US embassy cable - 02ABUJA110

MOB SETS POLICE POST ABLAZE - ABUJA

Identifier: 02ABUJA110
Wikileaks: View 02ABUJA110 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Abuja
Created: 2002-01-15 16:27:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: ASEC ALOW
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS ABUJA 000110 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
 
DEPT FOR DS/OP/AF, DS/DSS/ITA, DS/DSS/OSAC 
LAGOS FOR RSO 
 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ASEC, ALOW 
SUBJECT: MOB SETS POLICE POST ABLAZE - ABUJA 
 
 
1.  (U) Summary: On 6 January 2002, a police 
post located at Apo Village, located 
approximately 10 kilometers from the 
Embassy, within the capital city of Abuja 
was set ablaze by a protesting mob. 
 
 
2.  (U) Details: The local news reported 
that the mob, numbering approximately 2,000, 
besieged the police post and set fire to it 
to protest the death of a suspected armed 
robber in police custody. The suspect was 
arrested with several others following a 
report of a robbery in the area in late 
December. 
 
 
3.  (U) The Abuja Police Public Relations 
Officer confirmed the incident. He said that 
the police raided some criminal hideouts in 
the village and arrested the deceased and 
other members of his criminal gang. He added 
that while in police custody, the deceased 
became ill and was taken to a private clinic 
where he was diagnosed as epileptic and 
later died. He confirmed that no life was 
lost in the fire but that police property 
was destroyed. He stated that the Criminal 
Investigations Division (CID) is 
investigating and that the Police Command 
would not relent in its effort to rid, not 
only Apo Village of criminals but also the 
entire capital city. 
 
 
4.  (SBU) Comment: Although this incident 
was not directed against official U.S. 
personnel, it is reported because it took 
place within the Abuja center city. Apo 
village is where the official residences of 
Nigeria's national legislators are located. 
The incident further demonstrates how 
quickly violent mobs form in Nigeria and 
documents the inability of police to 
adequately protect objects of violent 
protest, even when they are in the immediate 
vicinity of VIP housing. 
 
 
Jeter 

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