six civilians in Abuja how the fleeing Apo Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Abdulsalami Othman, escaped from police custody on June 27.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Force Criminal Investigation Depa-rtment (FCID) Abuja, Mr. Amusa Bello, has told the Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing the killing of six civilians in Abuja how the fleeing Apo Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Abdulsalami Othman, escaped from police custody on June 27.

Testifying as a principal witness before the commission, Bello said "around 1pm (or 13.00hrs), he (Othman) took permission from CSP Lawan Ado (on 27/06/05). CSP Ado permitted him to go and say his prayers at the mosque down stairs within the Force Headquarters.

"By the time the prayers were over, Othman was no where to be found. Then phone calls were made. So many of his course mates who knew his phone numbers called him. At one time, he would say he was at Area 11, at another time he would say he was at Apo, yet at another time he would say he was at the Villa. He was giving one location after another.

"I was given his phone number, and I rang twice, but he did not answer probably because he is not used to my number. Around 4.30pm, when Enyinnaya, Personal Assistant to Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Force CID phoned, he heard him at the background firing the throttle of his car.

"He made us to know that this man was driving and was running away, he was not in Abuja. It was at that time that everybody knew he has run away. It then occurred to everybody that this man had escaped.

"We posted some men to his house and placed his wife under surveillance and was under house arrest for about a week. It was just recently that she was allowed to go out. Since then, Lawson Ado has been under detention.
"The escape of Othman was a case of negligence on the part of CSP Ado, but it was not a deliberate act," he said.

Speaking under cross-examination, Bello said contrary to media reports, Othman escaped in the day time and not in the night. He said when it became clear that Othman was out of Abuja, the police quickly radioed neighbouring countries informing them to be on the look out for him.

He said Othman's apprehension may have been made difficult because he must have been going about in mufti, noting that "how would they know him unless those who knew before."

Othman was taken into custody on June 27 alongside other 26 police officers implicated in the Apo six killings.

He was detained on the sixth floor of Louis Edet House, headquarters of the Nigeria Police before his escape.

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