A former Assistant Director at the Department of State Services, Dennis Amachree on Thursday said the police were warned thrice before gunmen attacked a correctional facility and police headquarters facility in Imo State.
Mr. Amachree made the comment during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
The attack, which took place on Monday, has been followed by another assault on a police facility in Imo State.
Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma has blamed the recent attacks on security facilities in the state on aggrieved politicians who aim to destabilise his government and that of President Muhammadu Buhari.
But Mr. Amachree suggested on Thursday that such attacks, especially the Monday event, could have been averted if the police were on their toes.
“There is enough actionable intelligence; actionable in the sense that it allows for space for people to execute it,” he said.
“One week ahead of this particular event and 72 hours before the event and 48 hours before the event – so three times – the Nigeria police was informed that this was going to happen.
“Some suspects that were being geolocated around the area were found surveilling the prisons and the police headquarters.
“But you know, in our lackadaisical way, when the intelligence would come, they throw it by the side, and then of course when something happens, everybody runs around.”
Mr. Amachree said the DSS could not have acted on its own intelligence because it is not “a fighting force.”
“The actionable party is actually the police,” he said. “Because when they say a particular installation or facility is under threat, then the actionable party would go ahead to correct it.
“The DSS is not a fighting force. They have a protective department that is basically responsible for the security of persons, VIPS. But when it comes to fighting, they always liaise with sister agencies, either the police or the military.”
He stressed that “some people are just lazy to do their jobs” and advised that other states should learn from Lagos State.
“Lagos, the same intelligence has been coming around and of course they have been proactive.
“If it is happening in the North-East, it could happen in Lagos. (But) Lagos itself has taken proactive steps, especially when it comes to securing correctional facilities in the state. And I think that’s what other states should follow now because they can’t sit back and wait until it happens to them.”