IG: Amotekun, Ebubeagu, Hisbah, Others Have No Role in 2023 Polls

Inspector General of Police (IG), Usman Alkali Baba

Inspector General of Police (IG), Usman Alkali Baba

*Says electoral act assigns them no responsibilities 

*Retired IGs, ex-DIG battle to succeed Smith as PSC chair

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, yesterday, warned that regional, quasi-security outfits have no role to play in the 2023 general election under the Electoral Act 2022.
The warning came as he ordered Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIGs)  and the Commissioners of Police in the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory to ensure adequate security in their areas of responsibility as political campaigns gather momentum.

In a related development, three former Inspectors-General of Police and a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police are presently lobbying to succeed ex-IGP Musiliu Smith as the Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC).

However, at a meeting with AIGs and CPs in Abuja to review evolving political programmes released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),  Baba declared that, “All quasi-security outfits established by various state governments and local communities operating under different nomenclatures, structures, and orientations have no legal roles under the Electoral Act and in the electoral process”.

He, therefore, directed senior officers to ensure that they were not utilised by political or community actors for any role during the campaigns and other aspects of the electoral process as such would amount to illegality, threat to national security and inimical to the nation’s democracy.
The police chief charged all officers present to boost the security of their commands in order to guarantee a crime-free and enabling environment for political campaigns and other components of the electoral process.

He noted that following the announcement by the INEC for the commencement of electioneering campaigns by all political parties from 28th September, 2022, the national political space would become very active and susceptible to increase in politically-related offences.
He, therefore, directed senior police officers to discharge  their duties before, during and after the electioneering process in line with the dictates of the Electoral Act 2022,  the Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement for Security Personnel on Election Duty issued in 2020 by the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES).

He urged them to work assiduously and engage an all-inclusive approach by liaising with Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs), leadership of political parties in their commands and all relevant stakeholders as well as increase intelligence gathering activities and upscale deployments to achieve the goal of re-energising the force to sustain a stable internal security order.
However, on the race for the chairman ship of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Smith, who assumed office on July 25, 2018, resigned a few weeks ago on medical grounds.

Although some accounts alleged he was forced out of office by members of the  board of the commission over his inability to exercise the constitutional mandate of the commission on police recruitment.
A retired Supreme Court Justice, Clara Ogunbiyi  took over from the former police boss.
The commission and the Nigeria Police leadership had been at loggerheads over the recruitment of police constables.
Though the Court of Appeal affirmed the commission’s constitutional authority to recruit constables into the police, the Nigeria Police authorities have continued to conduct the exercise and had appealed the court judgment on recruitment.

A recent move by the commission to conduct the exercise was stopped by the police, which described it as illegal.
However, findings indicated that former police chiefs eyeing the PSC top job have been lobbying top presidential aides, including ministers for consideration for the top job.

Competent  sources said those lobbying for the position include ex-IG Ibrahim Idris, Suleiman Abba, who is presently the chairman of the Board of Trustees,  Police Trust Fund, Mohammed Adamu, who was the 20th indigenous IG and ex-DIG in charge of Operations, Zaki Ahmed.

“The lobbying among the former police chiefs is so intense. The candidates have been soliciting the support of the AGF, SGF and other top Presidency aides. But the development is causing tension among the PSC workers, because they fear that the situation that characterised Smith’s tenure may subsists if the President appoints another former IG as the commission chairman.

“Recall that the workers, last week, suspended their strike out of respect for the acting chairman, who has shown interest in seeking solutions to the recruitment crisis but the situation could become worse if another retired police chief succeeds Musiliu Smith,” a source said.

An official, who spoke anonymously said, “It appears the police want to turn the commission to their retirement home and that is why there is serious jostling by the retired IGs to occupy the office. This is not good for the commission, because the previous retired officers, who led the commission were partial to the police.
“Essentially, the police authorities did not want to subject themselves to civilian supervision and control; they don’t want to be accountable and that is why the commission workers are against the appointment of another retired IG as chairman.”

Related Articles