When Lagos Task Force ‘White Lion’ roars to elevation! (Special Report)

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By Albert UBA, Investigator-in-Chief, Lagos.

BESTRIDING the beleaguered Nigeria Police Force like a colossus, Mr. Olayinka Egbeyemi no doubt, had one reason organic to his enlistment and that is, to change an age-long discomfiting narrative in the organization.  Enlisted into the Force in 20014 as Cadet ASP, young and focused Egbeyemi had no reason to betray his conscience in carving a niche for himself as he forays into the senior cadre of the organization he swore on an oath to preserve; albeit odds. Little wonder, he was not too comfortable as Traffic Officer and later Administration personnel at the Aguda and Elere Divisions respectively for starters because he yearned for more tasking challenges. He therefore, moved to become the Crime Officer (1) at the Alausa Division where he proved his mettle in human and material management; leaving almost immediately for the Police public relations office as Deputy Police Public Relations Officer DPPRO; all in a short space of time.  This Ondo State University Philosophy graduate and Masters Degree holder in International Relations could not have his ambition hemmed at the PPRO department of the Police and so, he soon ‘mobilized’ to the Police Mobile Force PMF 20 where he excelled in leaps and bounds. Promoted as Deputy Superintendent of Police DSP shortly afterwards, this tall and dark complexioned Police officer whose eclectic maneuvers became the cynosure of all eyes in the Nigeria Police Force spread like wild harmattan fire; spurring the then Inspector-General of Police Dr. Mike Okiro spotting and making him his Personal Assistant, Staff Officer; even to the consternation of Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State who felt he would be much more secure with officer Olayinka Ebeyemi as his Aide- De -Camp ADC. The Governor did succeed and pulled Egbeyemi to himself but midway into his duty as ADC to the Governor,  easy going but non-nonsense Egbeyemi opted out of the coveted position on principle: he could not be Briefcase carrying Police officer! Back on the saddle in the mainstream policing, SP Egbeyemi was deployed to Sango Division as the Divisional Police Officer DPO. As one with vast knowledge of Police/community relations; having been trained both at home and abroad, SP Egbeyemi brought his experiences acquired over time to bear; turning the Police Station to a literal Scotland Yard Police Station.  Suspects had no choice but sang his praises to high heavens for his liberality. It is Egbeyemi’s firm belief that so long as a court of competent jurisdiction hadn’t pronounced the suspects guilty, they were presumed innocent and therefore, given free hands to move around within the Police station premises (on bare foot though) and later taken back to the protective custody only at dusk.  At the risk of being tagged immodest, it is on record that during SP Egbeyemi’s reigns as DPO Sango Division, detentions cells witnessed the emergence of Plasma television sets. Suspects gleefully watched national and international football tournaments and had their bathe at will.

Like a golden fish that has no hiding place, SP Egbeyemi’s exploits rented the entire hemisphere of Ogun State and beyond. That again, filtered into the ears of the same Governor for whom he served as ADC and he begged him to return back. But that could not be as the officer strongly believes in the age-long aphorism of forward ever, backward never.

Unknown that his exceptional prowess in crisis management and modern policing had caught the fancies of the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, SP Egbeyemi was redeployed back to Alausa Division Lagos on the insistence of the Governor and he became the Governor’s DPO! At Aluasa Division, the Police officer exhibited a groundbreaking trait of an incorrigible officer when he brought to the fore, a whopping N6million belonging to one of the second generation banks recovered but hidden in the safe by his predecessor.  The said money reports say, fell off a bullion van but was recovered by Policemen attached to the Division but instead of returning it to the owner, was kept outside public knowledge by the then DPO pending a certain date and time when it would be safe for sharing among them. In the meantime, some of the bank staff who escorted the ‘missing money’ had been relieved of their job since they could not give cogent explanation of how the money developed wings and disappeared to thin air. But moments on assumption of office as DPO Alausa Division, SP Egbeyemi ‘raised the alarm’ on the strange discovery and the money was returned back to the bank; forcing management of the bank to reinstate those staff that had been sacked over the incident. This was first of its kind in the annals of policing in Nigeria. Similar propriety was replicated again at Ilupeju Division when SP Egbeyemi led a team of anti- robbery men in a hot chase of suspected armed robbers who had succeeded in disposing a foreigner of his hard currencies running into several millions of naira, forcing the bandits to abandon the briefcase containing the currencies and fled.  The monies were recovered and handed over to the unnamed foreigner in tack. This uncommon feat and professionalism in a small measure, attracted the commendation of both the then Commissioner of Police and the AIG Zone 2.  All these put together caught the attention of the Editorial Board of CrimeWorld weekly newspapers prompting it to do an exquisite editorial on him in its June 18, 2017 edition titled The SP Egbeyemi Model; describing the young Police officer as a rare gem who observes the tenets of the profession to the letter.

Appointed as the Chairman, Lagos State Task Force on Environment and Special Offences on March 10, 2016, Egbeyemi was again, up in his elements burrowing into areas that were hitherto dreaded by his predecessors; this on one hand was to the condemnation of his traducers but on the other, to the appreciation of Governor Ambode his employer; who could not hide his gravitation toward Egbeyemi’s sterling qualities. Armed with the Machiavelli’s The Prince principle of “being feared and respected rather than being loved and jeered,” the ‘White Lion’ at the Lagos Task Force Office sees his appointment as another avenue to showcase his lion heartedness in assisting to making a Lagos  a virile and sane city to live in, a mega city devoid of shanties and hoodlums. His recent elevation  in June this year to the well deserved rank of Chief Superintendent of Police CSP didn’t therefore, come as a surprise. It was well over due. Beaming with a contagious smile while being decorated in his new rank by the duo of the Commissioner of Police CP Imohimi Edgal and Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi seemed to be saying “expect more from me with this new rank.”

A peep into Egbeyemi’s intimidating certificates:  He attended several courses, both home and abroad which include, Peace Support Operation and Anti-Terrorist Course at the Prestigious Centre of Excellence for Stability Police Unit (COESPU) in Italy, Combat Craft Operation at Gwazo, Bornu State. Leadership and Citizenship Training at Shere Hills, Jos Plateau State. Aide-De-Camp (ADC), Induction Course at Police Staff College, Jos Plateau State in July 2011. Ad-Hoc duties include Joint Task Force (JTF) with the Military and DSS in Potiskum, Yobe and Kano States; engaging insurgents in 2012 and 2014 respectively. CSP Egbeyemi is a member of International Association of Chiefs of Police and has attended the ICP Conferences at Philadelphia, Florida, Chicago, and San-Diego in California in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively in United States of America.

*CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi poses with Commissioner of Police Edgal and Governor Akinwunmi Ambode after decorating him with his new rank…

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