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!
On 23 July, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Hafiz Ringim, urged police officers to always show respect in their interactions with the public, and also forge closer cooperation with their colleagues in military and para-military organisations in the performance of their duties.
Speaking at the passing-out parade of cadet officers at the Police Academy in Wudil, Kano State, the IGP urged the officers to understand that they have a duty to serve and protect the public with dignity, courage and integrity. He charged them to discharge that duty diligently and professionally, in order to ensure that they live up to citizens’ demands for effective policing of the country.
According to the police chief, the tenets of democratic policing lay great emphasis on upholding the rights and privileges of the citizenry. He therefore urged the new officers to always treat citizens with courtesy, respect and civility.
He said: “You should do your utmost best to promote the ideals of patriotism, selflessness and service to humanity. It is only such virtues that can guarantee your progress in the service”.
The IGP also urged the newly-commissioned officers to forge closer working relationships with personnel of the military services and other security agencies. He told the newly officers that they were now better placed to work in concert with colleagues from other security agencies, compared to the situation during his own early years in the service. He said closer cooperation between police officers and their colleagues in other agencies would also impact positively on the performance of the police.
During the ceremony, 413 officers – comprising 212 Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASPs) and 201 Inspectors – were commissioned, after successfully completing their training requirements.
On 11 July, the Inspector General of Police, Mr Hafiz Ringim, ordered the immediate redeployment of 27 Commissioners of Police (CPs) to state commands and and to departments at the Force headquarters in Abuja.
Details of the new postings, which were contained in a release from the office of the Force Secretary and dated 12 July 2011, are as follows:
Commissioers of Police appointed to new States:
1. CP Baba Adisa Bolanta, formerly in Oyo State, deployed to Sokoto State.
2. CP Ibrahim Mohammed is redeployed as CP for Katsina State.
3. CP Simeon D. Midenda, formerly CP Federal Operations, moved to Borno State.
4. CP Ibrahim Idris is the new CP for Kano State.
5. CP Ikechukwu Aduba is the new CP for Bauchi State.
6. CP Michael Zuokummoh, formerly of Niger State is new CP, Federal Capital Territory.
7. CP Mohammed Jinjiri Abubakar, formerly of Borno State is new CP Jigawa State.
8. CP Emmanuel Ayeni, formerly of Ebonyi State is now CP Plateau State.
9. CP Lateef Abiodun Junaid is new CP for Kebbi State.
10. CP Emmanuel Obiakor, formerly of Nasarawa State is now CP Benue State;
11. CP Ibrahim Maishanu is now CP Niger State.
12. CP Musa Abdusalam Daura is now CP Nassarawa State.
13. CP Haruna John, formerly of the FCT, now takes charge of Federal Operations.
14. CP Saliu Argungu Hashimu is the new CP in charge of Oyo State.
15. CP Nicholas Nkemdeme is the new CP for Ogun State.
16. CP Tambari Y. Mohammed is now CP in charge in Imo State.
17. CP Adeola Adejiri is now CP in charge of Ebonyi State.
18. CP Charles Abutu is now CP in charge of Ondo State.
Commissioners of Police appointed to new posts at Force Headquarters in Abuja:
1. CP Sabo Ringim Ibrahim, formerly of Katsina State now CP in charge of X-Squad Force Criminal Investigation.
2. CP Hassan Adamu is now in charge of Homicide FCID.
3. CP Ikemefuna Okoye is now CP Training at ‘E’ Department.
4. CP Emmanuel K. Udeoji is now Deputy Force Secretary at Force HQ.
5. CP Buhari Tanko is now CP ‘MSD’ F Department Force HQ
6. CP Joseph Ibi is now CP in charge of General Investigations at FCID;
7. CP Mohammed A. Indabawa is the new CP in charge of Administration at Police College, Kano.
8. CP Sani J. Magaji is the new CP in charge of ‘Admin’ at ‘E’ Department at Force Headquarters.
9. CP Fabian Orji is now CP Anti-Fraud Squad FCID.
The announcement of the new postings by the Force Secretary, said they are all with immediate effect.
On 15 June, the militant Islamist sect, Boko Haram, announced that it had called off the proposed peace talks with the Federal and Borno State governments, promising to step up attacks in “all the northern states and the Federal Capital Territory” using its Somali-trained “warriors”.
