A source at the Presidency told SaharaReporters that Mr. Abubakar tried in vain to gain an extension of his tenure, but that many forces opposed to him prevailed on President Goodluck Jonathan to look for a successor. Mr. Abubakar had spent 35 years as a police officer.
“He was desperate to stay in office to enable him [to] oversee the 2015 general elections,” said our source, adding that Mr. Jonathan did not buy into the plan. The retiring IG’s tenure was marked by serious questions in the last week when he made the controversial and widely condemned decision to reinstate Sam Chukwu, an Enugu-based police officer considered the mastermind of a crime ring in Enugu. Mr. Chukwu was indicted in the 2009 kidnap of 19-year-old Lotachukwu (Lota) Ezeudu, but went underground to avoid facing prosecutors and Justice Afam Nwobodo, who is handling the trial of other suspects. Police officers, prosecutors and residents of Enugu criticized Mr. Abubakar’s decision to assign the fugitive officer, Mr. Chukwu, to the post of provost of the southeast police command headquartered in Umuahia, the capital of Abia State.
Before his appointment, rumors have swirled around Mr. Abba’s closeness to Nigeria’s first lady, Patience Jonathan especially as Abba lobbied for appointment reportedly doling huge sums of money to Mrs. Jonathan.
A former IG of Police, Mike Mbama Okiro, today congratulated Mr. Abba on his new appointment. Mr. Okiro is the current chairman of the Police Service Commission.
The new IG, who is from Jigawa State, was until his appointment the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in Charge of Zone 7, Abuja.
Mr. Okiro advised the new IG to strive to rise to the challenges of his new post. He described Mr. Abba as a tested officer who had held various command positions in the Nigeria Police Force, adding that he was confident the new police chief would bring fresh perspectives to the search for solutions to the security threats confronting Nigeria.
PRESIDENT JONATHAN APPOINTS NEW INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF POLICE
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has approved the appointment of AIG Suleiman Abba as the new Inspector-General of Police.
AIG Abba, currently the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 7, comprising Abuja, Kaduna and Niger states, replaces the incumbent Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Abubakar who proceeds on statutory retirement today having completed 35 years in service.
The incoming Inspector-General, a lawyer, hails from Jigawa State and is an alumnus of the Nigerian Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies.
Positions previously held by him in the Police include Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of the Criminal Investigation Department, FCT Command, Deputy Force Secretary and Commissioner of Police, Rivers State.
His appointment is with effect from Friday, August 1, 2014
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
July 31, 2014