The New Inspector-General of Police that Nigeria Needs
Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has a few days to go before he retires, and the country, which has been plagued by so much security challenges, must have a replacement that is befitting.
Adamu was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari on 15 January 2019, replacing Ibrahim Kpotum Idris (rtd).
Before his appointment as IGP, he was an Assistant Inspector-General of Police in Benin City, Edo State and was responsible for the overall management and operations of the NPF Zone 5, comprising Bayelsa, Delta and Edo State police commands. He was picked to be IGP from the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Policies (NIPSS) Kuru, Jos where he was an AIG serving as a directing staff.
His coming stabilized the festering rancor between the Police Force and politicians that characterized the administration of his predecessor, and he was able to achieve a modest peace even though insecurity remained a major national concern in Nigeria, a concern that has occasioned a persistent call from Nigerians for the sacking of all service chiefs.
Whatever Adamu may have achieved needs to be sustained and built upon, while his failures need to be corrected, and the federal government must find an appropriate person to do this.
Among the qualities to be considered are experience, competence, achievements and exposure. These do not come cheaply, and looking at the Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIGs) from whose rank the new IGP may be drawn, the new Police Act which has made the appointment of IGPs a four-year tenurial engagement has knocked a bulk of them off. Most of them have about a year or so to go. The one or two others that have up to four years do not have the requisite operational and administrative competence to man the Force.
Perhaps one could be singled out as meeting the requisite qualities, and the federal government needs to beam its searchlight on the person that appears naturally suited for the post at this time of huge internal security challenges.
If an officer’s history, activities and accomplishments in the Force are worthy of consideration in the appointment of an IGP, then perhaps there is no need to look further than AIG Garba Baba Umar.
AIG Garba Baba Umar passed out of the Police Academy in 1990 and was attached to the Oke Aro Division of the Force in old Ondo State in 1991; was DCO Otun Ekiti in the Old Ondo State in 1992; was O/C D1 State CID Ondo State in 199; DCO/2i/c Divisional Police Headquarters, Argungu in 1993; DCO/2ic Bagudu Divisional Headquarters, Kebbi State in 1993; 2i/c Operations, Department of Operations, Kebbi State in 1995; O/C Monitoring Unit, Murtala Mohammed International Airport in 1995; O/C TARMAC/Presidential Lounge, Murtala Mohammed International Airport in 1998; DCO Murtala Mohammed International Airport in 1998; O/C Operations, Murtala Mohammed International Airport in 2000 and Staff Officer R/F Force Headquarters Annex Lagos in 2000.
He was also Divisional Police Officer (DPO) Ikoyi-Lagos from 2001 to 2005; Commander 19 PMF Squadron, Port Harcourt-Rivers State from 2005 to 2009; Assistant Commissioner of Police, Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Force Criminal Intelligence & Investigation Dept. FHQ, Abuja from 2009 to 2011; Assistant Commissioner of Police (Admin), Police College Kaduna in 201; Director Analytical Tracking & Interception Centre (ATIC) FCIID Abuja from 2011 to 2015; and Assistant Commissioner of Police FCIID Annex, Kaduna in 2015.
Garba Baba has been Director IGP Special Task Force on Terrorism & Heinous Crimes in 2016; Commissioner of Police in-charge of Inspector-General of Police Monitoring Unit, Force Headquarters, Abuja, directly responsible for coordinating a number of sensitive intelligence and operational outfits of Nigeria Police Force, among which were the Technical Intelligence Unit (TIU), Analytical Tracking and Interception (ATIC), Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), IGP Special Task Force on Petroleum Bunkering & Pipeline Vandalism, as well as Inspector-General of Police Special ‘X’-Squad, among other duties and responsibilities from 2016 to 2017.
He was Commissioner of Police, Bauchi State Police Command in 2017; Commissioner of Police, Anambra State Police Command from 2017 to 2019; Commissioner of Police Interpol and Head of National Central Bureau (NCB) from 2019 to 2020; Assistant Inspector-General of Police Interpol and Head National Central Bureau (NCB) Abuja from 2020 to date.
His educational pursuit before and during his service years in the police had taken him around the country.
He obtained his First School Leaving Certificate at Ikara Central Primary School in 1975; Senior School Certificate (SSC) at UPE Zaria (Zaria Teachers College) in 1980; National Certificate in Education (NCE) at College of Education Kafanchan in 1982; Bachelor of Education (Language Arts) B. Ed (LA) at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria in 1985; Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) at the Police Academy Annex Kaduna in 1990; Diploma in Law Criminal Justice Administration (CJA) at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) in 1997; Masters Degree in International Relations and Strategic Studies (MIRSS) at the Lagos State University (LASU) in 2002; and Masters in Law and Criminal Justice (MLC) from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria in 2013.
Garba Baba was documented to have made notable achievements in the course of his carrier as a police officer.
He was the first police officer to recover N398m from armed robbers and returned to the money to the bank intact in Port-Harcourt in 2008; the initiator first director of Analytical Tracking & Interception Centre (ATIC), FCIID Abuja in 2011; and the first director, Inspector-General of Police Special Task-Force on Terrorism & Heinous Crimes that handles all the security agencies’ cases related to Boko Haram (BH) in 2012.
He was also the first police officer to profile Boko Haram suspects and brought into limelight their Modus Operandi, Booklet/Video and consequently arrested the dreaded BH terrorist, Kabiru Sokoto in 2012; the first police officer to put up security template for the 2015 and 2019 General Election which is still being adopted by the Nigeria Police Force; the Officer in Charge of IGP’s monitoring and evaluation of elections from 2016-2019 (General and Isolated Elections); and the first police officer to organize INTERPOL WEEK in the history of INTERPOL.
