A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos yesterday heard how a dismissed Nigerian Police officer, Victor Afam Banor, earned salaries illegally from 15 different police commands in the country.

The accused also allegedly stole N20 million meant for salaries of officers of the Enugu State Police Command, the Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, told the court.

Banor was dismissed while serving at the Umunede Police Division in Delta State for allegedly stealing an exhibit vehicle in a criminal case under investigation.

He, however, escaped from police detention and turned up at the Enugu Command with a falsified signature, claiming to still be a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP).

Following the retirement of the officer-in-charge (O/C) of the command’s Mechanised Salary Section (MSS), Banor resurfaced and assumed office as the O/C MSS.

It was while holding this position, albeit illegally, the suspect allegedly absconded with the said amount in March 2011.

“While absconding from office, Banor dropped a note stating that nobody should look for him because he had resigned to join militant groups at the creeks of the Niger Delta region”, Abba told the court.

Abba stated these in a counter-affidavit filed in opposition to an application by Banor praying the court to release him from police detention.

Banor said he had been held for over eight months without charge, and prayed the court presided over by Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, to either order his release or direct the police to charge him to court.

The applicant noted that his continued detention violated his fundamental rights as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.

Joined as respondents in the case are the IGP, the Commissioner of Police, Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Adeniji Adele Road, Lagos, and the Investigating Police Officer (IPO), DSP Solomon Igwe.

In the counter-affidavit filed on Tuesday by the Officer-in-Charge of the Legal Department (O/C Legal), Zone 2, Mr. Justin Enang, the police authorities prayed the court not to release Banor because he could tamper with ongoing investigation into his alleged crime.

According to the police, several officers under Banor complained that their salaries were diverted, [but] he did not turn up until he was arrested in Onitsha, Anambra State on April 15.

When he was arrested, he was said to have claimed to be a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) flashing a police warrant card and demanding to be shown respect as a “senior officer”.

In his ruling on the bail application sought by Banor, Justice Aneke adjourned till November 21.

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