The Nigeria Police Service Commission (PSC) led by a controversial former Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro, on Saturday released a letter demoting the acting Police Commissioner in Lagos, Edgal Imohimi, to his previous rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police, thus making him ineligible to head the Lagos Police command.
A memo sent to the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, signed by PSC Permanent Secretary M.F. Istifanus on behalf of Okiro, informed the IGP that Imohimi and the Kogi State CP, Aji Ajaga, were both being demoted to the rank of DCP.
Mr. Idris, who has faced a barrage of allegations of corruption and infidelity from Senator Hammah Misau, recently was in Bogota, Colombia, when the news broke.
But SaharaReporters learned that Mr. Okiro had teamed up with Senate President Bukola Saraki against the IGP soon after he learnt that the IGP was opposed to his continuation as the chairman of the PSC, a plum position he got under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan. Despite petitions of illegal promotions and recruitment, President Buhari has maintained Okiro in that position for inexplicable reasons.
The current IGP reportedly recommended to President Buhari that a former IGP of Police, Abba Suleiman, be appointed to replace Okiro.
For his part, Okiro is said to have reached out to Mr. Saraki asking that they work together to oust the IGP.
Since the cold war started, the IGP has faced fire from Senator Misau who alleged that he was collecting bribes for VIP protections, for approving transfers of officers to lucrative posts and that he has also granted promotions to at least two female officers with whom he is romantically involved.
Mr. Idris denied the allegations and has gone after the Senator, accusing him of being a deserter from the police force. The police hierarchy claimed that Misau left the police force without properly resigning, before running for office. When the Nigerian police hierarchy tried to obtain incriminating documents from the PSC, the IGP and his term were shocked to find out that Okiro had certified the retirement documents of Senator Misau, and affirmed they were in order.
The war between Okiro, Saraki and the Nigerian police has boiled over to the extent that the IGP got the Attorney General of Federation to file charges against Senator Misau, while the Saraki-led Senate, in an attempt to oust the IGP, dragged the IGP before its Privileges and Ethics Committee led by Senator Samuel Anyanwu.
Meanwhile, the police hierarchy has rejected the demotion of Mr. Imohimi and urged him to stay in place put as the CP in Lagos. The PSC seems to be divided on the move as one of its members, Comfort Obi, said the public should ignore the letter from the Permanent Secretary of the PSC demoting Imohimi and Ajaga, the CP of Kogi state. Even, Okiro had publicly distanced himself from the letter, a move that observers said was typical of his deceptive style.
Imohimi was posted to Lagos a few months ago after Fatai Owoseni, was unceremoniously relieved of his command.
SaharaReporters learned that the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, had promised Owoseni that he will remain the CP of Lagos until his retirement next year, but Mr. Idris sought President Buhari’s permission to have him removed and replaced. The powerful interests represented by the Oba are said to be unhappy with Imohimi’s presence in Lagos.