His international exposure was instrumental when he coordinated the extradition of a fugitive wanted by the EFCC, Abdulrasheed Maina from Niger Republic; facilitated the extradition of the former minister of justice Mohammed Bello Adoke from the United Arab Emirate (UAE); and masterminded the arrest of two suspected fraudsters for defrauding German Company of 14.7 Million Euros for the procurement of COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Garba Baba coordinated the arrest and extradition of Mr. Ding Maoli to China for the offence of fraud and criminal breach of trust in 2019; arrest and extradition of Mr. Perner Peter who is hiding in Nigeria for 20yrs to Austria for the offence of Assault against minor in 2019; arrest and extradition of Mrs Gladdys Igberease to Italy for the offence of Human Trafficking in 2019; arrest and extradition of Mr. Muhamat Muhamat Hassan to Chad for the offence of criminal breach of trust in 2020 and Mr. Asuquo Mbuotider Edem to Ghana for the offence of robbery and raping of British citizens who were on excursion to Ghana in 2020 respectively.
In crime prevention, he prevented Cybercriminals who attempted to infiltrate and compromise the cybers of INEC, CBN, NPF and other financial institutions’ courses, seminars and workshops.
Garba Baba attended several courses, seminars and workshops within and outside Nigeria and belongs to many professional bodies such as International Association of Chiefs of Police of Police (IACP) USA, Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers (NOBLE) USA.
He equally attended Small Arms Trafficking Course in Ilea Budapest, Hungary in 2010; Combating Domestic and Transnational Terrorism Course, Abuja Nigeria (Sponsored by Anti-terrorism assistance program, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, US Department of State) in 2011; 14th Annual International Fugitive Investigators Conference (Organised by Toronto Police Service Fugitive Squad and United States Marshal Service), Toronto Canada in 2012; Integrating Counter Terrorism Strategies at the National Level, Abuja, Nigeria in 2012; Intelligence Support Systems MEA Classroom Training Program for Law Enforcement Agents, Interior Security and Intelligence Analyst Dubai, UAE in 2013; International Seminar on National Security held at Centre for Strategies Studies, Galilee International Management Institute Israel in 2013; 27th Annual Meeting International Police Executive Symposium – Washington DC, USA in 2016; Pre-Assessment Training Workshop on the Revised 40+9 Recommendations and the AML/CFT Methodology, held at the Training and Research Institute (ITR), Karu, Abuja; and International Visitor Leadership program on International Security Issues Organised by the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Washington DC USA.
He had held adhoc posting and responsibilities such as chairman, recovery of government property committee, Kebbi State in 1993; member, presidential task force on airports and seaports decongestion in 1995, member, presidential task force on airport security; chief detail to the committee on the sales of federal government houses in Lagos from 2003 to 2005; chairman, security committee on Rivers State Carnival in 2007; Amirul Hajj, Rivers State & Leader of Rivers State Pilgrims to Saudi Arabia in 2008; chairman, security committee Nigerian team to the World Cup in South Africa in 2010; Chief Detail, Local Organising Committee, Scotland 2013 Olympics.
He was also Head, Security Committee, Russia 2018 World Cup; Security Detail, Olympics Athens Greece 2004; Chairman Security Committee, National Sports Festival Rivers State; Security Advisor, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), and chairman Nigeria Police Football Association.
He successfully manned the security to conduct the most peaceful elections in turbulent states like Rivers, Anambra, Ekiti, Edo and Ondo states.
For most of his achievements in policing engagements, his excellent performances have earned him numerous deserved commendations such as the Role Model Award Mic-Sage Communications Int’l Lagos in 2004; Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria (CRAN), Anti-Crime Award in 2006; Security Watch Africa Award for the Best PMF Squadron Commander (19 PMF Port Harcourt ) in 2007/2008; the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia for the rescue of an Indonesian citizen in 2011; Nigeria Security Matters Award 2017, as most outstanding CP in Nigeria on Election Security; Africa Security Watch Award Ghana in 2018, as “The Outstanding Crime Bursting CP’’; the PAN-African Leadership Transparent Centre, Abuja, as a “Dedicated Servant of Nigeria (DSN); Country Crime Magazine 2020 as Man of The Year Award;
In the course of his duty, he had visited well over twenty countries in different continents of the world, such as Ghana, South-Africa, Ivory-Coast, Togo, Benin Republic, Niger, Senegal Turkey, Saudi-Arabia, United Arab Emirate (UEA), Israel, Spain, United Kingdom (UK) Glasgow-Scotland, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Hungary, Netherland, Morocco, Egypt, United States of America (USA), Geneva-Switzerland, Athens-Greece, France, Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, Pakistan, China, Chile and Singapore.
A counter terrorism expert and intelligence analyst, AIG Garba Baba Umar stands out as the most experienced, most exposed and perhaps the competent police officers Nigeria has today, and not many Nigerians know that he was the brain behind the arrest of alleged international fraudster, Hushpuppi and his accomplice. He was equally the intelligence behind the arrest of notorious Evans the kidnapper, and most other arrests carried out by the Abba Kyari group.
Finally, AIG Garba is the first police officer in Nigeria to receive the prestigious WHO IS WHO Award, and the forth Nigerian to be ever so awarded after former president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and three others.