Statements, Actions, Achievements by Nigeria Police Force

Police reorganisation committee inaugurated by Vice President Sambo

On 17 February, Vice President Namadi Sambo inaugurated a committee to re-organise the Nigeria Police Force, headed by Chief Parry Osayande.

Speaking at the inauguration, VP Sambo said the task of the committee would be to “redress the rot in the Nigeria Police Force and reposition it to face the challenges of democratic society, through the timely prevention and detection of crime in all its ramifications”.

The 8-member committee was constituted on 25 January, after President Goodluck Jonathan had sacked the former Inspector General of Police, Mr Hafiz Ringim, and his six deputies, following the embarrassing escape from police custody, of a key suspect in a Christmas Day bomb incident.

Its terms of reference as follows:

1.      To identify the challenges and factors militating against effective performance in the Nigeria Police Force and make recommendations for addressing the challenges.

2.      To examine the scope and standard of training and other personnel development activities in the Police to determine their adequacy or otherwise.

3.      To determine the general and specific causes of the collapse of public confidence in the police and recommend ways of restoring public trust in the institution.

4.      To examine records of performance of Officers and Men of the Nigeria Police Force with a view to identifying those that can no longer fit into the system due to declining productivity, age, indiscipline, corruption and/or disloyalty.

5.      To make any other recommendations for the improvement of the Nigeria Police Force.

Its chairman, Osayande, 76, a former deputy inspector general of police, had been chairman of the Police Service Commission since April 2008.

This is the sixth committee on police reform set up by the Federal Government in the last 17 years. There was a Police Reform Panel in 1995, a Vision 2010 committee in 1997, the Tamuno Committee in 2002, the Danmadami Police Reform Committee in 2006, and a Presidential Committee on the Reform of the Nigeria Police Force chaired by Alhaji M. D. Yusuf in 2008.

The Yusuf Committee, of which Osayande was a member, particularly lamented that the government had failed to implement the recommendations of previous committees. As it turned out, its own recommendations were again largely ignored since 2008, leading now to the Osayande committee!


Acting IGP Abubakar suspends police training over poor facilities

On 14 February, the Acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Mohammed Abubakar, announced that training programmes for police personnel this year have been suspended on account of poor and obsolete facilities.

Addressing officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force on his maiden visit to Uyo, capital of Akwa Ibom, since his appointment as Police chief, Abubakar said that while every police officer was entitled to training courses, the training institutions were in shambles. “Our training institutions are bad enough”, he said, “I will not allow my officers to go on courses and use their money to buy water, bread and other needs”.

The Inspector General said: “There is need for national rebirth in the Nigeria Police”. He told his officers and men that: “The era of corruption is over. We must allow competence and merit to take over its place”. He warned that failure at courses after second attempts would no longer be tolerated, that posting in the police would henceforth be based on the individual’s capacity to deliver, while promotion would be based on performance at promotion courses.

The police chief regretted that “So many things have been done unprofessionally” in the organization, and stressed that the time had come to turn a new leaf. He said: “We must redouble our effort in changing the damaging image that we have in the police today. There is need for you to change your attitude to work. There is need for us to go back to the basics of policing in this country”.

Abubakar  also disclosed that plans were underway to change the uniform of the nation’s police personnel. He said:  “We are making efforts to change the police uniform to a better uniform that will make you to be respected”.

The IGP, who was on a working visit to the Akwa Ibom Command, used the occasion to inaugurate a special crime-fighting squad funded by the state government and code-named Quick Response Squad (QRS). He commended the Akwa Ibom Police Command for reducing the crime rate in the state but urged its officers and men not to rest on their oars.

Gunmen attack Police station in Kano, Kano State

On 6 February, gunmen and bombers, suspected to be members of the militant Islamist sect, Boko Haram, set the Sharada police station on fire, in Kano, capital of Kano State.

A senior police officer said the police station had been burned down by attackers armed with explosives. He said in the shootout between the attackers and the police, a police officer was shot in the leg.

The attack reportedly occurred around 6pm, just before the commencement of a dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed on the city following the 20 January multiple bomb and gun attacks that killed over 200 people. One resident said she saw the police station on fire from her house and that more policemen and soldiers were later deployed to the area. Others said spent bullets and used explosives littered the grounds around the area, after the gun duel between the attackers and the police.

The Kano State Police Command confirmed the incident, saying one police man was hurt, but it was yet to give further details.

