Barely four days after Nigerian Police Service Commission (PSC) announced promotion of Lagos former Commissioner of Police (CP), Edgar Imohimi, and eight other CPs to Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIG), revelations has emerged on why Imohimi was yet to be redeployed to a duty post that commensurates with the new rank, as he would be due for retirement in less than a week of the promotion.
From police quarters, the promotion was a pathing gift to Imohimi, who was expected to leave office first day of February, 2021, being a coursemate to Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Muhammad Adamu, as well as, other officers of force that were also due for retirement same day.
Unlike others, who had been redeployed before the retirement month, findings at the Force headquarters in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja revealed that Imohimi, realizing that the date for retirement was fast approaching, begun to lobby police hierarchy for a promotion to the rank of AIG, in order to be at par with some of his colleagues that they were enlisted together.
Sources at the Police Headquarters disclosed that Imohimi, after resuming as CP of Ogun Command on Nov 18, 2019, realising that his retirement date was fast approaching, had started lobbying for promotion to AIG rank but was not approved considering the allegations that trailed his tenure in Lagos, his first duty post after his promotion from Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP).
Major on the lists of allegations that trailed his tenure before his redeployment was allegedly allowing security breaches at the All Progressives Congress (APC) campaign prior to the 2019 gubernatorial election in the state after assuring party members of a water-tight during the inaugural campaign for the poll.
Findings further revealed that after the court ruled that the PSC, and not the IGP, should be responsible for law enforcement officer’s promotion, the commission, realising the number of years Imohimi spent in service for the country, decided to approve his promotion even after it was obvious that the new AIG would not be able to utilise the new rank since he would be embarking on retirement after attaining the statutory years in service.
A source said: “The police hierarchy knew that his retirement was fast approaching before approving him for promotion. It was just to serve as a parting gift for him as well as to aid his status when any state governor needs an adviser on security matters”.
By service records, the Lagos former CP was enlisted into the force on February 1, 1986 like the IGP, three Deputy Inspectors-General of Police (DIGs) as well as 10 of his colleagues and other officers that were also expected to bow out from service after attaining the mandatory years in service to the nation.
The DIGs were Aminchi Baraya; former chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde and Nkpa Inakwu, while the other AIGs leaving with Imohimi were Mohammad Mustapha; AIG Jonah Jackson; Olushola David; Yunana Babas; Asuquo Amba; Nkereuwem Akpan; Olafimihan Adeoye; Agunbiade Labore; Undie Adie; and Olugbenga Adeyanju.
While Imohimi, and others expected to exit leave service have accepted fate, there is anxiety at the Force headquarters over the tenure of Adamu, as it was not yet certain if President Muhammadu Buhari, who had left Aso Villa for a four-day visit to his hometown in Daura, Katsina State, and was expected to return to Abuja on Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021, about 24 hours after the IGP was expected to leave office, would approve a tenure elongation.
Although, it was learnt that some power brokers were already lobbying the presidency for the extension of the IGP’s tenure at the Louis Edet House, the Police headquarters, just as how the President extended that of newly retired Service Chiefs, the Comptroller-General of Immigration and the immediate past Comptroller-General of Nigerian Correctional Service by some months to allow proper change of baton.
Aside from this, the IGP had launched several campaigns and has begun to grant different interviews to the media, rolling out his achievement in office, even after disclosing that he would in retirement be deploying his expertise on International Police (INTERPOL) were he had a comparative policing advantage.
As this intensified, there was said to be a tussle of who succeeds the outgoing IGP with many of those possibly eligible to occupy the leadership role already lobbying to ensure that the tenure elongation is not entertained and that they get the president’s nod for the post.
Those vying to replace Adamu were DIG Sanusi Lemu, DIG Usman Alkali Baba, DIG Dan-Mallam Mohammed, AIG Hafiz Inuwa, AIG Garba Umar and CP Dasuki Galadanchi, who recently completed a course at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Plateau State.
In the same vein, chances of the two AIGs reportedly eyeing the top job are also encumbered by their dates of retirement which fell short of the provisions in the new Police Act for the tenure of an appointee to the office of IGP. AIG Garba Umar has May 15, 2023 as a retirement date, just as AIG Hafiz Inuwa is expected to exit on March 21, 2024.