Moves to replace the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, appear to be on, going by feelers from the Presidency.
Investigations by Sunday Independent revealed that there is intense pressure from top political leaders and top security officers across the country to relieve Adamu of his job.
If the Presidency caves in to pressure, Adamu’s tenure could be cut short because he is expected to retire statutorily from service on February 1, 2021.
Sources at Force Headquarters (FHQ), Abuja, alleged that Adamu was lobbying the Presidency to extend his tenure, but there are strong agitations from senior officers working underground, in consonance with the new Police Act, to prevail on the Presidency not to extend his tenure.
However, a very reliable source close to the Presidency confirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari might have heeded the agitators’ request and Adamu’s tenure would not be extended.
Those against it argue that the Police Act should take effect from the next IGP, citing Section 7(6) of the Act.
Undercover investigations by Sunday Independent further revealed that Aso Rock cabal is divided over the choice of the next IGP.
This indication became clearer as the Presidency is believed to have received recommendations of certain senior officers from different members of the cabal.
It was gathered that there are four Assistant Inspectors- General of Police (AIGs) and a Commissioner of Police (CP) who are believed to be strongly nursing the ambition and are making overtures to Aso Rock.
“We reliably learnt that their names have been forwarded to President Buhari by some close aides to the president, while some have sent their curriculum vitae (CVs) to the cabal through various connections.
“In particular, we learnt that the Chief of Staff to the President has received CVs of some officers.
“The National Security Adviser (NSA) and Attorney General and Minister of Justice are said to have also received CVs of some officers.
“Similarly, a powerful northern governor is also said to be pushing hard for a particular officer,” one of our sources said.
Discrete investigations also revealed that the Presidency had planned to relieve Adamu of his position early this year.
The reason for his planned sack was scanty – one of our sources simply said: “It may be inefficiency in tackling crimes,” while a Presidency source described the reason as sacrosanct.
However, feelers at FHQ hinted that “since he (Adamu) came on board, there was no remarkable innovation to tackle crimes.”
The source added: “He only harped on Interpol seminars. That is not what the government wants. Of course, we know he has a great link with Interpol abroad, but what the government wants and what Nigerians want are strategies to curb kidnappings, armed robberies, and high profile crimes.”
The source was reminded of ‘Operation Puff Adder’ and the community policing strategy initiated by the IGP.
The source said: “lt is not proactive enough. Are you not hearing of constant kidnappings in the North, especially on Kaduna highways and even in the South West?
“It is a common knowledge that the South West leaders formed Amotekun to curb criminality in their region because they lost confidence in the Nigeria Police.
“What positive result has the community policing yielded? Are you not aware that some traditional rulers, who are supposed to assist the police at the community level, connived with their subjects to kidnap and collect ransoms? We had such cases in Zamfara.”
Sunday Independent decided to embark on further undercover investigations, and we can authentically reveal the details of those whose names have been pushed to the presidency for consideration.
One of the AIGs being pushed forward by Aso Rock cabal is from Yobe State, a Muslim.
He is holding a sensitive portfolio in FHQ, a position that exposes him to most classified information in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
He is believed to have had a close link with the late Chief of Staff to President Buhari. The late presidential aide was said to have assured him of clinching the IGP position.
He has served in one of the states in the Niger Delta as Commissioner of Police (CP).
Some senior officers, who spoke under strict anonymity, described him as a jolly good fellow.
However, a few officers reserved comments, noting that he may not be firm enough to hold grip of the Force.
It is an open secret to many senior police officers that he has been nursing the ambition of becoming IGP over the years. A personal aide of the IGP confirmed that “even oga (IGP) is aware of his ambition.”
The second AIG is from the southern part of the country, a Christian.
He has served as CP in one of the Northern states. He is also serving in FHQ.
He has a gigantic outlook, but close interaction with him reveals a likeable officer.
Some officers described him as a very intelligent and hardworking officer who is dedicated to the job and does not discriminate.
He is said to be close to one of the former Heads of State. A reliable source at FHQ hinted that there is a cold war among the officers from the North over who succeeds Adamu.
“They are fighting among themselves,” a source lamented.
However, the approved Police Act has created a strong huddle that may thwart the ambition of all the northern contenders.
The Act stipulates that any officer that would be appointed IGP should have four years or more to serve in the Force.
Records at Force HQ and at Police Service Commission (PSC) indicate that all the northern contenders have less than three years in the Force.
The third AIG is from the North, a Muslim serving as a Zonal AIG in the South South.
The fourth AIG is also a Zonal AIG from the same state as President Buhari. He is also a Muslim.
The fourth contender is a CP from Kaduna State. He is a Muslim. He had served in the South East as a CP before he was moved to FHQ where he heads INTERPOL Section.
Our discrete investigations reveal that he is among 12 CPs recommended by the IGP to the Police Commission for promotion to the rank of an AIG.
Investigations at PSC revealed that he has a huddle. The PSC is said not to be disposed to his case, insisting that there were many anomalies in the promotion of officers during the tenure of former IGP, Kpotun Idris, when officers were said to have been promoted arbitrarily.
The CP was said to have benefitted by getting two promotions within a short period.
A source at PSC hinted that “we will critically examine his case; we are studying all those promotions that were done without following proper procedures.”
The source also told Sunday Independent: “If the President consults the Commission (on next IGP), we will advise him to consider an officer based on merit, an officer with proven ability to curb criminality, who can also redeem the image of the Force. The protest against SARS is a fall-out of bad leadership.”