…only six CPs out of 95
The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, Intersociety, has rejected the allocation of zero Deputy Inspector General of Police, DIGs, and Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIGs, to the South East region in the present arrangement. The group also decried that the allocation of only six Commissioners of Police, CPs, to the zone out of about ninety-five serving CPs in Nigeria Police force.
Intersociety is insisting that out of seven DIGs who head seven key department of the NPF, South East must be given at least one DIG. The group also said that the South East region should also be entitled to two Police Zonal Command AIGs, “out of the country’s 12 and minimum of four and maximum of five AIGs out of about 20-22 serving Police AIGs.
In the area of serving CPs, presently numbering about 95, the South East according to the group in a statement issued on Sunday, must be given at least 15 CPs and not less than six State Command Commissioners of Police. The statement stressed that the allocation of only six CPs and one Acting CP, including a retiring CP is not only rejected but also undermines the equity and fairness inherent in the six geopolitical zonal arrangement.
Chairman of the Board of Intersociety, Emeka Umeagbalasi disclosed that “presently there are no serving Igbo senior police officers in the top ranks of DIG and AIG in Nigeria. He said the South East is presently not a member of the Nigeria Police Management Team (PMT), which is composed of serving IGP, seven DIGs and AIGs numbering not less than 20.
He said going by Section 14 (3) of the 1999 Constitution and the equity principles of regional representation and national integration, the Police Service Commission is tasked to ensure non exclusion of any geopolitical zone in the ranking and promotion of senior police officers and assignment of duties to them.
“Contrarily, as it stands presently, the authorities of PSC and the NPF are observing the referenced constitutional provision and principles in gross breach; by deliberately and hatefully excluding, if not erasing names of senior Igbo police officers from such sensitive positions.
“For instance, it is factually authoritative that DIG Godwin C. Nwobodo from Aninri, Enugu State; with police appointment number (AP 24188) has retired since 12th August 2019 without replacement. Until his retirement, he was a member of the Nigeria Police Management Team, representing Southeast Zone and DIG in charge of Department of Information & Communication Technology (ICT) at Force Headquarters. Former CP, but now retired AIG Chris Okey Ezike (AP 24182) from Ogboji, Anambra State was the only serving Igbo AIG as at March 2019, out of 20 serving AIGs then. He later retired in the same March without replacement on 19th March 2019. That is also to further say that no senior police officer from the Southeast or Igbo Land is among the heads of 12 Police Zonal Commands in Nigeria, headed by AIGs.
The statement further noted that in all these, it is not as if no promotion exercise had taken place since then. He disclosed that there was a promotion exercise held on 31st March 2019 by the authorities of the Police Service Commission at its 5th Plenary Meeting that took place on 26th and 27th March 2019.
“During the promotion exercise involving promotion of ‘8,916 senior police officers to their next substantive ranks to fill existing vacancies’, no senior Igbo police officer was among those promoted to the rank of AIG. This is despite the fact that three CPs (Jona Jackson Mava, Olusola Babajide David and Titus Sumba Larmode) were elevated to AIG while two (Rudolf Echebi Obe) and Danladi B. Lalas) got confirmed as substantive CPs.
He observed that apart from targeting to promote Igbo senior police officers to their next substantive ranks only at the twilight of their statutory retirements, that there are presently only six serving Igbo Commissioners of Police and one acting CP in Nigeria, out of 95 serving CPs.
“CP Damian Agba Chukwu (AP24247) from Owerri in Imo State, has since retired without replacement on 31st April 2019; likewise, CP Onyegoro Ebere Chijioke (AP25157) from Owerri, Imo State who retired without replacement since 25th May 2019. Another Igbo CP, Damian Nkem (AP21914) from Owerri, Imo State also retired without replacement since 2nd April 2019.
“As it stands now, there are only six serving substantive Igbo Commissioners of Police and one acting CP in Nigeria. Among them are CP Celestine Okoye (AP25102) from Awka-Anambra State, retires on 22nd Dec 2020, CP Joseph O. Egbunike (AP30427) from Onitsha-Anambra State, retires on 4th June 2022, CP John Ogbonnaya Amadi (AP36551) from Afikpo North in Ebonyi State, retire on 6th June 2023, CP Alex C. Opara (AP24154) from Owerre North in Imo State, retires on 31st Dec 2019, CP Uche J. Anozie (AP13780) from Oguta-Imo State, retires on 19th Sept 2020 and CP Cyril I. Okoro (AP25065) from Ideato-Imo State, retires on 1st Feb 2021. The only Igbo woman acting CP is Acting CP Josephine Nneka Anyasinti (AP36535) from Njikoka-Anambra State, retires on 27th Dec 2022. This number of CPs allotted to the Southeast is totally rejected. The Region is short-changed by at least eight CPs, as it is entitled to not less than 15. This is more so when CP Alex C. Opara is retiring in four months’ time or on 31st Dec 2019.