IGP: Plots To Retire Possible Southern Replacements As IGP Adamu Retires, Stirs Ripples Among Police Hierarchy
By Seun Adeuyi
High powered politics has emasculated the shopping for a replacement of the present Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu who is expected to retire on 1st February, 2021 after attaining the retirement age of 60 years or 35 years in service as stipulated in the civil service rule of the nation.
While some are of the view that subtle moves have begun to extend his tenure beyond his retirement date, others say that President Muhammadu Buhari has already engineered a sectional move to hedge out another southerner from clinching a crucial federal position under his administration.
This move, aimed at elongating the northern grip on the nation’s security architecture is already creating tension and bad blood among men and officers of the police force.
As has been the practice in the country, the position of Inspector General of Police is usually filled by a serving Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG, while those on the rank of Deputy Inspector Generals are retired along with IGP.
However, Peoples Gazette over the weekend claimed to have uncovered a deep-laid plot to suddenly promote Moses Jitoboh, an assistant police inspector-general from Bayelsa, to a higher rank of deputy inspector-general. The investigation reported that the plot is taking place despite Jitoboh having nine service years remaining and currently not the most-senior AIG from the South-South.
According to section seven of the Nigeria Police Act 2020 (PDF) Jitoboh, 50, is the only qualified officer to become the next inspector-general out of all the 24 AIGs currently in the Nigeria Police Force.
Peoples Gazette stated that if the presidency-induced promotion scheme is allowed to stand, it will at the long run guarantee Jitoboh’s elimination from consideration as the next police inspector-general; while clearing a dubious path for another northerner to take over from Mohammed Adamu.
Gazette quoted four sources at the Force Headquarters, Police Service Commission and the State House to have said that the president was part of the strategy to forcibly promote Jitoboh to DIG in order to make his enduring stay in the police untenable beyond February 1, 2021 — when all his DIG peers will retire with Adamu.
The Gazette reported on Sunday citing police sources that to advance the plan that a deputy inspector-general has summarily retired from service under apparently puzzling but undisclosed circumstances.
It further reported that Michael Ogbizi, from Cross River was handed in his early retirement filings late November, despite he had barely two months left to properly retire alongside Adamu and other colleagues from the 1986 course.
According to police document obtained by Gazette, Adamu swiftly requested for Mr. Jitoboh’s annual performance evaluation results (APER), following Ogbizi’s exit, in order to recommend him for urgent promotion to DIG. Extant police leadership order requires a deputy inspector-general from each of Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones to make up the police management team.
None of the six DIGs representing the six geopolitical zones in the police management structure is eligible for appointment as IG, having fallen short of the required years of service mandated by law, the Gazette’s findings revealed.
The police service records showed that two of the DIGs, Lawal Shehu (Northwest) and Celestine Okoye (Southeast) are due for retirement in December 2020, while Anthony Ogbizi Michael (South South), Aminchi Samaila Baraya (Northeast), and Adeleye Olusola (Southwest) will retire alongside IG Adamu (North central) in February 2021. DIG Sanusi Lemu (North central) is expected to proceed on retirement in January 2023.