Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Abubakar has allegedly ordered the arrest of policemen caught wearing their new camouflage all over the country.
The directive is said to be in response to a petition written against Abubakar to the Presidency concerning the sale of the camouflage.
Police source said on the condition of anonymity that violators were being arrested by the IG’s monitoring team and taken to Abuja.
The source said, “This incident began sometime last month when some concerned policemen wrote a petition to the Presidency concerning the sale of these camouflage uniforms. The camouflage, which is available at all police stores nationwide, were being sold at either N10,000 or N15,000 and then sewn for N5,000.
“Normally when there is a new uniform, a set ought to be issued to every policeman free of charge. As a matter of fact, the Federal Government, last year, approved new camouflage uniforms not just for the police but also for the navy and army. While the military has gone ahead to issue these uniforms to their men, the NPF has yet to do same.”
The PUNCH had on March 14, 2012 reported the introduction of a new uniform for the police force as part of the FG’s reformation and image laundering agenda for the force.
Abubakar reportedly described the new police camouflage as a testrun for the force as one of its operational outfits.
“The new police camouflage is cost effective; operationally durable; highly customised with security features to forestall impersonation and environmentally-friendly,” Abubakar had said then.
It was gathered that currently, the camouflage were only being worn by a select few.
Another source said the camouflage was initially meant for police officers from the rank of commissioners.
He said, “Later, the camouflage came down to the assistant police commissioners, deputy police commissioners and some state police public relations officers.
“Eventually, some junior police officers started buying the uniforms and it is not as if this is a new trend. Policemen always buy and sew their uniforms including all other accoutrements. The development caused some disaffection between the junior officers who had access to the uniforms and some senior officers who were yet to get them.”
Deputy Force Police Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, a chief superintendent of police, dismissed the allegation.
He said, “There is no iota of truth in that assumption or rumour. This uniform has come to stay and is an integral part of the force. Therefore, the IG cannot sanction the arrest of policemen who wear this uniform.
“That would mean all CPs and every other person including the IG himself who wear the uniform would be arrested. If indeed the uniforms are being sold, what the IG monitoring team has been doing is going about as decoy to get anyone who would sell the camouflage uniforms to them. If such happens, then we would act appropriately.
“There is no way the IG can order the arrest of policemen for doing the right thing.”