Local sources also said they heard a separate gun battle in the Mariri area of the city. Some said the sounds of gunfire came from an area suspected to be a Boko Haram hideout on the outskirts of Kano. They said a security team had apparently raided a home in the neighbourhood, leading to a shootout with the occupants. Others said the gunshots seem to have come from the Danladi Nasidi police station in the area. There had been no official statement from the police.

Wife of new Inspector General of Police Abubakar dies in Kano

On 30 January, Hajia Mariam Abubakar, wife of the newly appointed Inspector General of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Mr Mohammed D. Abubakar, died at the age of 48.

Reports said Mrs Abubakar passed on in a hospital in Kano, at about 5 am. Some sources said she died of cancer, with which she had been battling for some time.

The Inspector General was in the Federal capital, Abuja, when his wife died, but rushed to Kano immediately he got the sad news.

Sympathizers thronged the Abubakar family house near the old Bank of the North building. The callers included police chiefs within the state and Abuja, prominent politicians and Muslim clerics who said special prayers for the repose of the late woman’s soul.

The late Hajia Abubakar was interred at Taurani Cemetery in Kano, at about noon, in accordance with Islamic rites.

In a condolence message to the IGP, President Goodluck Jonathan described Hajia Mariam’s death as “sad, painful and untimely”, especially coming just when her husband most needed her moral and emotional support in confronting the challenges of his new office.

In the statement issued by his spokesman, Dr Reuben Abati, the President “lauded Hajia Mariam’s great concern for the welfare of the less privileged in the society, particularly orphans; and noted her several charity works even before she assumed her last position as President of the Police Officers’ Wives Association, POWA”.

The statement said: “The President, on behalf of the Federal Government, prayed Almighty Allah to grant the soul of Hajia Mariam eternal rest and grant her husband and family the strength to bear the irreplaceable loss”.

It also said the President had sent a four-man Federal Government delegation led by the Minister of Police Affairs, Caleb Olubolade, to attend the burial and sympathise with the IGP and his family. Other members of the delegation were the Minister of Mines and Steel, Alhaji Musa Mohammed Sada; the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Mr Emeka Wogu; and the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Alhaji Isa Bello Sali.

Gunmen attack police station in Kano, Kano State

On 29 January, gunmen believed to be members of the militant Islamist sect known as Boko Haram, bombed a police station at Naibawa district outside Kano city, capital of Kano State.

Local sources said the attack took place near the Naibawa motor park, a major bus terminal on the fringe of the city. They said a large number of gunmen stormed the area at prayer time, hurled an explosive at the police station and then opened fire on it. They said as the police returned fire, a gun duel ensued.

The Commissioner of Police in Kano State, Mr Ibrahim Idris, said the blast caused damage to “part of the police station”.  He also confirmed that the blast was followed by about an hour-long gun fight, adding that: “We were able to push them out of the area”.

Kano, the largest city in northern Nigeria and populated by about 10 million people, recently came under a siege mounted by members of Boko Haram. The sect said it is fighting to install Islamic governments under strict and comprehensive sharia law across northern Nigeria.

On 20 January, it staged multiple bomb and gun attacks across Kano city, mostly targeting police stations, and killing over 200 persons.

On 26 January, the presumed leader of the sect, Abubakar Shekau, posted an audio tape on the Internet threatened to kill more security personnel, kidnap their families and also attack western-style educational institutions.

On 28 January, the group’s spokesman, Abul Qaqa, told some journalists on phone that security agents had arrested “many” of its members in Sokoto and demanded their “immediate and unconditional” release.

Qaqa he urged senior citizens in Sokoto and neighbouring states to intervene in order to avert a repeat of “the big attack in Kano State”. He said:  “This is an open letter to the Emir of Sokoto (Sultan of Sokoto) Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar 111, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal and the Acting Governor of Sokoto State.

The Sultan of Sokoto is the spiritual leader of all Muslims in Nigeria and has expressed disapproval of Boko Haram’s violence, publicly and repeatedly. Speaker Tambuwal, who hails from the village of Tambuwal in Sokoto State, is the highest ranking figure from the state within the Federal Government.

President Jonathan sets up Special Committee towards urgent reorganization of Nigerian Police Force

Mr PARRY OSAYANDE, Chairman of the Special Committee

On 25 January, President Goodluck Jonathan established a Special Committee to oversee the urgent reorganization of the Nigeria Police Force.

The committee is to be chaired by the current Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Mr. Parry B.O. Osayande, a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police.

