By Yemi Adebowale
Prominent Nigerian citizens have condemend the re-instatement of Hassan Zakari Biu into the Nigeria Police Force after his dismissal from the force in 2012.
Reacting to the development, respected legal icon, Professor Itse Sagay, said “This will amount to a fraud on the integrity of Nigeria. I will consider such intention by whatever authority as inimical to the fabric of our corporate existence as a nation as such action will be interpreted to mean Buhari playing nepotism. That will confirm the fear of some people about him as a tribalist and religion fundamentalist.”
Speaking with Sunday Tribune, Afenifere sposkesman, Mr Yinka Odumakin, said Zakari Biu’s reinstatement and retirement invoked a conspiracy theory, being a form of “soft landing” given to the officer because of the present political arrangement.
According to online newspapers, Sahara Reporters, Zakari Biu engineered the jailbreak of Kabiru Sokoto, the suspected masterminded behind the Christmas Day bombing of St. Theresa Catholic Church, Madala four years ago. As many as 42 people were confirmed dead in the bombing. Sokoto was suspected to be the mastermind of the bombing.
The Police Service Commission had said then that the decision to dismiss Biu was taken at its 26th plenary meeting and found the embattled police officer wanting in the allegations levelled against him.
Biu’s dismissal in 2012 came less than two months after the commission promoted him as commissioner of police. Before Biu was dismissed, he had been placed under house arrest and on suspension.
But the Commission on Friday in Abuja reviewed the decision. In a statement by the Head, Press and Public Relations of commission, Mr. Ikechukwu Ani, the commission said that a meeting presided over by the its Chairman, Mr. Mike Okiro (retd), reviewed Biu’s appeal against his dismissal, exonerated and retired him statutorily.
According to him, the Commission also exonerated Biu from the issues surrounding the escape of Sokoto, an arrested Boko Haram kingpin who is now in prison in Abuja.