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Super Cop: Frank Mba hogs the limelight as Abba Kyari trial continues

Last week, the promotion of Frank Mba, a former Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Police Force, to the rank of Deputy Inspector-General of Police…

Last week, the promotion of Frank Mba, a former Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Police Force, to the rank of Deputy Inspector-General of Police came as a surprise to some Nigerians, given that he was just promoted to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police about three months earlier.
The Police Service Commission, however, justified Mba’s elevation, saying he is the most senior officer from the South East region qualified to assume the vacant slot in the police management team, following the retirement of DIG John Amadi who represented the zone.
But even before his elevation to the current rank, Mba’s meteoric rise in the Force in recent years had stirred up a hornet’s nest within and outside the police as he climbed through three ranks in less than three years.
The Force ex-spokesperson was made Commissioner of Police in January 2021; he became AIG in March 2023 and was announced as DIG on Friday, June 16.
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Consequently, Mba has gained more popularity as a result of the development which sparked off insinuations that he stands a chance to head the Force sometime in future. Mba has spent 31 years in service and has about four years to his retirement.
The newly appointed Acting IGP Kayode Egbetokun is due for retirement in 2025, although President Bola Tinubu may decide to extend his stay so he could serve out the four years tenure of the IGP.
Aside from Mba, one of the few police officers who have enjoyed a stunning, steady rise is a former Commander of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team, DCP Abba Kyari, who at a time was of the same rank (DCP) as Mba.
Kyari, who is now remanded in prison custody awaiting trial, was suspended from the Force after he was indicted in a multimillion naira drug deal by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) early.
Earlier, he was also indicted by the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the trial of the infamous cyber fraudster, Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi.
Until these grievous allegations were in the open, Kyari — dubbed by many as Nigeria’s version of the American Super Cop, Eliot Ness — was widely praised for his outstanding feats in cracking high-profile crimes and arresting the notorious kingpins behind them, including millionaire kidnapper, Chukwudidumeme Onwuamadike popularly known as Evans.
Aside from speedy promotions, Kyari received several awards for his exceptional achievements in crime fighting, include the prestigious honour by the House of Representatives — the first to be given to any police officer in Nigeria.
Both on and off social media, many talked him up as the “future IGP” considering his extraordinary milestones. But for his alleged involvement in criminal conducts which he was meant to fight, many have argued that his trajectory might have earned him AIG by now, thereby making him a potential candidate for IGP.
“We stand behind Abba Kyari, and God will vindicate him. One day this young man will become IGP. They are just envious of him because of his extraordinary performance; they can not do half of what he is doing. He is too intelligent for their liking. He is a civil police officer. He is not pompous,” Ahmed Isa, founder of popular Abuja-based human rights radio, ‘Ordinary,’ had said in reaction to Kyari’s indictment in Hushpuppi’s case.
“Yes, there is an allegation on him, no matter how bad, it is the name you give your dog that neighbours would call it. How many of Abba Kyari do we have in the Nigeria police? For you to hold that type of office, temptation abounds,” he added.
As Kyari battles to save himself from an imminent career wreck and spending years behind bars, Mba seems to have hogged the spotlight with his name now on the lips of many routing for him to have a shot at the Force’s highest leadership office before he retires.

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