by Stanley Azuakola
In March 2012, a police surveillance helicopter crashed in Jos, killing the erstwhile Police deputy inspector general in charge of Operations at Force Headquarters, John Haruna and three others. Yesterday, six months after that ill-fated crash, the families of the dead were paid death benefits amounting to N36,633,500 by the Nigeria Police Force.
Apart from the late officers, the owners of the houses which were destroyed when the helicopter crashed into them were also compensated.
The family of DIG Haruna John was given N9. 9million; the family of ACP Garba Yelwa was given N3.3 million; while the families of CSP Pwol Hananiah and SGT Sanathan Shirunam were given N3.2 million and N9. 9 million respectively.
Those whose buildings were damaged include Mr. Adams Ngar – N1. 1million, Dauda Sunday – N419. 300. 00, Victor Adeh – N292. 400. 00, and Mr. Mali Waziri – N1.5million.
According to reports from the presentation ceremony,
The Inspector General of police, Mohammed Abubakar lamented the demise of the ‘gallant’ officers saying “moments like this are very sad for me as IG and the entire Nigerian Police Force because these are officers who have dedicated their lives to the service of the nation and humanity”.
Describing the presentation ceremony as an indication of his administration’s belief that ‘we must be there for our own’, the IG said, “it is to show our appreciation for the commitment of the officers while alive. The other thing we can do is that we will continue to pray for them”.
To the families of the late officers he said, “What is given is not a price for the souls of the officers lost but a meager token to help cushion the hardship being faced by them”.
He added that the promises made by the Nigeria Police to the families to train some children of the deceased officers through education and others will be fulfilled.