The Committee’s other members are the following:

1.      Mr. Cashmir T. Akagbosu, AIG (rtd.), mni

2.      Mr. Bashir A. Albasu, AIG (rtd.), fwc.

3.      Major Gen. S.N. Chikwe (rtd), fwc.

4.      Professor S.D. Mukoro.

5.      Dr. Fabian Ajogwu, SAN.

6.      Aisha Larai Tukur.

7.      Solicitor General of the Federation.

8.      Permanent Secretary, SSO, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) who is to serve as Secretary to the Committee.

The statement further listed the committee’s terms of reference as follows:

1.      To identify the challenges and factors militating against effective performance in the Nigeria Police Force and make recommendations for addressing the challenges.

2.      To examine the scope and standard of training and other personnel development activities in the Police to determine their adequacy or otherwise.

3.      To determine the general and specific causes of the collapse of public confidence in the police and recommend ways of restoring public trust in the institution.

4.      To examine records of performance of Officers and Men of the Nigeria Police Force with a view to identifying those that can no longer fit into the system due to declining productivity, age, indiscipline, corruption and/or disloyalty.

5.      To make any other recommendations for the improvement of the Nigeria Police Force.

The statement added that the Committee’s recommendations shall be implemented along with those of previous committees set up by Government towards reforming of the Force.

President Jonathan fires Police chief Ringim, appoints AIG Abubakar as new IGP

HAFIZ RINGIM: Down and Out

On 25 January, President Goodluck Jonathan relieved Mr Hafiz Ringim of his post as Inspector General of Police, and approved the appointment of Mr. Mohammed D. Abubakar as new Acting Police Chief.

In a statement by Reuben Abati, Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity), Jonathan also “approved the retirement” of all Deputy Inspectors General of Police (DIGs) with immediate effect.


Those affected by the “approval” are: Mrs. Ivy Uche Okoronkwo, DIG POL 2i/c Force Headquarters, Abuja; Mr. Azubuko J. Udah, DIG Administration (“A” Dept); Mr. Sardauna Abubukar, DIG Training (“E” Dept); Mr. Audu Abubakar, DIG Operations (“B” Dept); Mr. Saleh Abubakar, DIG Works (“C” Dept) and Mr. Mohammed A. Yesufu, DIG Planning and Info-Tech (“F” Dept).

Some sources said the President had summoned Ringim to his office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, for a brief meeting earlier in the day. Shortly after the meeting, the President told the embattled police chief that his services would no longer be needed and directed him to hand over to his next in command immediately, and proceed on compulsory retirement.

Ringim’s retirement is the climax of a huge national controversy triggered by the escape of Kabiru Umar (a. k. a. Kabiru Sokoto), suspected to be a key member of the militant Islamist group widely known as Boko Haram. Kabiru, believed to have masterminded the Christmas Day bombing of a church in Madalla, near Abuja, in which over 40 people were killed, escaped from police custody on 15 January.

Outraged by that embarrassing incident, many Nigerians had called on Jonathan to fire the police chief and probably try him for complicity in the suspect’s escape. Sources said the President initially resisted those pressures for two reasons. First, Ringim had been a good friend from Jonathan’s days as deputy governor and governor of Bayelsa State; second, the police chief had only one month more in service, as he was due to retire on 1 March this year.

It does now appear that after the 20 January multiple bomb and gun attacks in Kano, in which the police suffered an embarrassing number of casualties, Jonathan could no longer overlook Ringim’s personal lapses and the badly sunken image of the police under his watch.

Ringim’s successor, Mr. Abubakar, was, until today’s appointment, an Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 12 of the Police, encompassing Bauchi, Borno and Yobe States – the states that have suffered the most of Boko Haram’s attacks.

Insiders say his appointment could be President Jonathan’s first step towards a comprehensive and long-overdue reorganization of the Nigeria Police Force, to make it more effective in dealing with emerging internal security challenges.

29 policemen killed in Kano bomb attacks, police authorities report

On 23 January, the Kano State Police Command reported that 29 policemen were among the 186 persons it confirmed killed, in the multiple bomb attacks staged by the militant Islamist group widely known as Boko Haram, on Friday 20 January.

In a statement, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Ibrahim Idris, said apart from the police casualties, the breakdown of other victims was as follows: three operatives of the State Security Service (SSS), one Customs officer, two Immigration officers, one journalist and 150 other civilians.

