Former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, has distanced himself from claims made by Rilwan Akiolu, the Oba of Lagos, suggesting that he was behind the traditional ruler’s forced exit from the Nigeria Police Force.
In a statement issued by his media office Tuesday, Mr. Abubakar said at no time did he suggest or propose the removal of Akiolu from the police.
At the Administration of Justice Summit organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Justice on Monday, Mr. Akiolu had alleged that Mr. Abubakar played a prominent role in convincing then president, Olusegun Obasanjo, to retire him from service.
Mr. Akiolu was retired as a police Assistant Inspector General.
“I remember that I was a victim of that circumstance; then Abubakar Atiku, Daura, and others advised ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo that if he wants to win Lagos in 2003 presidential election, I must be removed. It was written on paper,” the Vanguard newspaper quoted Mr. Akiolu as saying.
“And in fairness to Obasanjo, he argued that he knew nothing about it. And he had to send for the Inspector General because the then Chief of Staff challenged the plan to retire me. So for someone to sit at the Police Service Commission and determine who retires from the police is unfair. This is not how to run a very efficient police force.”
But in his statement, Mr. Abubakar said he never supervised the Nigeria Police or the Police Service Commission, and therefore, could not have been part of any alleged plot to force Mr. Akiolu out of public service for committing no offence.
The former Vice President also said he had no power over the Police Force or the Police Service Commission to remove anybody for whatever reason from office without committing any offence, adding that he was not familiar with the monarch as at the time he was removed from the Police Force.
Mr. Atiku said he holds the Oba of Lagos in the highest esteem, and is “totally innocent” of the allegations the monarch made against at him.