As the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu reaches the mandatory limit of 35 years in service on February 1, 2021, intense lobbying has begun for the seat.
Mr Adamu is also eager to get an extension, Daily Trust learnt.
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By law, the police chief is appointed by the president on the “advice” of the Police Council.
This Council is chaired by the president and has the 36 state governors, chairman of the Police Service Commission and the IGP as members.
Adamu, a member of the ASP Cadet Course 14 of 1986, is due to retire seven months ahead of his 60th birthday.
He was born in Lafia, Nasarawa State, on September 17, 1961 and enlisted into the Nigeria Police Force on February 1, 1986.
The Police Act, signed by President Muhammadu Buhari last year, provides tenure system for the position and reiterated retirement terms as 60 years of age or 35 years of service.
Hope for extension
However, Daily Trust gathered that amidst intense lobbying in the power cycles in Abuja, Mr Adamu is banking on extension of his tenure as the country’s top cop in what insiders dub “the service chiefs treatment.”
This, however, is not without opposition as some powerful individuals are pushing for the candidacy of some senior police officers to replace him.
This is as analysts believe that the expiration of the tenure of this police boss presents an opportunity for President Buhari to address concerns over the appointment of heads of the country’s security institutions.
The Chief of Defense Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar, and the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ikwe Ibas, are on extra time provided by presidential fiat.
There has been growing outcry for the president to let the service chiefs go, including by a resolution of the National Assembly.
Prominent Nigerians, including the chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, also declared that the overstay of the service chiefs affected current internal security operations and the morale of officers.
Aso Rock spokespersons, however, insist the president has the prerogative to bend the rules to work with whomever he wants.
Daily Trust gathered that there are strong voices advocating against repeating “the mistake in the military” with the police.
They say extending the tenure of the police chief will breed disaffection and throw many of Adamu’s juniors out of the force.
Mr Adamu’s tenure extension bid is backed by a top presidential aide and some governors, it was gathered.
If he succeeds, it will follow a pattern established by the Buhari presidency, which has extended the tenure of heads of other security agencies.
A new practice
Aside from the top military brass, the government has also accorded extra time to heads of paramilitary organisations; hence speculations that the police would not be different.
The heads of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NCDC), the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) have had their tenures extended by between six and 18 months.
The Comptroller-General of the NCoS, Jaafaru Ahmed, was due to retire on July 21, 2019, but got a one-year presidential extension to July 2020.
This was again extended by another six months, at the instance of the Minister of Interior, Rauf Argebesola.
The tenure of NSCDC’s Abdullahi Muhammadu Gana, which expired in July 2020, was extended through presidential approval by six months. The extension lapses this month.
Immigration chief, Mohammed Babandede’s tenure, which was extended in mid-2020 by six months, has again lapsed. No appointment has been made to replace any of the senior security officials.
What the law says
The new Police Act signed by President Buhari in September last year provides for a tenure of four years for the Inspector-General of Police.
The new law excluded persons on the rank of Commissioner of Police and below from being appointed to the position.
Section 7 sub-section 2 of the act provides that: “The person to be appointed as Inspector-General of Police shall be a senior police officer not below the rank of Assistant Inspector-General of Police with the requisite academic qualification of not less than a first degree or its equivalent, in addition to professional or management experience.”
The section also pegs the tenure of the police chief as four years.
Persons to watch
As February 1 draws closer, top police officers are said to be working directly and through proxies to clinch the plum job.
While some senior officers in the rank of Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG) and Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) may leave with the IGP on February 1, or soon after, a few of them are hopeful of getting the post.
A scrutiny of the police nominal roll by Daily Trust shows that none of those on the rank of DIG has up to four years before retirement to be able to complete a full tenure as IGP.
The DIGs with the most time left are Dan-Mallam Mohammed, Usman Alkali Baba and Sanusi Lemu. They will all leave the service in 2023.
Mohammed, born in Katsina in 1963, will be due for retirement on December 18, 2023. Lemu and Baba will leave the service in January and March respectively.
On the AIG rank, our findings show that only three persons have up to four years left in service.
While two of them will retire in 2025, the other has nine more years to retire.
Two course mates, Dasuki Danbappa Galadanchi and Hafiz Mohammed Inuwa, have four more years to spend in the force.
Both were enlisted in the police the same day in March 1990.
Born on January 10, 1966, Galadanchi was Commissioner of Police in Imo State, from where he was redeployed to head the Police Cooperative Society in Lagos.
He earlier served as deputy commissioner of police in Ekiti, among other postings.
Galadanci is currently the AIG in charge of Force CID annex, Alagbon Close, Lagos State.
Inuwa, popularly known by his town’s name of Ringim, is currently the AIG in charge of Zone 13, Ukpo-Dunukopia, Awka, Anambra State.
Born on March 21, 1964, at Ringim, Jigawa State, he has a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s in Public Policy and Administration (MPPA).
He was promoted Commissioner of Police on October 31, 2017.
He, like Galadanchi, will retire on March 3, 2025.
The officer with the most number of service years left is AIG Moses Ambakina Jitoboh, who was the AIG in charge of border patrol.
Born in 1970 and enlisted in the force in 1994, Jitoboh has advantages in terms of age and service years.
Jitoboh was Commissioner of Police in Adamawa State, CP General Investigations at the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Department before he was appointed an AIG.
As AIG, he headed Zone 8 headquarters in Lokoja before he was transferred to border patrol.
The candidacy of the Bayelsa-born officer is said to be pushed by some influential persons, including former President Goodluck Jonathan, whom Jitoboh served for many years.
Those said to be in contention for the job but have no requisite four years are AIG Dan-Mallam Mohammed and Zanna Ibrahim.
Dan-Mallam was born on January 1, 1963 and enlisted in the police on March 15, 1988.
On his part, AIG Zanna will have less than two years as he will be retiring on November 22, next year.
AIGs with less than four years in service but said to be in the contest for the position include Zanna Ibrahim, Mustapha Dandaura and Garba Baba Umar.
Zanna, a career police detective, was variously Commissioner of Police in Delta, Yobe and Zamfara states. He is currently the commandant of the Police Academy, Wudil.
Dandaura, the current force secretary, was CP provost at the headquarters and one-time Rivers State Commissioner of Police.
Umar, on the other hand, was until his recent elevation to the position of AIG, serving as the CP Interpol at the headquarters.
‘Do the right thing’
A civil society activist and a security expert charged the presidency to be fair, objective and act within the confines of the law in filling the position of the IGP.
Speaking to Daily Trust, the executive secretary of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, urged President Buhari to comply with the provisions of the Police Act.
He said without respecting the provision of the Act, the country would “continue to create a situation where some officers feel demoralised because they feel they have been short-changed.”
He said when there is disaffection, officers may not give in their best for the country, adding that security should be absolved from favouritism in recruitment and appointment.
A security commentator, Senator Iroegbu, urged President Buhari to walk the talk he presented on New Year’s Day, “where he promised to re-energise and reorganise the security apparatus and personnel of the Nigerian Armed Forces, police and other security agencies.
“This policy of extending the tenure of heads of security agencies beyond the statutorily required period is a bad precedence that has shown that it does not only violate our extant laws but has been ineffective and unstrategic.
“Also consider the law of diminishing returns and the axiom of ‘soldier go soldier come but barracks remains’,” he said.
Mr Iroegbu said the president should also “consider that Nigeria is a pluralistic society” in making key security appointments.
“It may sound intangible but it has its own security implications. He should be guided by a more nationalistic view of the country, but in doing so, he must go for the best.
“He should also be ready to hire and fire in order to get the best results.”