There is no doubt that President Mahammadu Buhari appointed Mr Ibrahim Idris as Inspector General of Police to assist him wage the war against corruption which is also one of the President’s three points agenda during his electioneering campaigns, but in what looked like a deliberate, calculated and sustained efforts by the embattled IGP to stonewall the President’s anti-corruption fight and ridicule his integrity before other world leaders, the IGP has demonstrated in practical terms his hidden agenda in thwarting the President’s anti-corruption posture.
Apart from several corruption scandals rocking the Office of the Inspector-General of Police, the most obvious and undeniable confirmation of the suspicion that IGP Idris is working hand in glove with President Buhari’s enemies to jeopardize his anti-corruption war is the recent refusal by the IGP to honour a request made by the Presidency through a letter dated September 21, 2017 requesting for incorruptible and fearless police officers to serve on the Special Presidential Panel for the Recovery of Public Property.
But in an open disregard to the Presidency which amounts to insubordination, the IGP refused to release the officers because of their refusal to compromise on a case of $1 million fraud involving some high profile fraudsters who allegedly duped Mr. Austin Ugochukwu, a Lagos based businessman of his hard earned money.
In providing diversionary explanation to why the IGP blatantly ignored the Vice President’s directive on releasing the affected officers for the special assignment as requested by the Presidency, the Nigeria Police Force through its spokesman, CSP Moshood Jimoh said: ”The police did not defy the directive of the Vice President to release any police officer to the Special Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property. We did not shun the Vice President because one of the Officers a DCP was under investigation for failure to release the sum of $20, 000 exhibit money in his custody in a different matter which he investigated and the case was terminated by the Attorney-General of the Federation through the Office of the DPP.”
But investigations conducted by this reporter showed that the Force Public Relations Officer was not only economical with the truth, but he also ‘murdered justice’ and embarked on destructive blackmail against DCP Lafia so as to cover his unpardonable sin against the Presidency.
Our investigation showed that the Force spokesman manipulated the truth of the matter against DCP Lafia without narrating the entire story. The original report showed that a case of misappropriation and diversion of public funds to the tune N2.4 billion by some past and
present government officials of Akwa Ibom State was reported to the Police Intelligence Bureau by a whistle blower and it was successfully investigated. Subsequently, the funds were frozen in a first generation bank and the suspects were apprehended as they also confessed to commiting the crime using companies and proxies to conceal their criminal acts.
While the case was under investigation, under the supervision of DCP Abduyari Lafia, one Alhaji Abubakar who is believed to be a very close friend of IGP Idris went and negotiated with a certain lady without DCP Lafia’s knowledge or the Bureau he supervises for the bail of the suspect for the sum of $100, 000 and he was given a part payment of $40, 000 which he lied was to be given to DCP Lafia.
When the matter was brought to the notice of DCP Lafia, he ordered for the arrest of the said Alhaji Abubakar widely seen in police circle as untouchable because of the cozy relationship between him and the IGP. It was in the course of the investigation that Alhaji Abubakar seen as IGP’s friend confessed to committing the crime to the operatives of the FIB who recovered $20, 000 out the $40, 000 given to him by the said lady. He further claimed that the remaining $20, 000 was not given to DCP Lafia but was given to one Alhaji Awwalu who procured his services as a-go-between in offering the bribe.
Contrary to claims by CSP Jimoh on DCP Lafia, it was the DCP that instructed the IPO to invite the lady in question to the station to enable operatives obtain her statement for subsequent arraignment of the two suspects in the court for offering gratification to a public officer.
When the pressure associated with the case became too intense, Alhaji Abubakar ran to the IGP for protection where he got it undeservedly.
Concerning the issue of incompetence and unprofessionalism in which CSP Moshood Jimoh raised using innuendo in his press statement, our surgical investigation further revealed that DCP Lafia is one of the finest and most reliable police officer who is very competent and very professional in his conducts at all times. According to a Lawyer handling the matter, Barrister Ezekiel Ugochukwu, he said the case of N2.4 billion fraud involving some Akwa Ibom state government officials
proved the incorruptibility of DCP Lafia beyond every reasonable doubt because he conscientiously rejected the sum of N300 million bribe offered to him to kill the investigation. The same incorruptible character was displayed by the DCP in another $100, 000 bribe money offered him by some unnamed politicians to kill a case which the DCP refused again and insisted that justice should run its full course.
Further investigations also confirmed that the professional competence and incorruptible nature of the DCP is unquestionable as his professional conducts are impeccable. The source added, ‘This is an officer who turned down a bribe offer of N10 million in a case of
unlawful possession of prohibited firearms where operatives of the Force Intelligence Bureau FIB under his command recovered seven Magnum guns.’ This singular feat according to the source earned the DCP and FCIID great commendation from former President Olusegun Obasanjo who placed a call through retired DIG Akano and commended DCP Lafia’s professionalism and that of the FCIID.
The source further stated that the IGP was only victimising DCP Lafia because of his refusal to compromise several cases in which the IGP wanted him to compromise. He said that was why the same IGP who gave directive to DIG Hycent Dagala to recommend him for a special promotion from the rank of the Deputy Commissioner of Police to the
rank of the Commissioner of Police which the IGP approved and forwarded to the Police Service Commission for consideration on the ground of DCP Lafia’s discipline, professionalism and incorruptibility was withdrawn only because he failed to compromise in the case of N2.4Billion and $1million involving high profile government officials, Politicians and fraudsters at the expense of Buhari’s fight against corruption.
However, a source in the office of the IGP told this reporter that the IGP has concluded plans to constitute a kangaroo panel to investigate all cases handled by DCP Lafia with a strict mandate of indicting him and rubbishing his hard earned reputation built over the years.
According to the source, PSO Umar Abdulbagi was assigned the responsibility of mopping up real, unreal and fictitious complainants to come forward and put up allegations of bribery against DCP Lafia to enable the IGP doctor the investigation report to tarnished or impinge on DCP Lafia’s integrity and incorruptibility with a pre-determined goal of suspending and dismissing him from the Nigeria Police Force.
The source who is sympathetic to the ordeals of DCP Lafia said all these punishments were coming simply because the fine officer refused to compromise on a case the IGP wanted him to thrash out which would have caused the Buhari administration great embarrassment before the international community.
With various evidence showing the IGP working against the Buhari’s fight against corruption making headlines on the pages of newspapers everyday, Nigerians are wondering why IGP is still left on the job to continue his stone walling activities.
In any case, the chief custodian of law and order in Nigeria is the Attorney-General of the Federation, while the chief enforcer of law and order in the country is the Inspector-General of Police, but whereby IGP Idris appears to be aiding and abetting corruption as seen in the extant cases, then if found to be true, IGP Idris is not fit to occupy the office as his actions constitute a clog in the wheels of Buhari’s avowed fight against corruption.
Ebiowei Dickson files this investigative report from Yenagoa