The group said its hardened position is in reaction to the statement made by the Inspector General of Police, Mr Hafiz Ringim, in the Borno State capital, Maiduguri, on Tuesday 14 June. The Police boss had said, after taking delivery of 10 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) donated to the police by the state government, that “the days of Boko Haram are numbered”.
In a statement written in Hausa and circulated by unknown persons in Maiduguri, the sect reacted as follows:
“The proposed dialogue with President Jonathan has collapsed because of the statements of the Inspector General of Police and the Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, during the donation of 10 armoured carriers which were purchased by the Borno State government to fight us. Very soon, we would wage jihad on the enemies of God and His Prophet.
We want to make it known that our Jihadists (warriors) have arrived Nigeria from Somalia where they got serious training on warfare from our brethren who made the country of Somalia ungovernable.
We want to assure all security agencies that we would frustrate their efforts. By the grace of God, despite the armoured carriers that they are boasting of, they cannot match the training we acquired in Somalia”.
The sect advised civilians to restrict their movements in Maiduguri and its environs as well as all the northern states and the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja), adding that it was giving this advice “in order to avoid the shedding of innocent blood”.
This development is seen as a major setback to the efforts of Governor Shettima, who had been seeking to bring Boko Haram leaders to a negotiation table within his first 100 days in office.
On 7 June, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Hafiz Ringim, handed over six new patrol boats to the Marine Department of the Lagos State Police Command, to strengthen security in the coastal areas of the state.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony held at the Marine Police Headquarters in Ikoyi, Lagos, Mr Ringim said the provision of the boats was in recognition of the special security challenges facing Lagos as the nation’s largest commercial centre.
The police chief said that following his tour of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) facilities and tank farms in January, it became imperative to add six additional back-up boats for effective patrol of the facilities. He said there was a critical need to secure federal and private property in the state, citing in particular the NNPC facilities along the coast line at Atlas Cove, Ibafon, Badagry, Epe, Apapa, Ijora Coal, Marina and even some nautical miles offshore.
He said: “With the inauguration of these gunboats, I expect that the police in Lagos will be able to provide adequate security for all Federal Government installations and vital public and private assets along the riverside areas.”
The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, who was at the occasion, praised the IGP for meeting the demand of the Lagos Police Command for more gunboats. Reiterating his own administration’s commiment to fighting crime in the state, he said: “Crime has no place in our society, so we will invest very deeply and extensively in crime prevention, to boost the capacity of security personnel”. He further disclosed that the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF) was also planning to purchase additional gunboats for police in the state.
The Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Mr Yakubu Alkali, pledged that the marine police will serve Lagosians better, particularly the residents of Ikoyi, VictoriaIsland and Lekki Peninsula.
On 5 May, the immediate past Speaker of the House of Representatives (Lower Parliament), Hon Oladimeji Bankole, was arrested by officers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Abuja.
Mr Bankole, the fourth highest ranking official of the Federal Government, was apprehended at his residence in the high-brow Asokoro district of Abuja, at about 8pm. He was subsequently taken into EFCC custody.
According to the EFCC, Bankole whose tenure as presiding officer of the House ended on Friday 3 June, had been wanted over several alleged financial misdeeds. Among these are his taking a 10 billion naira (66.7 million USD) personal bank loan, using the House of Representatives’ account as collateral; misappropriation of 9 billion naira (about 60 million USD); and creaming off a handsome take from a 2.3 billion naira (about 15.3 million USD) scheme by which 380 units of Peugeot 407 cars were purchased for House members in 2008.
Local sources said the EFCC operatives had laid siege on Bankole’s house for four hours, but could not arrest him as he still had his security details. However, the standoff is said to have ended after the Director-General of the State Security Service (SSS) and the Inspector General of Police, Mr Hafiz Ringim, finally withdrew the security personnel that had been assigned to him by their agencies.
Although Bankole had said he would submit himself to the EFCC on Monday 6 June, the Commission decided to close in on him a day earlier, as it learnt he had concluded plans to flee the country later that night.
A statement signed by the Commission’s spokesman, Femi Babafemi, said that: “An intelligence report … showed that the former speaker was planning to leave Abuja for Lagos on Sunday evening and thereafter flee the country through an illegal route”.
As to how soon Bankole may be arraigned in court, Babafemi reportedly said the former speaker has a lot of issues to clarify with the Commission ”so the issue of his being arraigned before a law court may have to wait for now, until all the investigations are completed by EFCC, which means he may be with us for some time to shed some light on allegations contained in petitions written against him”.
