There is uncertainty over what happens at the Louis Edet House, headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), as Inspector-General of Police Mohammed A. Adamu is due to retire on Monday.
Sources told Daily Trust that there is frenzy and heightened intrigues within the police high command and corridors of power in Abuja in the foggy race for the police top job.
Adamu, a member of the ASP Cadet Course 14, is due to retire on account of service years. The IGP clocks 35 years in service on Monday, having enlisted in the Police Force on February 1, 1986.
Typically, retiring IGPs have “pull out” ceremonies on their last day in office.
But sources at the Police Headquarters say there are no such plans yet for the outgoing police boss.
The Police Act, signed by President Muhammadu Buhari last year, pegs the retirement age of police officers at 60 years of age or 35 years of service.
Section 18(8) of the new Act states: “Every police officer shall, on recruitment or appointment, serve in the Nigeria Police Force for 35 years or until the age of 60 years, whichever is earlier.”
No successor announced
Hours to Adamu’s statutory retirement day, the Presidency is yet to announce a new inspector general of police or extend the tenure of the current occupant of the office.
By law, the police chief is appointed by the president on the “advice” of the Police Council. The Council is chaired by the president and has the 36 state governors, Chairman of the Police Service Commission and the IGP as members.
There is intense lobby within the power cycles in Abuja, Daily Trust gathered, with Adamu still said to be hopeful of a tenure extension.
The Buhari administration had in the past retained key military and paramilitary officials even after they exhausted their statutorily allowed time of service.
Experts and senior police officers who spoke with Daily Trust, however, warned of the dangers of repeating “the mistake” done with the military.
There was no official comment from the Force Headquarters as its spokesman, CP Frank Mba, declined calls from our correspondent.
But a source told said there were mixed feelings about the exit of IGP Adamu.
One of the sources said, “While some officers are happy about his exit, others are saying they would miss a gentleman.”
A serving senior police officer who spoke on the condition of anonymity as he has no mandate to speak to the media expressed fears that extending the IGP’s tenure will demoralise “officers who are hopeful of reaching the zenith of their chosen career.”
What the law says
The Police Act provides for a tenure of four years for the Inspector General of Police.
Section 7 subsection 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.
Senior police officers are said to be working directly and through proxies to lobby for the plum job.
While some top officers in the rank of Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) and Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) will leave with the IGP on February 1, or soon after, there are a few of them who are hopeful of getting the post.
The DIGs with the most time left are the trio of 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 of that year, respectively.
Three members of the 1990 ASP Cadet Course, Dasuki Danbappa Galadanchi, Hafiz Mohammed Inuwa and Garba Umar have four years more to spend in the force. The trio got enlisted in the Police Force 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 Police Cooperative Society in Lagos.
He has earlier served as deputy commissioner of Police in Ekiti State, among other postings.
On Thursday, the Police Service Commission (PSC) confirmed his new post of AIG. He is 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-Dunukofia (Awka), Anambra State.
He was 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).
Inuwa was promoted commissioner of police on October 31, 2017. He, like Galadanchi, will retire on March 3, 2025.
Both Galadanci and Inuwa are believed to be core police officers with general duty experience having risen through the ranks steadily.
Their coming from the North-west, the same region with President Buhari, is working paradoxically for, and against, them.
Umar, on the other hand, is the pioneer AIG in-charge of Interpol.
Sources at the Force Headquarters said he was retained in the portfolio following his stellar performance when he was CP Interpol.
He supervised the extradition of many high-interest suspects to Nigeria.
He was previously commissioner of police in Bauchi and Anambra states. Earlier in his career, he headed the strategic Mopol 19 Unit in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, among other posts.
The officer with the most service years left is AIG Moses Ambakina Jitoboh who, until recently, is 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 AIG.
As AIG, he headed Zone 8 Headquarters in Lokoja before he was transferred to Border Patrol.
The candidacy of the Bayelsa State-born officer is said to be pushed by some presidential aides and former President Goodluck Jonathan, whom Jitoboh served for many years.
Lobbyists pushing for their candidates
It is unclear what direction the president would follow with lobbyists bandying theories that favour their preferred candidates.
Those working for the incumbent IGP are selling the idea of the need to allow him to consolidate on his “reforms”.
During the week, police spokesperson Mba published a newspaper article praising Adamu’s stewardship.
Those arguing for the president to pick any of the northern officers made case for competence and trust as yardsticks the president should consider in making the decision.
They argue that the officers, especially the prominent AIGs being touted as possible successors to Adamu, have the requite experience in core police duties.
Advocates for Jitoboh, on the other hand, harp on the need to reflect the federal character in ensuring a sense of belonging to all parts of Nigeria. They also say the senior police officer should not be denied the opportunity because of his background.