From Aruga Joe Omokaro – Abuja
The alleged leakage of a correspondence from the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Alkali Usman Baba to the Police Service Commission (PSC) deploying the IGP”s PSO CP Idowu Owohunwa to head Lagos State police command is causing ripples in the Nigeria Police Force.
Discrete investigations by The SUPREME reveal that several senior police officers and junior officers are uncomfortable with the deployment of ldowu to head Lagos State police command.
Many of them who spoke to The SUPREME from Force Headquarters (FHQ) Abuja, and from Lagos police command, gave unison reasons why Idowu should not be the right officer to be deployed to Lagos, not now at the crucial period of the general elections.
All who spoke pleaded anonymity, for fear of being victimised.
At FHQ some officers argued that CP Idowu as he is popularly called, “cannot handle Lagos effectively. Lagos is too complex for an officer whose career has mostly been a desk officer. Not even at this period of elections. If the authority wants to compensate him for being a loyal or a dedicated officer, he can be moved to Lagos after the general elections “
Speaking in the same vein, some officers at Lagos command, argued that, “Idowu has not been a DPO (Divisional Police Officer) or an Area Commander, and suddenly he is posted to a place like Lagos. He will obviously not be able to cope conveniently with the security challenges peculiar in Lagos Posting of an officer to a particular beat or state, should be on ability to cope with the challenges of that beat or stare. And not on sentiments or on tribal or on political reason. Idowu has no field or operational experience. He has not headed any known operational position such as Mobile Squadron Commander in the Force. “”
Some junior officers who also spoke under strict anonymity argued that, “Idowu cannot handle Lagos. He has all his career been an admin officer. Will he obey human rights? Will the boys be willing to work with him? If we protest, the authority will charge us with mutiny. So you (press) should help us.”
However, a senior officer at FHQ was differ in his opinion. He also crave anonymity. He argued that, “a police officer is a police officer. He can fit in anywhere he is posted o perform police duties. Idowu will give orders to his DPOs and Area Commanders. And they must carry out his orders.
Further discrete investigations reveal that, Lagos State is number one among stares regarded as juicy in the police. Officers and top politicians normally lobby their contacts at the presidency and a sitting IGP to be posted to head the juicy stare commands. Lagos is followed by Rivers State, Delta, Bayelsa and Kano states respectively.
In most cases, the presidency is said to be involved in who heads Lagos and Rivers states police commands .
A supporter of the opposition party, the PDP is asserting that, Lagos State governor Babajide Sanyo-Olu may have influenced the Presidency to direct the IGP to deploy a Yoruba speaking officer to Lagos State, for the purpose of facilitating the ruling party (APC)”s victory in the general elections.
Idowu is from Yoruba speaking part of Kogi State
The current Lagos State CP Abiodun Sylvester Alabi is from Ekiti Stare. The immediate past Lagos CP Hakeem Odumosu now an AIG is from Ogun State, while the current AIG zone two command, comprising Lagos and Ogun state is from Yoruba speaking part of Kwara State.
The AIG is slated for promotion to the rank of a DIG next week, to replace the DIG representing his geo-political zone, who retired today 31st January after completing 35 years in service.
Efforts to get presidential spokesmen, Garba Shehu and Femi Adesina to speak on the allegation, met brick wall. Both of them did not respond to our sms on the issue.
However, a reliable source at FHQ confirmed on Sunday that, a letter has been “sent to the Commission (PSC). We are waiting for their response “
The SUPREME also gathered that the letter to the PSC has names of four CPs for deployment. They include former Force spokesman, CP Frank Mba.
Mba is said to have initially been slated to head Lagos police. But that there were strong objections on the same ground with Idowu The IGP was said to have been convinced that, Mba would not be able to effectively handle Lagos security. They were said to have reminded the IGP that, when Mba was Area Commander in charge of FESTAC , armed robbers raided several banks uninterrupted, promoting the then IGP to promptly re-deploy him out.
The SUPREME also reliably learnt that, Mba is therefore being slated to head Ogun State police command. Mba just graduated from the highest respected Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru, Jos, last December 2022.
He is currently the CP Border Patrol
Meanwhile, Lagos police boss CP Alabi is said to have gotten the nod of the IGP and the PSC to be deployed to zone two as acting AIG pending when the PSC will hold its first plenary in March.
But Lagos police spokesman, Benjamin Hundeyin in a statement last week debunked the rife speculation, saying CP Alabi is still the Lagos State Police Commissioner.
Our investigations further reveal that, Idowu has served two former IGPs as their PSO.
They include the immediate past IGP Mohammed Adamu and the newly appointed chairman of PSC, Solomon Arase.
His controversial deployment to Lagos is interpreted as compensation for being a loyal PSO.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, and a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Studies and Policing from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom.
He was re-appointed by the current IGP Usman Baba on 9 April 2021.
Our effort to get the PSC to confirm if the IGP”s request to deploy Idowu and Mba to Lagos and Ogun has been approved or rejected was futile, because it’s spokesman lkechukwu Ani failed to pick our calls.
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