The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has ordered an investigation into the purchase and distribution of vehicles by his predecessors.
It was gathered that the probe was informed by the discovery that retiring officers, including former IGs and Deputy Inspectors-General of Police, were in the habit of appropriating police vehicles for their personal use.
Findings by our correspondent on Sunday show that the probe, which is being handled by the Special Investigation Panel, had identified and recovered 19 police vehicles from former IG, Solomon Arase.
Some of the vehicles include assorted sedans, Sports Utility Vehicles and pick-up vans.
The vehicles, it was learnt, were apart from the four vehicles he was entitled to take away with him on retirement.
A senior officer, who is familiar with the investigation, said the SIP was still working to recover five additional vehicles from the former police boss.
It was learnt that the SIP, headed by Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Ali Amodu, (retd.), had also recovered a number of police vehicles from other retired DIGs.
The recovered vehicles were said to have been distributed to newly promoted Commissioners of Police and AIGs.
The source said, “We are making progress in our investigations. We were able to trace 24 vehicles to the former IG and we have recovered 19 already. He has yet to release the remaining five, but we won’t let up until we recover all the vehicles. We have pictures of the vehicles and they have been documented, so he can’t deny it, the recovery is a fact.”
Arase had earlier denied taking away 24 vehicles when his successor, Idris, made the allegation during an interview with journalists on July 18, 2016, shortly after he assumed office.
Idris had further alleged that the seven DIGs, who retired alongside Arase, also carted away between seven and eight cars each.
Arase, however, denied the allegations of his successor, saying he did not go away with any police vehicle.
He said, “What am I going to do with 24 cars? Do I want to open a car shop? This is a malicious accusation. There are ways of verifying issues rather than engaging in media propaganda.”
Arase said all vehicles bought by the police under him were distributed to the state commands and other appropriate units of the Nigeria Police Force.