The statement listed the areas targeted by the attackers as the Police zonal headquarters along Bayero University Road, the Farm Centre and Zaria Road police divisions, the Immigration office located at Farm Centre, SSS headquarters at Giginya quarters, the official home of the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 1 (Kano, Katsina and Jigawa States) and St Louis Secondary School. It said the attacks were launched simultaneously by several suicide bombers.

The statement further disclosed that the state Police Command had recovered 10 motor vehicles loaded with improvised explosive devices, in different parts of the metropolis.

Police find 8 bomb-laden cars in Kano, AFP reports

Map of Nigeria showing Kano State

On 23 January, the French news agency, AFP, reported a Police source as saying security operatives had found eight cars packed with bombs in Kano city, where multiple bomb and gun attacks killed over 200 people on Friday 20 January.

According to the AFP report, a senior police officer who spoke on condition of anonymity said:  “We have discovered eight bomb-laden cars in different areas of the city”. The officer said the bombs were all home-made and that the cars were abandoned by roadsides.

Local sources had earlier reported, on Sunday, 22 January, the discovery of two cars loaded with eight locally-made bombs. The cars, a Honda Civic with registration number BB 748 NSR, Kano and a Kia with registration number FD 966 LND, were found wired with locally-made explosives along Eastern Bypass in Kano city. The Honda car was parked at the NNPC mega-station while the Kia was parked a short distance away, at the Chula filling station along the same bypass.

Witnesses said the cars had been parked at those spots since Friday evening when the city came under the multiple bomb and gun attacks.

The sources further reported that police officers found eight locally-made explosives in the two vehicles. Other items found included cans of drinks, cigarette filters, a kerosene stove, an old electricity metre and electric cables. Reporters said they were unable to obtain police confirmation of the discoveries as they were barred from the police headquarters and the police Public Relations Officer had also switched off his telephone.

A spokesman for the militant Islamist group widely known as Boko Haram had said his group was responsible for the attacks. President Goodluck Jonathan visited the city on Sunday 22 January, and said there would be no let up in efforts to subdue those responsible for the attacks.

Nigerian police offers 50 million naira (310,000 USD) reward for information on escaped bomb suspect


On 19 January, the Nigeria Police Force offered a reward of 50 million naira (about 309,600 USD) to anyone who provides information that could lead to the recapture of the main suspect in the Christmas Day bombing of a church in Madalla, near Abuja, which killed over 40 people. The suspect escaped from police custody on Sunday 15 January.

A statement issued by the Force headquarters in Abuja said: “The Police High Command has declared Kabiru Umar (a.k.a. Kabiru Sokoto) wanted in connection with cases of bombing and terrorism across the northern states of the Federation, especially the Christmas-Day bombing of a church at Madalla”.

The statement added that the suspect “is aged 28 years, fair in complexion and speaks English, Hausa and Arabic languages fluently”.

Kabiru was arrested by the police on Saturday 14 December, at the Borno State Governor’s Lodge in Abuja. He was handed over to a Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr Zakari Biu, for further investigations. 

On Sunday 15 December, the CP sent a small team of policemen in a Toyota Hilux truck, to take him to his residence in Abaji, a boundary town between the Federal Capital Territory and Kogi State, for a search. As the team got into the town, a group of armed young men, believed to be members of Kabiru’s sect, attacked and overwhelmed them, freeing the suspect.

The statement by the Force Headquarters said the Police viewed this development as “serious negligence on the part of the Commissioner of Police” and therefore queried and suspended him from duty. It added that the CP might be prosecuted, if a criminal case was established against him and his team.

Many Nigerians variously described Kabiru’s escape as a “national embarrassment” and “a shame”. The National Security Adviser, Gen. Owoye Azazi (retd), said it was “a regrettable drawback on our efforts” to fight terrorism in the country. Within the police top brass, several officers expressed muted displeasure at what they saw as a major bungle. Many citizens called on the Police chief, Mr Ringim, to either hand in his resignation or be fired by President Goodluck Jonathan.

On 18 January, on the prompting of the President, the Minister of Police Affairs, retired Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade, issued the police boss a query, asking him to explain, within 24 hours, the circumstances surrounding the escape. The query also asked Ringim to show why he should not be punished for negligence, since the ultimate responsibility for keeping the suspect was his, as the nation’s number one police officer.

Olubolade said: “If he (the IGP) is found guilty of complicity, he himself would have to account for his mistakes”. When asked whether the Police chief could be sacked over the incident, he replied: “Yes, anybody (could), including me”.

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