Bankole, 42, whose education included courses at Oxford University, U.K. and Harvard University in the U. S., was elected to the House of Representatives on the ticket of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2003.
His election as Speaker of the House, on 1 November 2007, followed a ruthless power struggle sparked by allegations that his predecessor, Patricia Etteh, had unilaterally authorized a contract of N628m (about 4.8 million USD) for renovation of her official residence, in breach of laid-down regulations. At the peak of that struggle, a Representative, Hon Shuaibu Safana, was floored during a free-for-all fight in the House, and eventually died in hospital on 19 October 2007. The embattled Etteh resigned on 30 October.
However, at its valedictory session last week, Bankole’s House exonerated Etteh of any wrong doing in the 2007 scandal. A triumphant Etteh herself declared: “Let it be put on record that no record or proceeding of this House ever indicted Right Honourable Patricia Etteh”. And then she added in a tone of condescension: “We have the right to educate Nigerians”.
On 21 June 2010, the Chairperson of the EFCC, Mrs Farida Waziri, had described the House of Representatives as “a house of scandals upon scandals”. In the days ahead, many Nigerians will insist on their right to also be educated about all the scandalous allegations over which Hon Bankole has now been caged.
The dismissed policemen were named as Sgt Ishaya David and PC Yusuf Abdullahi, with Service Numbers 210711 and 430026 respectively.
A statement signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Olusola Amore, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, said the two men were formerly attached to 44 PMF, Force Headquarters, Abuja.
In Abuja, the Federal High Court, presided over by Justice Adamu Bello, ordered his unconditional release.The order was sequel to a motion ex-parte dated 5 April, filed by Udoedehe’s lead counsel, Chief Kola Awodein (SAN). In the motion, Awodein had argued that the prosecution defiled the sanctity of the judiciary by not only molesting Udoedehe right inside a courtroom, but by bundling him back to custody in defiance of the court that granted him bail.
Awodein further told the court that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) specifically ordered the arrest of the applicant for the purpose of remanding him in jail, so as to inhibit him from perfecting his bail conditions. He contended that the conduct of the police constituted an abuse of court process as it was designed to frustrate, irritate and annoy the applicant. Awodein concluded that a great injustice would be done to Udoedehe should he remain in detention till 26 April when governorship elections are scheduled to hold nationwide.
Granting the motion exparte, Justice Bello ordered the IGP, Mr. Hafiz Ringim, and the prosecution to give effect to the order of the court made on 31 March, and release Udoedehe from custody, unconditionally.
However, at a Magistrate Court in Uyo, where Udoedehe had been arraigned on a nine-count charge including murder and arson the previous day, efforts by his lawyers led by Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) to secure bail for him, proved abortive. The Chief Magistrate, Mr Edet Obot, declined jurisdiction and ordered that Udoedehe be remanded in prison custody for 24 hours, before arraignment in a court of competent jurisdiction.
In his ruling, Chief Magistrate Obot held that though his court had powers to remand the accused, it had no powers to try him in accordance with Section 74 of the Penal Code. He said the law creating the Magistrate Court did not “give it powers to entertain the case of murder”, and therefore his court could not adjudicate on the matter. He said the case file had been handed over to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) who would in turn forward it to the High Court, which had jurisdiction over such matters. He said Udoedehe’s lawyers could apply for his bail at the High Court, but gave no specific time for them to file the bail application.
Professor Osinbajo pleaded with the court not to remand Udoedehe in the same place he had been held, but the Magistrate ruled that since the matter had been moved to the High Court, it was now up to that court to determine where he should be remanded.
It will be recalled that Senator Udoedehe’s travails began after a violent clash between supporters of ACN and those of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ikot Ekpene and Uyo, on 22 March. The clash resulted in massive destruction of property, including the burning of over 200 new cars and tri-cycles worth about N2 billion, and the death of at least four persons. About 50 ACN supporters in the state were arrested in connection with the mayhem.
Udoedehe was arrested on 24 March and, on 25 March, charged with of levying war against the state, with intent to cause such levying of war as would intimidate or overawe the governor. He was granted bail by a Federal High Court in Abuja on 31 March, on the grounds that there was yet no evidence linking him to the alleged offences. But police re-arrested him within the court premises, giving no reasons for the action.
On 4 April, the Inspector General of Police, Mr Hafiz Ringim, ordered the redeployment of the Commanders of all the Mobile Police Squadrons across the country.
