Insecurity: Why Baba, Acting IGP, Withdrew All Senior Police Officers From EFCC

By Suleiman Umaru

For years there have been rumours making the rounds that the Police Authorities will withdraw all the senior officers attached to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.  The rumour became pronounced  with the suspension and subsequent removal of Ibrahim Magu, a Commissioner of Police,  and former Chairman of the anti-graft agency over allegations of fraud  including diversion  of recovered  funds and seized assets by President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired army General on the recommendations of the Justice Ayo Salami Panel.

The Panel may have been disappointed with Magu’s activities in the agency that it had recommended to the government that consideration should be given to other Law Enforcement agencies and qualified Core staff of the agency as provided  in the EFFC , Establishment Act 200k to also Head the  Commission.

Abubakar Malami, a senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, and minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, may have cued into the Panel’s recommendations. It was not surprising why the 40 year-old  Abdulrasheed Bawa, a Staff of the agency was thrown up to be the next substantive Chairman of the agency.

Bawa: Chaiman, EFCC

Many had expected Mohammed Adamu, the immediate past IGP, to withdraw all the senior Police officers attached  to the agency back to the office  as the Management Staff  had thrown their weight behind him  do so.  Usman Alkali Baba, the current acting IGP, who was then the Deputy Inspector   General of  Police , DIG, overseeing the Force Criminal Investigation Department, FCID, was said to be part of those that had taken the decision to withdraw the senior Police offers from the EFCC, back to the office.

It was therefore , not very surprising that  barely two weeks in office, Baba, as the Police acting IGP, ordered the withdrawal of all the senior  officers  attached  the anti-graft agency back to the office  . He was said to have given the directive  in a letter titled ,’’Withdrawal  of Senior Police officers from Chief Superintendent of Police , CSP, and above from the EFCC’’.  The Value News had cited a copy of the letter dated April 15, 2021, and addressed to Bawa, the EFCC, Chairman, which was signed by one   b Idowu Owohunwa, an acting Commissioner of Police and the Principal Staff Officer, PSO, to the IGP.

The Police boss had said that he has to go ahead  with the withdrawal of the senior Police officers from the EFCC,  as a result of’’ the present operational  requirements of the Police’’, which security experts had attributed  to the high of insecurity in the country.  The activities of the Islamic Fundamentalist Group , BokoHaram and the Islamic State of West Africa  in the north east states of Adamawa,  Borno, Yobe and the Banditry and kidnapping  in  the north west states of Zamfara, Kaduna and Katsina,the Nigerian President home state speaks volume.

Police Confronts Bandits In A Community In Zamfara State

It is instructive to note that the EFCC, Chairman , did not hesitate in acting on the IGP’s, letter which had directed that all the senior Police officers must Collectively  report  to Owohunwa, the PSO , for ‘’further instructions. The senior Police officers attached  to the anti-graft agency may have known that the game was up that may no longer have the opportunity  of serving in the agency as  the Commission  was  directed’’ to ‘’email to  the PSO’s office  the comprehensive  nominal role   of all  the Police personnel attached to  the agency which must include the date of transfer and designations to update the Police records.

Security analysts fear that some of the senior Police Office officers who have been forced back to the Force Headquarters because of the policy of the new Management may, likely tender their resignation letters as they may not  be able to fit into their old Establishment where the money is not there to sustain their present standard of living.  They have seen money in the EFCC, which they would never see in the Force.

  Emmanuel Ojukwu, a  one-time Commissioner of Police and  Force spokesperson, may have known the major problems of the force which is lack of funds that he has appealed to the Authorities  that’’ if they want to get the best from the Force   to effectively tackle  the numerous  security challenges facing the country, the Policemen  need more ‘’motivation  and funding to boost their morale’’.

Appearing on Channels Television, recently,  the  former Police Commissioner who could not hide his feelings   had made a case for the Police to be properly equipped with both men and materials. Hear him: the Force need   Men, Motivation, Materials and Money. He maintained that without money, there is no way the Force, can go nowhere.

He may have alluded to the recent attacks by Bandits  in four villages  in Zamfara state, where about 30 person were said to have been  killed. The attacks which were said to   have happened  in Gobirawa, Rini, Gora and Madoti Dankule villages in  Bakura  and Maradun,  Local government areas of the state may have exposed the incapability  of the  police to rise up to the challenge  to  save the people  from internal  attack.

This may have informed why he had said  that, ‘’there is no Force anywhere in the world  that the Force can operate effectively  without proper Motivation, money for the  Men to have good salaries as obtained in other government security agencies to relate  like human beings’’. He may have alluded to the fact that should any officer drop dead on account of fighting to defend the country from local threats, he will  have nothing  to leave behind for the family because of poor salaries.  It is not surprising why many Policemen dread confronting the Bandits who are armed with sophisticated weapons stolen from the North African country of Libya in the flashpoint north- west states.

Abdusalami Abbakar,  a retired army General and former Head of State had said that there are over six million rifles in illegal circulation in different parts of the country which had  fallen into wrong hands: the  insurgents  in the north east states and the  Bandits  operating in the north west and  north central states of Benue and Niger.

There is no gainsaying the fact that both for the involvement of the military in the internal security of the country all these past years,  the insurgents, Bandits and other Criminal elements operating in different parts  of the country hiding under the cover of agitations for regional  autonomy could have overrun the entire country. This is because the Policemen, do not have what it takes to confront the Insurgents, Bandits and the other Criminal elements across the country.

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