The many sins of former IGP, Suleiman Abba

Sacked Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba

President Goodluck Jonathan, on Tuesday sacked Nigeria’s 17th indigenous Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba.

Mr. Abba was sacked barely 24 hours after the government of the United States of America commended him for good conduct during the just-concluded general elections.

He was immediately replaced by Solomon Arase, a Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department.

“Mr. Arase holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Law, as well as Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Political Science and Strategic Studies.

Before being relieved of his office, Mr. Abba had in various ways abused his powers as provided for in the 1999 Constitution.

For instance, on October 30, 2014, Mr. Abba had ordered the withdrawal of police aides attached to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, a day after he defected from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC.

While defending the action, the embattled IGP, who is also a lawyer, said Mr. Tambuwal’s action breached Section 68 (1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution and that the lawmaker was therefore no longer entitled to police security.

Mr. Abba made the claim in a statement signed by Emmanuel Ojukwu, the force public relations officer.

But Mr. Tambuwal, also a lawyer, insisted that the former IGP’s explanation was inaccurate and misleading.

In a reaction by his media aide, Imam Imam, the speaker described Mr. Abba’s action as unconstitutional and a clear abuse of the powers of the office of the IGP.

Mr. Tambuwal also approached the Federal High Court in Abuja and obtained an order restraining the former IGP from withdrawing his security aides.

In a rare act of impunity, Mr. Abba disobeyed the court order and insisted that the speaker can longer enjoy police protection having defected from the party on which platform he contested and won an election to the House of Representatives.

On November 2, 2014, Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, wrote to Mr. Abba, warning him of series of “illegal policing” being perpetrated under his watch.

Mr. Falana also accused the embattled former IGP of displaying “political bias”.

The lawyer listed some of Mr. Abba’s sins to include the arrest and dentition of over 700 top APC members in Osun state barely days before the state’s gubernatorial election on August 9, 2014;

The release of the detained party faithful without charging them to court for the breach of any known law or regulation in the country.

And the failure of the former IGP to call Joseph Mbu, a controversial Assistant Inspector General of Police, to order for his reckless abuse of police powers especially after a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja delivered a judgment declaring the ban on the #BringBackOurGirls campaign group illegal, null and void.

“The ban was designed to assuage the feelings of some officials of the Federal Government who are embarrassed by being reminded of their constitutional duty of rescuing the over 200 Chibok school girls who were abducted 6 months ago by the nihilist Boko Haram sect,” Mr. Falana said.

Mr. Falana also faulted the former IGP’s insistence on withdrawing Mr. Tambuwal’s security aides on grounds that Mr. Abba failed to declare vacant, the seats of Ondo State lawmakers, who defected from the Labour Party to the PDP.

By showing bias against the speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Falana had insisted that the former IGP exposed the Nigeria Police Force to public ridicule.

But Mr. Abba’s sins did not stop at the controversial withdrawal of security aides of Mr. Tambuwal.

Shortly before the just concluded general elections, Mr. Abba openly countered a directive by the Independent National Electoral Commission that voters could wait at polling units and protect their votes.

In countering the directive, the former IGP warned the electorate to leave the polling units once they cast their votes.

He argued that allowing voters to wait after casing their votes could lead to a breakdown of law and order and promised that the police would ensure all votes count.

However, Mr. Abba’s directive was rejected by INEC, the leaders of the PDP, APC and even the wife of the President, Patience.

A few days after his directive came under strong criticism; the former IGP made a u-turn and said he never stopped voters from waiting after casting their ballots.

He said he merely “advised” them to leave. He said the police would prefer that voters leave to check violence.

“The police did not ban anyone from the polling units after casting their vote, we only advise people to cast their vote and leave the polling units,’’ Mr. Abba said.

Mr. Abba said Nigerians who wish to stay after voting should remain 300 metres away from the polling units in line with the Electoral Act.

Some Nigerians believe Mr. Abba was simply overzealous in order to please the presidency, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party and their agents.

“But even those he desperately tried to please have now removed him from office in ways that can be described as ignominious,” a top security expect said Wednesday. “This should serve as lessons to future IGPs.”


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  • Ananas_yolawa.

    One of the reasons why Former IGP was remove, is that; He refused to play the role PDPIG want him to play in the International Conference Center, during the collection of result by INEC.
    When Godsrule Orubebe did that Shameless act, it was intended to Kidnapped the INEC chairman, Jega. During that time, all security were withdraw but the N.P.F refused to withdraw it’s men from the venue, saying they must got a letter from the I.G P. While former IGP was ordered to withdraw his men when Orubebe start his action by the presidency, he refused to give that order. That bravery work that Former IGP did, save Nigerians from the last rigging plan that PDPIG plan on us.

