THE immediate-past former Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, on Monday in Abuja, denied taking away 24 police vehicles as alleged by his successor, Ibrahim Idris.
He described the allegation as lies.
The ex-IGP also denied getting any letter from Idris after leaving office, adding that he (Arase) had been in the United Kingdom since his retirement.
Arase made the clarification in a statement he signed on Monday from the UK, where he said he had travelled to for his son’s graduation.
According to him, all the information needed by his successor on vehicles bought by the police were in his handover notes.
He said all vehicles bought by the police under him were distributed to the state commands and other appropriate units of the Nigeria Police Force.
Arase added, “I suspect there must be a disconnect somewhere because the information needed by my successor are provided in my handover notes. I’m also not aware that any letter was written to me because if there was any, dropped in my house, someone would have alerted me.
“It’s unfortunate that this matter is being made a media issue because my successor has my telephone number and could have called me for any clarification or even sent me a text message rather than addressing the media on an issue well documented in my handover notes.”
The PUNCH had reported that Idris had claimed that Arase went away with 24 police vehicles while the seven Deputy Inspectors-General of Police, who retired alongside him, also carted away between seven and eight cars each.
Idris stated that he had written Arase to return the cars, which included two official bullet-proof BMW 7 series, adding that the retired police chief and his DIGs had yet to return the vehicles.
He had explained that a special investigation team was already looking at the records of police vehicle purchases in the last three years as well as how they were distributed.
Idris had said, “So, what I am telling you is that I have signed a directive to my SIP (I have a special investigation panel, I set it up). It is going to investigate all the vehicle purchases, contributions to the police and the distribution of those vehicles in the last three years; we are going to look into that.
“When I took over, there was no vehicle, even the vehicle I would use. I discovered the last IG went away with 24 vehicles; the DIGs, some of them eight, some of them seven. The IG’s vehicles included two BMW 7 series, one armoured; and he left me with an old car.”