By Enani Benson
More facts have emerged on why the former Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, was sacked by the outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan and replaced by a Deputy Inspector-General of Police in-charge of the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Department, Solomon Arase.
Contrary to initial reports that he was given the boot for unduly warming up to the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, including going to receive him at the airport on his trip from Daura, impeccable sources at the Force Headquarters in Abuja revealed that Abba was fired because of the security money received on behalf of the Police Force for the just-concluded general election in the country.
The money was for the provision of security during the election and for officers and men of the Force throughout.
Sources claimed President Jonathan was angered by the fact that ex-IGP Abba collected over N5 billion to provide security for the election but it was discovered that he only spent a fraction of it for the officers and men in the Force and for the elections.
The Presidency was said to have asked the former IGP to account for how he spent the money during which it was found that the money was not well spent.
Meanwhile, there are strong indications that a major shake-up may take place in the Nigeria Police Force before the May 29 handover date as the new IGP Arase, moves to settle down in office.
Reliable sources close to the Force Headquarters Annex, Kam-Salem House, Moloney, Lagos, informed WESTERN POST that the presidency had directed Arase to undertake a drastic re-organization of the Force within two weeks before the handover date.
The source also revealed that the exercise may affect three Deputy Inspectors-General of Police (DIG’s), appointed as DIG at the same time with Arase, some Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIG’s) and some State Commissioner of Police, among other officers.
The aim of the exercise, according to a top police source, is to save the force from internal crisis and redeem its sagging image.
Investigations by WP revealed that the affected officers were informed of the development during a meeting held with the acting IGP on Wednesday in Abuja.
A top officer at the Force Headquarters Annex, Moloney, Lagos, who pleaded for anonymity, however, said; “Reorganisation is a routine exercise in the Police Force. The re-organization and re-shuffling of the officers is to save the Force from Internal crisis and to enable it redeem its sagging image before the handover date to the new administration on May 29, 2015”.
Until his new appointment, Arase was the Officer in-charge of Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department in Abuja.
He was enlisted into the Nigeria Police Force on December 31, 1986. He was Principal Staff Officer (PSO) to at least four Inspectors-General of Police before he was posted to the Lagos State Police Command as the Deputy Commissioner of Police in-Charge of the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Yaba, Lagos and later as an Assistant Inspector General of Police Intelligence Abuja, the position he held before Abba became the IGP.
Arase was later promoted to DIG, Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department Abuja.