‘It is not the amount of Policemen escorting cash that matters, but the quality of equipment available to them’
These were the exact words of CP Ogunsakin in a bankers’ forum meeting with representatives of banks on Tuesday, 03 June 2014. Compol Tunde Ogunsakin took time to express the sadness surrounding the killing of two Policemen by armed robbers at Igwuruta the previous week. The Policemen were pulled out, by a high ranking bank official, from their bank guard duty and made to escort him with some cash, about 400,000 US Dollars. The men were ambushed and killed by robbers who also carted away the cash.
The Police Boss took pains to point out the huge difference that exists between Policemen on guard duty and those who serve in specie escorts. He made it clear that the former were to act as stationary units while the latter is released based on written request to the Police headquarters and should have on them body armour and should use Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC). Specie escorts should be the only ones to escort cash and banks should endeavour to make provisions for Armoured Personnel Carriers. The command sound a note of warning to the Bankers forum of indiscriminately killing of his men would not be tolerated any longer.
Information management was another area of importance that the CP stressed to the banks. According to him, ‘we are still investigating the case but from previous experiences, we have seen that this kind of issues have to do with poor management of information mostly from low ranking staff who have no business having knowledge of cash movement’
COMPOL Ogunsakin was in the meeting, accompanied by the Deputy Commissioner Administration (DC A), DCP Alkali Shaba, Assistant Commissioner Operations (AC OPS), ACP Mohammed A. Ali and the Officer in Charge, Criminal Investigation Bureau (OC CIB), CSP Felix Oben who all made comments on the matter.
DCA stated that banks in need of Specie escorts should make a formal application to the Commissioner of Police and that all banks should treat Policemen posted to them properly. ACP Mohammed Ali also threw his weight in emphasizing the need to be adequately prepared when escorting cash. He specified that in addition to the Armoured Personnel Carrier, the mobile men in the patrol vans should be positioned at the back of the vans for surveillance and to repel attacks. CSP Oben served as a bridge between the banks and the Police.
In response, the bankers’ forum through the newly appointed chairman Paul Okoroafor recommended that the Police give necessary information on the repairs and management of Police owned APCs considering NSA regulations. They also suggested that it would be of benefit to all concerned if Policemen and Bank officials who escort cash are by compulsion asked to put on body armour as well. An agreement was reached that the CITs will be present for the next meeting. They also agreed to appoint permanent representatives to the forum; representatives that have capacity to make far reaching decisions on behalf of each bank.
The meeting also saw the institution of the leadership of the Police Bank Forum via a unanimous decision.
CP Ogunsakin advised that the banks should take special interest in the forum as it is one that would be mutually beneficial to everybody that concerned.