The Nigeria Police have dismissed 121 of at least 167 police officers who absconded last week, from a counter-terrorism training facility in Buni Yadi, Yobe State, to avoid deployment against Boko Haram insurgents, according to a report by Premium Times, a leading online newspaper.
The police had in their first reaction on Wednesday night strongly denied that the officers absconded as reported, with their spokesperson Jimoh Moshood saying that the 2,000 officers were still in the training centre ready for deployment against Boko Haram terrorists.
The 121 officers of the rank-and-file were accused of committing mutiny and desertion, prompting Inspector-General Ibrahim Idris to order their dismissal with immediate effect.
A directive has gone out for several police units where the dismissed officers were attached to immediately retrieve all equipment in their possession and remove them from payrolls, according to a December 26 signal seen by the online paper.
The 167 officers were amongst the 2,000 sent on a counter-insurgency training at the Nigerian Army Special Forces Training School in Buni Yadi, Yobe State.
Scores of them disappeared after learning that they would be deployed in active combat against Boko Haram in communities where the insurgents are still virulent, as against relatively peaceful settlements like Maiduguri metro area.
They were then declared wanted, amidst fears that they could be harmful because they did not submit the arms, ammunition and other equipment in their possession before fleeing.
The signals detailing the mass dismissal, which were authenticated by officials at the top command, surfaced while the Nigerian Army contradicted the police’s claim that its officers did not abscond.
Here is the full list (Source: Premium Times)