The President’s threat to sack the Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Ringim has eventually been carried out. Ringim’s trouble began when Kabir Sokoto, the main suspect in the bombing that killed scores of people in a church in Niger State last Christmas escaped from police custody in questionable circumstances. The President had made it known to Ringim that failure to produce the suspect last week or be relieved of his position. The suspect has however not been found as of the time of filing this report. Hafiz Ringim and 7 Deputy Inspectors- General were compelled to resign on Wednesday afternoon. The DIGs are Mrs. Ivy Okoronkwo, Second in Command (2i/c); Mr. Azubuko Udah DIG “A” (Administration); Audu Abubakar DIG “B” (Operations); Saleh Abubakar DIG “C” (Logistics and Supply); Alhaji Sardauna Abubakar DIG “E” (Training); and Mohammed Yesufu DIG “F” (Management Services).
Zakari Biu the CP in charge of Zone 7 too got into trouble as he was the one that ordered that the suspect be taken to his Abaji residence to conduct a search. It was on the way to Abaji that Sokoto was allegedly ferried away by Boko Haram sect members.
The fact that the Zakari Biu and Kabir Sokoto both hail from Biu in Borno State fuelled suspicion. Biu and the Inspector General also happened to be course mates in their younger days as police officers.
The AIG in charge of Zone 12, MD Abubakar has been appointed to act as the Inspector General. Before he became the nation’s number one cop, Abubakar, who was born in Gusau, Zamfara State on May 5, 1958 joined the Nigerian Police Force on July 30, 1979 and is due for retirement on July 30, 2014. He became the AIG in charge of Zone 12, Bauchi on November 15, 2011.
Street Journal’s findings have however shown that the new IG was recommended for retirement in 2001 by a panel headed by Justice Niki Tobi. The recommendation was in view of his alleged role in the crisis that rocked the city of Jos when he served there. He was alleged to have supported fanatical Muslims who perpetrated violence. The panel which was constituted in September 2001 by Joshua Dariye, the then Governor of Plateau State on the Jos crisis recommended the retirement of MD Abubakar from the Police Force.
In a White Paper released in Jos, the panel suggested that if Abubakar refuses to retire, should be dismissed. Part of the panel’s submission goes thus: “Religious fanatics should not be posted to head state police commands. The commission recommends that for his ignoble role during the September 2001 crisis which resulted in the loss of lives, the former Commissioner of Police, Plateau State Command, Alhaji M.D. Abubakar, be advised to retire from the Nigeria Police Force and in the event of his refusal to do so, he should be dismissed from the service.”
Street Journal’s investigations revealed that Hafiz Ringim, being aware of what awaited him started moving his properties out of his official residence in Maitama, Abuja last week. Trucks belonging to the Nigeria Police Force were seen moving personal effects out of the place to his personal house within the Federal Capital Territory.