UNODC expresses its deepest condolences for the passing of UNODC training alumni Superintendent of Police Mamud Abubakar

It is with great sadness that the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has learned of the tragic passing of Superintendent of Police (SP) Mamud Abubakar, a dedicated and courageous officer of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), and a recent alumnus of the UNODC Training Series on the Basic Principles of Investigation, Evidence Handling and Interviewing. 

On January 31, 2023, SP Abubakar was responding to a distress call from members of the public in his capacity as the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of the Naka Division in Gwer Local Government Area of Benue State, when he and his team were ambushed by bandits marauding along the Naka-Makurdi Road in Benue. Despite his best efforts to restore order and detain the miscreants, SP Abubakar was shot and wounded during the confrontation. Sadly, he later succumbed to his injuries.  

Widely recognized as a highly qualified and experienced police officer, SP Abubakar was previously trained by UNODC experts under the Project to Strengthen the Capacity of Nigeria to Collect Evidence and More Effectively Prosecute Terrorism, Kidnapping, and Other Serious Crimes in Nigeria’s Middle Belt, funded by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs of the United States of America (INL). This project was put into place precisely to address the ongoing farmer-herder conflict in the region and to support local law enforcement officials as they grapple with both increasing insecurity, and a range of institutional and resourcing challenges, while seeking to prosecute the perpetrators of serious crimes such as kidnapping and banditry before the courts.

By working with the NPF to bring an end to impunity for extremists and violent criminal actors, UNODC’s partnership with INL is designed to make a lasting contribution towards reducing the level of violence in both regions. UNODC has been working with the Nigerian Government to strengthen the capacity of law enforcement officers to conduct effective investigations by enhancing their knowledge of basic investigative principles, including how to properly handle, preserve and exploit evidence, as well as how to conduct impactful investigative interviews in accordance with the rule of law. It was in this context that our staff worked with, and came to know, SP Abubakar.

UNODC's expresses its deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of SP Abubakar during this difficult time, and trusts that the perpetrators of this heinous crime will swiftly be brought to justice. We mourn the loss of a dedicated and much respected public servant who sacrificed his life to protect the Nigerian people from conflict and violence. This tragic incident is a grim reminder of the dangers police officers face on daily basis as they go about their duties around the world, and we honour SP Abubaker’s life of service, which reflects great credit on the NPF. Rest in peace.