    Alhamdulillah, I have said it before that all those obeying Jonabomb will surely betray him in the last minute of the Game. Even If IGP is serving or not, he must be remove by the next administration.

  • amazing2012

    Let him face the law !

  • bib

    It’s always better to be always principled than choose when to be and when not to be, as it suits one.

  • Maitama Tambari

    Yes S. Abba committed many democratic sins immediately he was placed on Acting capacity to please the appointing authority. He did his best to the FEEDOM TRAIN OF DEMOCRACY in the last election where he had given a serious instruction to the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigeria Police Force deserve our recognition of their Constitutional role played at the last Presidential Election and those that followed in the States. Without the singular effort of the Police Force, today would have been a different story. Nigerians should and would never forget the role Mr. Orubebe played in disruption of the Presidential Election collection and Collation of the Presidential Results at the Confernce Centre. When the other forces withdrew their personnel in and around the National Conference Centre, the Nigeria Folce stood their ground. We salute them, and IG Sulaiman Abba paid the unholy price of democracy, the first victim in the just concluded Presidential Election. It was his singular action that contributed as one of success story of 2015 Presidential Election. USA recognized his role model and thanks him. We should not tarnish the key to our success in CHANGE for being the victim of PDP and the Predency.

  • Jason

    Mr. Abba is a disgrace to the police uniform and a clear example of sub professional behaviour. Whilst I am most uncomfortable with the removal which seems arbitrary , he clearly lacked the maturity for such a high office.

  • Hah!

    Who cares? NEMISES has a way of catching up people of Abba’s character.

  • Ologbonlolode

    Suleiman Abba’s departure is expected and good riddance to a very bad dream! Loyalty to one’s country isn’t same as loyalty to a public office holder. He chose the later and he is gone for good. Next in line is Sunday Mbu. I can’t wait for him to be dismissed with immediate effect! His days in the force are numbered; mark my word.

    • Chris1408

      That agbero Mbu has overstayed. He should be fired

      • burning spear

        would u have had to the guts to say same to a fulani man if Mbu were to come from sokoto–is amaechi not having the same trouble with the current—-COP

        • Mayflower5

          who cares? Nigeria already elected Buhari.

    • burning spear

      he was loyal to Buhari————————

      • Mayflower5

        LOL. The psychiatric patient again.

  • Ukpaka

    He got what he deserved. Hopefully this serves as a lesson for others.
    Your loyalty should always be to the people, not to the man that
    appointed you. All decisions must be guided by principle, not by what
    your master wants. Abba chose to serve Jonathan and PDP and when they
    didn’t need him anymore, they got rid of him. End of story.
    However, I
    feel sorry for the newly appointed gentleman. Jona should not choose
    police IG for Buhari. So, I figure he will be replaced within a month or
    so by Buhari. Blame GEJ for putting this guy in an uncomfortable
    position.

  • burning spear

    E-X-P-O-S-E-D!!!
    BUHARI’S ELECTION VICTORY [showing on hope for Nigeria

    Election Victory in Kano, Katsina, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kaduna and Bauchi exposed to Nigerians.
    He promised to punish electoral offenders, but it is now certain that his election was the most fraudulent election in the History of Nigeria aided by Prof Jega and his scams called Card Reader and PVC.
    It is a shame!!!

    • Tayo Ayodele

      Do you know voters turn out in Kano was 44% while Rivers recorded 71%. Bayelsa 64%, Akwa Ibom was 65% and Delta 66%. Only Jigawa recorded a figure above 60% (64%) amongst other states. So much for evidence of rigging!

      • Mayflower5

        @Tayo. Great point, I missed that one.

  • burning spear

    HE LOOKED THE OTHER WAY WHILE BUHARI AND THE APES IN APC RIGGED THE ELECTIONS WITH 5 YR OLD KIDS

    • sam

      He equally looked the other way when madam piss and other apes in pdp used guns to chase away voters in Rivers state.

    • True Nigerian

      psychiatric patient, how did you escape your doctor’s watch

      • Mayflower5

        @True Nigerian. Good one, LOL!

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    • Mayflower5

      Send 10 million bags to Buruji Kashamu – for his new prison in the US

  • Mayflower5

    Arase time as IGP will be the shortest in history.

  • musa Ayo

    I always like reading your articles because they are pregnant with reality.