Tuesday, April 21, 2015 2:15 pm
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has relieved the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba of his appointment and duties with immediate effect.
President Jonathan has also appointed Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase as Acting Inspector-General of Police, also with immediate effect.
Until his appointment as Mr. Abba’s replacement, Mr. Arase was the Head 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.
He is also a Fellow of the Nigerian Defence College.
No reason was given for the dismissal but the wording was unusually strong compared to similar past statements, which typically thank outgoing security chiefs for their service.
The Nation newspaper on Saturday ran a front-page story claiming Jonathan was facing pressure from his loyalists to fire Abba over his handling of recently concluded elections.
Jonathan lost the March presidential vote to Muhammadu Buhari, the first time an incumbent has been defeated at the polls in Nigeria’s history. Past elections had usually been won by rigging, using the police and military to intimidate voters and even write results.
Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) party went further to make huge gains in regional elections, claiming a majority of governorship seats in Nigeria’s 36 states.
“The timing of (Abba’s) sacking, especially a few weeks after a general election in which Jonathan lost, is food for thought,” Debo Adeniran of Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders lobby group, told AFP.
“It is even more intriguing because Abba still has some 10 years to go before retirement,” he added.
Adeniran suggested Abba may have made enemies by refusing “to carry out the bidding of Jonathan and the (ruling) Peoples Democratic Party to rig the election”.
The March vote was praised worldwide for being largely peaceful and credible and there were no significant reports of police misconduct, unlike in past Nigeria elections.
Police spokesman Emmanuel Ojukwu was not immediately available to comment the removal of Abba, who was only appointed in August last year.
Buhari will be sworn in on May 29 and is widely expected to nominate his own choices to fill Nigeria’s top security posts.