The redeployed Commanders (of the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP) and the new squadrons to which they are now posted, are as follows:
1. Jibrin Ibrahim, Commander, Mopol 21, Abuja, moves to Mopol 1, Kaduna;
2. Abang Benjamin, Commander Mopol 39, Oshogbo, moves to Mopol 7, Sokoto;
3. Ifeanyi Chibuzor, Commander Mopol 29, Awka moves to Mopol 34, Gombe;
4. Patrick Ejedawe, Commander Mopol 2, Keffi, moves to Mopol 14 Yola;
5. Kelvin Zuokumor, Commander Mopol 31, Asaba, now moves to Mopol 37, Lokoja;
6. Garba Ahmed, Commander Mopol 14, Yola, moves to Mopol 29, Awka;
7. Abubakar Argungun, Commander Mopol 42, Gusau, moves to Mopol 6, Maiduguri;
8. Eedema Abibo, Commander Mopol 38, Lafia, moves to Mopol 8, Jos;
9. Nasiru Abubakar, Commander Mopol 35, Dutse now moves to Mopol 12, Minna;
10. Muawiya Halilu, Commander Mopol 34, Gombe now moves to Mopol 13, Markudi;
11. Mohammed Dankwara, Commander Mopol 26, Uyo, moves to Mopol 56, Ogoni;
12. Woke Kingsley, Commander 47, Zaria, now moves to Mopol 27, Umuahia.
13. Ahmed Mohammed, Commander, Mopol 40, Jalingo, moves to Mopol 10, Bauchi;
14. Abubakar Kaura, Commander Mopol 53, Bama, moves to Mopol 19 Port Harcourt;
15. CSP Samuel Erale, Commander Mopol 33, Ado Ekiti, moves to Mopol 35, Dutse;
16. Abubakar Yakubu, Commander Mopol 22, Ikeja, moves to Mopol 16, Abeokuta;
17. Mathew Obiuwevbi, Commander Mopol 49, Epe, moves to Mopol 38, Lafia;
18. Ndoma Hilary, Commander Mopol 54, Onitsha, moves to Mopol 38, Oshogbo.
19. Kabiru Randawa, Commander Mopol 32, Abakaliki, moves to Mopol 55, Aba;
20. Moses Gana, Commander Mopol 16, Abeokuta, moves to Mopol 20, Ikeja;
21. Yahaya Ifiani, Commander Mopol 12, Minna, moves to Mopol 2, Keffi, Lagos;
22. Obasi Chukwumeka, Commander Mopol 17, Akure, moves to Mopol 40, Jalingo;
23. Wilson Dankwa Dankwano, Commander Mopol 55 Aba moves to Mopol 30, Yenagoa;
24. Garba Isah, Commander Mopol 9, Kano, moves to Mopol 33, Ado Ekiti;
25. Jehptan Suonengimote, Commander Mopol 18, Owerri, moves to Mopol 50, Kubwa.
26. Okoro Christian, Commander Mopol 28, Umuahia, moves to Mopol 18, Ilorin;
27. Sylvester Ozuofena, Commander Mopol 51, Oghara, moves to Mopol 26, Uyo;
28. Osifo Emefile, Commander Mopol 30, Yenagoa, moves to Mopol 31, Asaba;
29. Braide Yusuf, Commander Mopol 19, Port Harcourt, moves to Mopol 35, Kebbi;
30. Adejoh Abdul, Commander Mopol 5, Benin, moves to Mopol 52, Chalawa;
31. Ofem Arikpo, Commander Mopol 36, Kebbi, moves to Mopol 3, Enugu;
32. Ibrahim Sa’ad, Commander Mopol 6, Maiduguri, moves to Mopol 9, Kano.
33. Musa Mohammed, Commander Mopol 50, Kubwa, moves to Mopol 27, Katsina;
34. Abdullahi Ibrahim, Commander Mopol 11, Calabar, moves to Mopol 48 Ahoada;
35. Shuiabu Danagudi, Commander Mopol 4, Ibadan, moves to Mopol 32, Abakaliki;
36. Sagir Samaila, Commander Mopol 1, Kaduna, moves to Mopol 49, Epe;
37. Abubakar Umar, Commander Mopol 27, Katsina, moves to Mopol 5, Benin.
Following the earlier massive redeployment of State Commissioners of Police on 31 March, the new postings are seen as a demonstration of the Inspector General’s resolve to ensure that senior Police officers are not compromised by vested interests, and that they provide security for the elections in a clearly non-partisan manner.