Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, showed up at the Force headquarters in Abuja wearing his uniform despite the fact that he has attained the statutory age of retirement.
Adamu, who was officially due for retirement on Monday, has refused to hand over the reins of leadership to the most senior officer as expected.
We gathered that police officers at the Force headquarters were upset and shocked when the IGP appeared at the Louis Edet House in uniform.
“He’s still here now, he refused to hand over despite not given an extension by the President, he is a lawless man,” a police officer said.
The President was supposed to convene a meeting of the Police Council which has the mandate to appoint a new IG but that had not been done as of time of filing this report.
However, findings indicate that the council that comprised the President, state governors, and the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, merely adopts whoever is appointed as IG by the President, contrary to its prescribed roles.
Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, earlier said he was not aware of the imminent announcement of a new police chief.
He stated, “The President returns to Abuja (from Katsina) on Tuesday. He should be on his desk by Wednesday. I don’t know when he will do this. One thing I can assure you is that in places sensitive like that, no vacuum will subsist, so therefore, the system will take care of itself.”
Shehu also stressed that the appointment of the next IGP would not be based on ethnic considerations.
“The President will rather have an Inspector-General of Police who will make you and I safer, protect lives and property than one who is more pronounced by his tribal marks,” he noted.
Shehu said it is impracticable for top security appointments to be made based on ethnicity or regions.
However, a Presidency source on Tuesday told SaharaReporters that Buhari and the ‘cabal’ had engineered a desperate and sectional move to hedge out a southerner, Moses Jitoboh, an Assistant Inspector-General of Police from Bayelsa from becoming the next IGP, all aimed at elongating the Northern grip on the nation’s security architecture.
It was also learnt that the Buhari-led administration does not want Jitoboh because he is a southerner and a Christian.
Section 7 of the Nigeria Police Act 2020 has positioned Jitoboh, 50, as the only qualified officer to become the next Inspector-General out of all the AIGs currently in the Nigeria Police Force.
SaharaReporters gathered that 23 of the 24 AIGs who are general duty officers are up for retirement between January 8, 2021 and March 1, 2023, either based on enlistment or age. Only Jitoboh, the youngest of them all, has more than eight years left in service — twice the legal requirement.
His status should have triggered his preparation to take charge of police affairs from Adamu, a Muslim northerner from Nasarawa, but the President and his associates are loath to name a Christian southerner of Ijaw extraction with the potential to lead the police for nine years and are racing to circumvent the law and name a northerner as the IGP.
There are four northerners favoured by the cabal namely the Force Secretary, AIG Usman Alkali Baba; the AIG in charge of Zone 13, Awka, AIG Dan-Mallam Mohammed; Commandant, Police Academy (POLAC), Kano, AIG Zanna Mohammed Ibrahim, and the AIG in charge of Zone 12, Bauchi, Sanusi Nma Lemu.
SaharaReporters however gathered that they are due for retirement between January 2022 and March 2023 while the new police law signed by Buhari in September 2020 mandated that only an officer with at least four more service years’ grace could be appointed as IG.
Jitoboh, who is presently the AIG in charge of Border Patrol, enlisted into the police force on June 10, 1994. He is due for retirement on June 10, 2029.
He is a multiple degree holder and PhD candidate in Geographical Information System at the Graduate School of Abia State University and an alumnus of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Plateau State.
Jitoboh was at a time the AIG in charge of Zone 8 police command as well as Commissioner of Police, Adamawa State Command. He also holds a Certificate in Negotiation and Leadership, Harvard Law School Programme on Negotiation, Harvard University, Boston, USA, as well as Certificate in National and International Security Policy, Harvard Kennedy School for Governance, also at Harvard University. Between 2018 and 2019, he was Commissioner of Police, General Investigations (GI) at the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Department (FCIID) Annex, Alagbon, Lagos.
He was aide-de-camp (ADC) and Chief Personal Security Officer (CPSO) to ex-president Goodluck Jonathan between 2010 and 2015.
Despite glaring evidence, President Buhari has frequently denied allegations of being sectional, often citing his appointment of ministers from southern states without noting that it is a constitutional requirement for all states to have at least one minister in the federal cabinet.
Yet in 2017, Buhari declined to appoint Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria, despite a looming constitutional crisis. But when he fell ill and was flown to London for extended medical treatment, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo quickly moved to avert the crisis by forwarding Onnoghen’s name to the Senate for confirmation.
Barely two years later, Buhari ultimately plotted the inglorious ouster of Mr Onnoghen, a southern Christian, expectedly sourcing his replacement from the North.
In 2018, Buhari oversaw the infamous removal and controversial replacement of Matthew Seiyefa, a former acting Director-General of the State Security Service from Bayelsa. After seeing that the senior positions from which he could appoint the next SSS DG were occupied by southerners, Buhari ignored them to name Yusuf Bichi from Kano, years after his retirement from service.
Last year, Azuka Azinge was removed from office as Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) on allegations of false assets filings. Azinge was subsequently replaced with a northerner and was never prosecuted for the purported allegations.
Ex-National Pension Commission chief, Chinelo Anohu, was similarly booted out of the office and her position immediately ceded to the North.