Inspector General of Police (IGP), Alhaji Suleiman Abba, who was a former Aide-De-Camp (ADC) to the wife of a former military Head of State, Mrs Maryam Abacha, was sacked on Tuesday by outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan, four years before he attained the formal retirement age of service.
According to The Guardian, the 17th indigenous IG had enlisted in the Nigerian Police as Cadet Inspector on December 31, 1984 and was due for formal retirement on March 22, 2019.
Though no official reason was given for his sudden sack, The Guardian quoted sources in the Presidency as saying Abba had been conducting himself in ways unbecoming of a professional policeman by allegedly, lobbying for his continuity in office after May 29, 2015.
Specifically, Abba allegedly took steps perceived to have negatively affected his relationship with President Goodluck Jonathan and placed a big question mark on his loyalty.
Sources also revealed that Jonathan is quite outraged that the former Inspector General of Police was partisan, as he did not wait for the change of government on May 29, 2015 before changing his allegiance.
Specifically, it was alleged that he was already working with some ‘hawkish’ leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to execute their agenda.
The Presidency was said to be at a loss why Abba not only showed up on April 1, 2015 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, at an event where President-elect, Major-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), received his certificate of return, but in addition, had reportedly been going to the airport to welcome Buhari on his journeys from Daura, Katsina State, to Abuja since his election as President.
The same sources also indicated that Jonathan was in a killer mood, which was manifested during the visit of the Ghanaian President, Mr. John Mahama, on Tuesday, when only one speaking dais was on display as against the usual two.
Even during Mahama’s statement to the media, Jonathan stood apart.
After Jonathan had walked Mahama to his vehicle, he went back to his office alone, his face grim.
The usual smiles were gone, there was no acknowledgement of greetings, unlike in the past.
He didn’t talk to the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Alison- Madueke, her Federal Capital Territory counterpart, Senator Bala Mohammed, Minister of Foreign Affairs II, Musiliu Obanikoro and that of Youth Development (Boni Haruna) who were standing by.
The ministers read his foul mood and left immediately. None followed him to his office as was customary.
After the President had gone up to his office, one of his aides called Presidential Spokesman, Dr Reuben Abati to say that Jonathan wanted to see him.
Not long after, the press statement announcing Abba’s sack was released.
The terse statement on Abba’s sack also announced Deputy Inspector General of Police in-charge of Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (FCID), Solomon Arase as the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), a development that caused not a little disquiet at the Force Headquarters.
Activities at the Louis Edet House ground to a near-halt when the news came confirming that Abba had been sacked.
The Guardian also reported that a press briefing by the Police Commissioner (CP) in-charge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Wilson Inalegwu, which had been scheduled earlier was cancelled.
At the Force Headquarters, though the Force Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Ojukwu, an Acting CP told The Guardian he was “yet to hear of any such news” when confirmation was sought from him, one could deduce from the terse tone of his voice, that something was amiss.
Abba, who took over from Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar on August 1, 2014 joins the list of IGPs, who did not serve up to a year before their removal.
Abba, who hails from Gwaram Local Council of Jigawa State, is an alumnus of the Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS) Kuru.
He holds Bachelors degrees in History and Law, and has attended several management and security courses within and outside Nigeria.
He is known for his vast experience in criminal investigation, intelligence-led policing and crime-fighting operations.
Before his appointment as the IGP, he was the head of the Police Committee, vested with the responsibility to plan for the security of the 2015 general elections.
He had served as the Commissioner of Police in Rivers State, Deputy Force Secretary, Assistant Commissioner of Police in-charge of State CID, FCT Police Command, and before his appointment, the Assistant Inspector General (AIG) in-charge of Zone 7, Abuja.
Arase was born in Sapele Delta State on June 21, 1956 but hails from Oredo Local Council of Edo State. He enlisted in the Nigerian Police December 1, 1981.
He graduated from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1980, with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Political Science, got a Masters Degree from the University of Benin in 1998, did his Barrister at Law (BL) qualification certificate in 2001 and another LL.M in Corporate Management and Finance Law in 2004.
Also, he is a Fellow of the Nigerian Defence College (fdc). He has travelled to and studied in many countries, including the National Executive Session on Policing and Public Safety at Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA in 2011 and 2013.
He attended the workshop on Identifying Key Needs and Developing Training Best Practices on Counter Terrorism in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, with focus on Counter-Terrorism, Rule of Law and National Security Management.
He served as the DCP, State CID, Panti-Yaba, Lagos between 2009- 2011, CP in Akwa Ibom State Command, between August 2011 and March 2012, Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) Force Intelligence Bureau at the FHQ, Abuja from March 2012 to August 2014. He is married with children.