Ibrahim Idris, the inspector general of police, has denied sending Olukayode Ayilara, his Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP, and Commander of the Police X-Squad in Benue, to collect N10 million from the Benue State Board of Internal Revenue Service, BIRS.
Mr. Idris disclosed this while addressing hundreds of protesting youths over an assault on the chairman of the board, Mrs. Mimi Adzape-Orubibi in Makurdi on Monday, February 12, 2018.
The Police IG who spoke through the state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni noted that “the IGP did not send anyone to collect money from BIRS”.
He said the officer in question had already been identified and had been invited to Abuja for interrogation even as he appealed to the protesting youths to sheathe their swords and allow for peace.
Fatai Owoseni, the police commissioner, pleaded with the youths to vacate the road and allow free flow of traffic in the area.
On her part, the BIRS boss pleaded with the youths and members of the BIRS staff to stop the protest stressing that the governor and the Police CP had already taken up the matter.
Newsmen at the scene of the protest observed that the timely intervention of the police command saved the protest from escalating into a violent one.
The protesting youths under the aegis of Coalition of Harmonized Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria had gathered and blocked a portion of the Makurdi/ Gboko Highway chanting protest song, “X-Squad Must Go” and bearing different placards with different inscriptions.
In an address, Spokesperson of the coalition, Solomon Semaka lamented what he described as harassment, intimidation, blackmail, vindictiveness and criminal take over of Benue IGR by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris through his police X-Squad and unlawful and criminal assault and threat to life of the BIRS Chairman by Ayilara.
Semaka noted that the Nigerian Police under IGP Ibrahim Idris had continued to carry on as if law was meant to serve itself other than the people adding that the coalition of over 100 civil society organizations had gathered to protest against the criminal take over of revenue collection due to Benue state government by the IGP and his X-Squad.
“We are constrained to believe that the IGP has submitted himself and the entire Nigerian police force to be used by the powers that be to frustrate the Benue state government. Otherwise, why will the IGP arrest tax collectors, seal tax offices, beat and intimidate revenue agents all over the state? Why will the IGP send Ayilara to demand N10 million as logistics for the IGP from the state government.?”