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IGP: 3 DIGs, AIG jostle for Adamu’s job

The race for the coveted position of Inspector-General of Police (IGP) has begun as the current holder, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, is set to retire from the Force in February, during which he would have clocked the mandatory 35 years in service.

 

Adamu, who was appointed the 20th indigenous IGP on January 15, 2019, by President Muhammadu Buhari, enlisted into the Nigeria Police as a cadet officer in 1986.

 

Barely a month to his retirement, however, there is anxiety at the Force Headquarters in Abuja over who succeeds the man regarded by many as a “visionary police chief,” who is said to have spearheaded many reforms in the Force.

 

Among those in contention for the plum job, according to findings by New Telegraph, are: Acting Deputy Inspectors General of Police (DIG) Usman Alkali Baha from Yobe State, who is due to retire in January 2023; Dan Mallam Muhammed Katsina from Katsina (due to retire on December 18, 2023), as well as Moses Ambakina Jitoboh from Bayelsa due to retire in 2029.

 

Also in contention is Assistant Inspector General (AIG), Dan Daura Mustapha, from Katsina, whose retirement date is said to be January 15, 2023. Investigation revealed that Jitoboh, who was Chief Personal Security Officer to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, is favoured to emerge the 21st indigenous IGP, considering the fact that he has many years to stay in service before retirement.

 

This is more so that the new Police Act (2020) provides that a contender for the office of the IG must have at least five years of service left, at the time of appointment.

 

The Act, according to findings, is said to have put many of the senior officers, especially those within the rank of AIG, at a disadvantageous situation, in view of their nearness to retirement, due to age or service.

 

Born on June 1, 1970, Jitiboh enlisted into the Police Force on October 6, 1994 and is due for retirement in 2029. It was gathered that out of the over 20 AIGs, who are due for retirement between January 8, 2021 and March 1, 2023 either based on enlistment or age, only Jitoboh, who is the youngest of them, has more than eight years left in the service. New Telegraph reports that the number of years left for Jitiboh to retire, is twice the requirement stipulated by the Act.

 

Arguably, section 7 of the Nigeria Police Act 2020 (PDF) has positioned Jitoboh (50) as the most  qualified senior officer to be appointed as the 21st indigenous police chief.

 

This, insiders said, is in addition to his outstanding record of performance in the service since his enlistment in 1994. It was learnt that none of the six DIGs representing the six geopolitical zones on the Police Management Team (PMT) may be eligible for appointment as IG, having fallen short of the required years of service as prescribed by the new Act.

 

Records at the Police Service showed that two of the DIGs – Celestine Okoye (South-East) and Lawal Shehu (North-West) were due for retirement in December 2020, while Aminchi Samaila Baraya (North-East), Anthony Ogbizi Michael (South- South) and Adeleye Olusola (South-West) may retire alongside IGP Mohammed Adamu (North-Central) in February 2021. DIG Sanusi Lemu (North-Central) is expected to proceed on retirement in January 2023.

 

Meanwhile, insider sources are optimistic that the Police Council, which is headed by President Buhari, with former leaders and the 36 state governors as members, may consider extending the service period of IG Adamu by at least six months.

 

Those making the said case point to similar scenarios at the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS), as well as the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, where the heads of the agencies got tenure extension.

 

Also cited is the case of Service Chiefs, who have remained in office since July 2015, notwithstanding the fact that they are due for retirement.

 

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