Just a month after Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Kpotum Idris had warned that officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) caught in the act of bribery and corruption would be thrown out of the Force, the latter has been accused of corruption by a former Police officer.
In July, while addressing Deputy Inspector-Generals, Assistant Inspectors-General and Commissioners of Police at a conference at the force headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, IGP Idris had charged them to be civil in relating with members of the public and respect their socio-cultural values, adding that officers caught in the act of bribery and corruption would be thrown out of the force.
“The era of bribery and corrupt practices in the police circle was over. Any act of misconduct could throw you out of the force.
“Any senior police officer found to be engaged in corrupt practices will face the full wrath of the law and would be sanctioned appropriately,” those were the exact words of the IGP on Monday, July 31, 2017.
Probably when the IGP made that statement, he never knew he would have to face the music should he be found wanting.
Towards the end of July, a picture of the IGP holding “No To Corruption” went viral on the internet, the picture alone gave a strong warning against corrupt practices in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) as its number one man (IGP Idris) was believed to be against the act before the N120 billion bribery allegation by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy and Senator representing Bauchi Central, Isah Misau surfaced.
In August, Senator Misau alleged that IGP Idris collected an annual sum of about N120bn as payment for special security services rendered by the police to corporate organisations and very important personalities, adding that over 50,000 personnel involved in such act had not been benefitting from the money.
Misau, who is a retired Deputy Superintendent of Police, had also alleged that the special promotion of officers by the force was fraught with corruption, an allegation IGP Idris subsequently set a panel to investigate, which ALEDEH reported.
“Based on available records, series of petitions and reports from insiders, the incumbent IGP has no capacity to run the police, just like the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Mike Okiro (retd.), a former IGP, who also lacks similar capacity going by the N300m scam and others hanging around his neck since 2011 during the presidential primary of the Peoples Democratic Party, where he served as the head of the security committee.
“Specifically, the IGP, on good authority from within the force, collects over N10bn on monthly basis as money for special security provided by men of the force to corporate bodies and highly placed individuals, including criminals, running to N120bn on a yearly basis without any reflection in the police’ annual budget or internally generated revenue.”
“On nepotism, the IGP is scoring high marks by making almost half of the mobile commanders in the country people of his Nupe extraction.
“Police is not a political outfit and should not be allowed to be turned into one by IGP Idris,” Senator Misau said at a press conference in Abuja on Friday, August 25, 2017.
Apparently displeased with the allegations, the Police spokesman, CSP Jimoh Moshood issued a statement asking the general public and indeed the Senate to dismiss statements credited to Senator Misau, saying everything he said about the IGP and the Police were false, describing the lawmaker as “a habitual and unrepentant liar.”
“His real name in the Police is DSP Mohammed Isa Hamman, with Police number AP No. 57300. He is still a Police Officer and not a Senator because his name is still in the Police Service.
“Senate will do the nation good(sic) by asking him to return to the Nigeria Police Force to face disciplinary committee and answer all the charges bordering on serious misconduct, unprofessional wrong doings as earlier contained in our press statement released today.
“We want the public to know that he is not fit and proper to be a Senator of the federal republic of Nigeria; because that purported retirement letter he displayed today was forged.
“All DSP Hamman was saying were cheap blackmail, distraction and deliberate acts to derail an investigation.
“So the force will want the Senate Ethics and Privileges committee which we have confidence and trust into to see reason to ask him to dress up in his police uniform to come and appear before police disciplinary committee to answer charges against him.
“The IGP has no use to distractions DSP Hamman is instituting before the public, and no matter the position any person is, once he or she runs afoul of the law, he will be made to answer the charges,’’ Moshood stated.
Like a man who has facts and knew what he was doing, Senator Misau replied Moshhod by displaying his letter of retirement issued by the Police Service Commission.
The letter, dated March 5, 2014, and signed by one Mrs. Garos Logams, on behalf of the then Permanent Secretary/Secretary to the PSC, read in part, “I wish to inform you that the commission has approved your retirement from the service of the Nigeria Police Force with effect from 1st December 2010, after 10 years of meritorious service,” the letter read.
Similarly just yesterday, the Police Service Commission (PSC) confirmed that Senator Misau dully resigned from the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) as the lawmaker had said earlier.
“The Police normally recommends people to us for retirement, so the recommendation came to the Commission and Misau’s name was included.
“We just confirmed that the retirement followed due process. The letter was dated 5th March 2014 to take effect from the 1st of December 2010.
“The Commission has gone through their document and confirmed that we issued the letter with reference number; PSC/1034/V8/244.
“What we are simply saying is that we gave him the letter of retirement,” a statement issued by the Police Commission’s Spokesman, Ikechukwu Ani stated on Wednesday.
While the lawmaker raised issues that the Police should have probably investigated, the response they could give was to attack the Senator but he was vindicated by the statement of the PSC, this goes to show that the IGP gaffe on Senator Misau did not only point to the fact that the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) is weak and incompetent, it also raised series of questions; If the police can’t simply investigate its own with documents at its disposal then how well can they handle other jobs?
Nigerians watched on Channels Tv as the police PRO with a straight face categorically told the world that Senator Isah Misau did not retire properly. They tagged Misau as a “deserter”. They expended so much energy and wasted air time that could have been better used to educate Nigerians on that. Or did the Police Commission lie against the IGP?
What happened to good policing which would have found out whether or not Misau retired properly without washing their dirty linen in the public?
Or was Isah Misau still on the police payroll all that time before his retirement was formalized, making the IGP see him as a deserter? If yes, how or when would the police coffers get back the money he was not entitled to and if no, how or on which documentation was his salary stopped?
If the IGP got this wrong then you’d understand when an ordinary citizen cries out in series of complaints about how some officers lie against them in police stations and at check points.
Our position on the matter is that Isah Misau was a senior police officer so his allegations of corruption against the top police man, considering the vigour with which they pursued him, should not be swept under the carpet.
ALEDEH will want the Federal Government to step in here and conduct a proper investigation of these allegations with a view to building a better and efficient police force that Nigerians and the world would be proud of. Whoever is found wanting must be made to face the law. We rise!