More facts are emerging as to why immediate past Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba, was booted out of office by President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday.
In a tweet message by presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati, President Jonathan had asked Abba to quit his exalted position and in his place, he appointed Deputy Inspector General of Police in Charge of Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department, Solomon Arase.
A Presidency source revealed to Daily Times that Abba’s sack was not unconnected with the lingering crisis rocking the Ekiti State House of Assembly.
On the eve of the day that the former police boss would be sacked, it was also revealed that Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti was away in Abuja, fuelling speculations that he was at the seat of power to nail the police boss. According to the source, the former IGP allegedly allowed some politicians to drag him into the Ekiti Assembly crisis, allowing them to use him to make the crisis to fester.
The sources alleged that “the former IGP had been working in secret with some chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to fuel the crisis in Ekiti State against the wish of President Jonathan that peace must be maintained in all parts of the country after the elections. “The removed Speaker, Dr. Adewale Omirin, had gone to court to challenge his removal and the matter is still in court. When a matter is pending in court, the normal thing is for parties to get the matter sorted out there first before further actions are taken. But Omirin and his colleagues haven’t allowed this to happen in this case.”
According to the sources, “this Ekiti Assembly crisis started anew and with sustained vigour after the result of the presidential election was announced, and Major-General Muhammadu Buhari emerged as the president-elect.” The source claimed that President Jonathan had insisted that the rule of law must prevail in the matter but alleged that “It got clear that the former IGP had agreed to provide cover for the APC lawmakers to enter Ekiti State and go ahead with their impeachment plan.”
The protracted crisis in the state is also believed to have caused the sudden transfer of Mr. Taiwo Lakanu, former police boss in the state, who was moved days to the governorship elections across the country.
Apart from the above, another source also said that some of the remote causes of Abba’s sack was his recent romance with the leadership of the APC.
For instance, some forces in the presidency were piqued that with the exception of Rivers, Delta, Cross River, Ekiti, Akwa Ibom and the entire South-East region, the Nigeria Police did not act the election script written for the force in strategic states like Lagos, Oyo, Ondo, Ogun, Osun, Borno, Kaduna and Kwara.
The IGP was 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.
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 (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, contrary to the norm.
The former police boss was also alleged to have materialised at the airport at a time to receive President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.
Another source claimed that one of the ‘sins’ of the former police boss was the alleged leakage of the presidential directive to redeploy Assistant Inspector-General, Tunde Ogunsakin, from Rivers State on the eve of April 11, 2015 governorship poll.
Until his appointment as the new Acting IGP, Mr. Arase, was the Head of the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department. Mr. Arase holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Law, as well as Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Political Science and Strategic Studies.
He is also a Fellow of the Nigerian Defence College.