The Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, on Thursday appointed Suleiman Abba as acting Inspector General of Police.
This was confirmed by presidential spokesperson, Reuben Abati, via his twitter handle.
“New IGP Abba replaces IGP Abubakar who proceeds on statutory retirement. IGP Abba’s appointment is with effect from August 1, 2014,” Mr. Abati said.
Mr. Abati later tweeted to say Mr. Abba’s appointment is in acting capacity.
The appointment followed the retirement of his predecessor, Mohammed Abubakar, who retires after 35 years of public service.
Mr. Abubakar’s tenure as police chief would be remembered for the official removal of road blocks which police officers used in extorting motorists.
Mr. Abubakar on resumption of duty in 2012 ordered that all road blocks across Nigeria be dismantled, although some were still (illegally) maintained.
The new acting police chief, Mr. Abba, was until his appointment an Assistant Inspector General, AIG, in charge of Zone 7 command, a position he occupied since May 25, 2012.
He was also a former Aide-De-Camp, ADC, to the wife of a former military Head of State, Maryam Abacha.
On Tuesday, speculations thickened that Mr. Abba, a lawyer and historian, had been selected by Mr. Jonathan and the Police Council, which consists of governors of the 36 states and the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Mike Okiro.
Some people had argued that appointing Mr. Abba as IGP would raise concerns because he is from the same zone as his predecessor.
Mr. Abba, 55, is from Gwaram local government area of Jigawa State while the retired IG is from Gusau local government area of Zamfara state. Both states are located within the North-West geopolitical zone.
The new acting IG was born on March 22, 1959 and has degrees in History and Law.
He enlisted in the Nigerian police as cadet inspector on December 31, 1984 and is due for retirement on March 22, 2019.
He was promoted AIG on February 22, 2012.
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
EDITOR’S NOTE: This post has been updated to indicate that Mr. Abba’s appointment is in acting capacity following an update provided by presidential spokesperson, Reuben Abati.