The Facts, Politics Behind Tenure Of Inspector General Of Police

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The Facts, Politics Behind Tenure of Inspector General of Police By Silas Joseph Onu This piece is written on Thursday January 28, 2021. It is now very clear that the present Inspector-General of Police (IGP) is set to bow out of the Force on 1st February, 2021 in line with the provision of Section 18 (8) of the Police Act, 2020 which states thus “Every Police officer shall, on recruitment or appointment, serve in the Nigeria Police Force for a period of 35 years or until he attains the age of 60 years, whichever is earlier”.

The section under reference brings the Police Force into an era of predictability just like the Civil Service Rule as the provision is mandatory, fixed like the rock of Gibraltar and cannot be moved willy-nilly. The present Inspector-General of Police must be commended for his institutional interest that was clearly above desires for personal gains or entrenchment in office. Seeing that the Police urgently needed a reform that will bring it into conformity with 21st century realities in policing, he launched and finally achieved the passage of the Police Act, 2020.

The Police Act, 2020 is the first major holistic legal framework reform in the Nigeria Police Force since the colonial law was enacted by the British. This is a commendable feat, for which the current IGP Abubakar Adamu must be credited. The most astounding aspect of the legal framework reform is that the current IGP could have opted to focus on other things and then seek tenure elongation, since the present government seems to dish out such like dinner, but he didn’t and instead placed the overall interest of the Police over and above personal interest.

Thank you sir!

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Apart from the certainty of duration in service, another novel but more important provisions in the Police Act, 2020 is the creation of what I refer to as FIXED TERM OF SERVICE for the Inspector-General. One of the biggest challenges for the Nigeria Police Force is the incessant brief tenure of its topmost leader – the Inspector-General. Since this Democratic dispensation, it is not possible to point out a single Inspector-General of Police who was able to set out an agenda for the Police and achieved 30% of such a vision due to the limitation of time before retirement.

That, in the past, saw some Inspector-Generals considering their appointment as an opportunity to prepare for retirement, instead of developing the institution. Others, who desired to leave a mark behind, attempted to have their services retained by the Government through extension, which is unconstitutional. However, by inserting section 7 (6) in the Police Act, 2020, the National Assembly agreed with the vision of the current IGP that whoever is to be appointed into the office of the Inspector-General of Police shall have the privilege of formulating policies and implementing same within a reasonable time.

The creation of a MANDATORY TENURE for the Inspector-General of Police in the 2020 Act is a positive step towards the professionalization of the Police and it must be applauded by all Nigerians. I must not also forget to congratulate the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR for having the courage and resolve of giving life to this Act by signing it without hesitation. Section 7 (6) of the Police Act, 2020 provides thus: “The person appointed to the office of the Inspector-General of Police shall hold office for four years”.

Thereby setting the entire police top echelon in a race of wits and subterfuge in a bid to cross the legal hurdle set by this section of the Act. Recently, I have read many publications, seemingly, by persons who have soft spots for particular police officers and in a bid to promote their cause, decided to make false representations about their age or rank. It is important to state here that the Police Act, 2020 also limits the ranks that can be appointed to the office of the Inspector-General only to Assistant Inspector-Generals and Deputy Inspector-Generals in section 7 (2) of the Act. Therefore, a police officer who is not within the stated rank is out-rightly disqualified without question.

So, when promoters begin to spin qualification by ascribing the rank of an Assistant Inspector-General of Police to a person simply because he is holding an office meant for an Assistant Inspector-General, in an acting capacity, it becomes obvious that there is a sinister motive, especially, when there are other qualified senior officers. The police must be totally devoid of politics in its promotion and appointments. The game of lobbying for a job that will require the protection of lives and properties of over 200 million Nigerians is not one to be politicized or lobbied for. Such an appointment must be one that is totally guided by law and in accordance with the extant law.

Today, we live in an information age and it doesn’t require special skill to be able to obtain useful public information online. Therefore, I intend to set out the names of all the Deputy Inspector-Generals of Police and the Assistant Inspector-Generals with their dates of birth and due dates for retirement from the force. This will help readers to ascertain which of them has the requisite 4 mandatory years for the tenured office of the Inspector-General. The due date for the retirement of the IGP is already a settled matter as it is February 1st, 2021.

Therefore, the others are as follows:


DIG Aminchi Samaila Baraya ——————01/02/2021——- 4 days

  1. DIG Sanusi Nma Lemu —————————- 31/01/2023—- less than 3 years.

iii. DIG Usman Alkali Baba ————————— 01/03/2023 — less than 3 years

  1. DIG Nkpa N. Inakwu ——————————- 01/02/2021 —- 4 days
  2. DIG Ibrahim Lamorde —————————- 01/02/2021 —– 4 days
  3. DIG David Oyebanji Folawiyo ————— 21/11/2021 —— 10 months

vii. DIG Joseph O. Egbunike ———————— 04/06/2022—- 16 months

viii. DIG Dan-Mallam Mohammed —————- 18/12/2023 —- less than 3 years


  1. AIG Tijani Baba ———————————– 06/10/2021 —— 8 months
  2. AIG Mohammad Mustafa—————— 01/02/2021 ——– 4 days

iii. AIG Zanna Mohammed Ibrahim —– 26/11/2022 ——– less than 2 years

  1. AIG Moses Ambakina Jitoboh ——– 10/06/ 2029 —— more than 8 years
  2. AIG Jonah Jackson Mava —————- 01/02/2021 ——– 4 days
  3. AIG Olusholla Babajide David ——– 01/02/2021 ——– 4 days

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