Exclusive: President Jonathan Sacked IGP Abba For Being Disloyal, Working Against His Reelection Bid

Exclusive: President Jonathan Sacked IGP Abba For Being Disloyal, Working Against His Reelection Bid
April 21 21:40 2015 Print This Article

image16By ‘Tunde Babalola, Abuja

Indications emerged Tuesday night that the Presidency is unhappy with the sacked Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, for alleged security and protocol breaches as well as his working against the reelection of President Goodluck Jonathan and the humiliation of the ruling People’s Democratic Party in the just concluded general elections.

Appointed August 1, 2014, Abba ought to have occupied the position up to March 2019 when he would have attained the mandatory retirement age but for his seemingly unruly and unbecoming behaviour as a disloyal  officer, that cut short his tenure of office.

Although, the Presidency in a five paragraph statement issued by the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, Tuesday afternoon failed to give reasons for the sudden change in the headship of the Nigeria Police Force just about eight months after IGP Suleiman Abba was appointed the acting Inspector General of Police by President Goodluck Jonathan before his subsequent confirmation as substantive IGP and just about 38 days to the expiration of the tenure of office of President Jonathan.

Sources hinted our correspondent that some forces in government have started mounting pressure on President Goodluck Jonathan to drop the IGP since the outcome of the March 28 presidential elections over Abba’s alleged failure to carry out ‘presidential directives’ which invariably led to the abysmal failure of President Jonathan at the  polls.

Investigation revealed that there had been disquiet in the Presidency over certain steps Abba took during the recently concluded
presidential election and since Jonathan conceded defeat to the  President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.

The Nigeria Police under the sacked police boss did not act the election script written for the force in strategic states like Lagos,
Oyo, Ondo, Ogun, Osun, Borno, Kaduna and Kwara States, the development which made the opposition, All Progressives Congress (APC) to have a upper hand in the elections.

FrontiersNews gathered that Abba’s sack might not be unconnected with alleged doubtful loyalty during and after the general elections.

The sacked IGP according to reliable sources close to the Presidency was believed to have been taking orders from Rtd Lt. Gen Abdulrahman Dambazau who is the Director of Security to the APC presidential campaign organisation. “Abba was called by Dambazau to take care of specific areas that would have been of advantage to the PDP during the election and specifically directed his men to act accordingly”, the source added.

The sacked IGP was also said to have instructed the Divisional Police Officers in Lagos to comply with the directive of the Commissioner of Police in Lagos and not any Assistant Inspector-General of Police.

Another source told this reporter that what really “pissed off” the Presidency was the alleged leakage of the presidential directive to
redeploy Assistant Inspector-General ‘Tunde Ogunsakin from Rivers State on the eve of April 11 governorship poll, which APC is already using now as a point of reference to contest the victory of Nyesome Wike as governor-elect of Rivers before the election petition tribunal.

The covert decision was said to have been taken in the Presidency by three officials, including the sacked IGP. It was gathered that upon the ‘failure’ of the police in the strategic states, the Presidency was angry that the IGP was at the presentation of certificate of return to the President-elect by the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega,
contrary to the norm.

The Presidency had also noted that Abba was at the airport at a time to receive the President-elect. “The IGP’s presence during the presentation of certificate of return to Buhari left many presidency officials dazed because it was alleged not to be within his official “mandate.”

Abba ‘s short tenure as the head of the Nigerian Police Force witnessed some notable controversial decisions including constituting
himself to a law court by interpreting the Constitution when he announced the withdrawal of the security detail of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal upon his defection from the PDP to the APC.

Abba had declared that “In view of the recent defection by the Right Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, CFR, the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, from the People’s Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress and having regard to the clear provision of section 68(1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, the Nigeria Police Force, has redeployed its personnel attached to his office”.

He warned voters to stay off polling booths after casting their votes. This, no doubt, flouts constitutional provisions, and, in a swift
response, Prof. Attahiru Jega, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), assured the citizenry that it is their
constitutional right to stay behind to monitor proceedings at the polling centres after casting their votes.

Following criticisms of his action, the IGP later made a clarification, saying he never banned voters from staying back to
monitor the votes. The enforcement of the ‘no vehicular movement rule on governorship and House of Assembly elections in Asaba, Delta state capital, as soldiers had a running battle with motorists.

Redeployment of the controversial former Rivers State police commissioner Mbu James Mbu to Lagos State ahead of the general
elections. Abba’s silence over the banned #BringBackOurGirls rally within the Federal Capital Territory by Mr Joseph Mbu, the controversial Assistant Inspector-General of Police.

In his maiden speech at a handover ceremony at the force headquarters in Abuja, Abba had promised to observe the visions and missions of different administrations of the Nigeria police. He also promised to make a clear departure from this trend. “We will come up with visions that are not personalised. The focus of my leadership is attitudinal change, because you cannot reform an institution if you do not reform the people,” Abba said.

On August 1, 2014, Suleiman Abba was appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan as the Acting IGP. Abba was the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 7, comprising of Abuja, Kaduna and Niger states. He took over from Mohammed Abubakar, who proceeded on the statutory retirement after 35  years in public service.

Abba, a lawyer and alumnus of the Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru Jos, hails from Jigawa state.
He was at various times the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of the Criminal Investigation Department, FCT Command, Deputy Force Secretary and Commissioner of Police, Rivers state.

DIG Arase, who was the Head of the Police Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department, holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Law, as well as Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Political Science and Strategic Studies and he is a fellow of the Nigerian Defence College was appointed to take over as acting Inspector General of Police?.

Though, sources said the President has the constitutional backing to hire and fire but there was a caveat that he needs to confer with the Police Council before taken such decision, it was not clear as at press time whether that provision was totally complied with.

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