Despite the efforts by the Buhari administration to stamp out corruption from Nigeria, some bad elements within the system are still working with the old order to entrench corrupt practices in the country.
This reporter is talking of the high level of corruption currently rocking the Office of the Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris; a man who ought to be complimenting and enforcing President Buhari’s efforts in eradicating corruption in Nigeria, but the reverse is the case as the office of the IGP has become the home of corruption.
Last month, it was the case of the Inspector-General of Police embezzling the sum of N120 billion annually from the Police Internally Generated Revenue as alleged by Senator Isa Misau.
This month, the IGP has shown that he is truly working against President Buhari’s fight against corruption by cutting deals that are against Buhari’s public governance position.
For Instance, a Lagos based businessman, Mr. Austine Ugochukwu Albert recently alleged that the Inspector General of Police accepted some bribe to compromise the case of fraud he lodged before the Police.
In a press conference with newsmen in Abuja, Mr. Albert said that hewas defrauded of the sum of $1m by a fraud syndicate led by one Mr. Tony Bakare Akala.
According to Mr. Albert, he was defrauded of this huge sum of money by Hon. Tony Bakare, Saidi Oke, Bashir Mohammed, Alhaji Umar Ali and Dr. Cyriacus Anyanwu on phony transactions.
But instead of investigating the matter to a logical conclusion, the IGP decided to treat it as business as usual thereby raising doubt about President Buhari’s commitment to the fight against corruption.
For instance, the case of Mr. Albert was initially given to the Area J Command in Lagos to investigate, but while the command was making some progress, the IGP suddenly ordered that the case be transferred from Area J Command to the Monitoring Unit in his Office at the Force Headquarters in Abuja.
At the IGP Monitoring Unit the Officers compromised the case in favor of the suspected fraudsters but when they noticed that their unlawful activities would be exposed, they hurriedly charged the suspected fraudsters to a Magistrate Court even though they were fully aware that the Magistrate Court has no jurisdiction to try such matters.
According to Mr. Albert: ”Through my effort and that of my lawyers, the matter was reassigned to the Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB) headed by DCP Yari for Investigation.”
He noted that the FIB acted professionally and within weeks, the suspected fraudsters were arrested and a court order was subsequently obtained from the Federal High Court to have them detained until investigation is concluded.
He further alleged that the sum of $100, 000 was offered as bribe to the head of the Force Intelligence Bureau but he turned it down and went after the suspects that offered the bribe and recovered the sum of $20, 000 meant to form part of the bribe money.
Because of the incorruptible actions of the head of the FIB, he was recommended by the IG of Police to be promoted to the office of a Police Commissioner.
But to the greatest surprise of Mr. Albert, when he visited the Force Intelligent Bureau last week, he was informed that Mr. Tony Bakare who was in detention was boasting that since the head of the FIB was too strict and refused to play ball with him, he has offered the bribe to the IGP and that his case file would be removed from the department.
However, in less than 24 hours, the IGP sent a signal that the case file be transferred back to the IG Monitoring Team, which was the same unit that compromised on the case earlier and that the head of the FIB be transferred and punished. It was later learnt that the IGP was offered a bribe of $200, 000 through an inspector closely working with him in his office.
The suspects wanted to offer the same bribe to the Chairman, Police Service Commission, but after looking at the facts of the matter, he declined and encouraged the investigating Police officers to continue their job.
Right now, the hope of getting justice for Mr. Albert is very slim as his entire fortunes and that of his partners are on the line.
Sensing of what may be his fate, Mr. Albert sought the assistance of the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami who arranged a meeting between him and the IGP, but when Mr.Albert went to meet the IG, he ignored him as he kept him waiting from 11am to 12:30 in the midnight without seeing him. His lawyers have since petitioned President Buhari and the PSC Chairman.
This however called to question, the commitments of the IG to Buhari’s fight against corruption as report indicates that 95 percent of total case transfer in NPF are at the instance of suspects instead of complainants not to talk of how the IGP Special Task Force and IGP Monitoring unit have become conduit pipes for corruption and self-enrichment of the IGP.
By Tunde Olaitan
Brown Justice reports from Abuja