Joe Omokaro; Sulaiman Fasasi
Lagos / Abeokuta – The integrity of Police Commissioner, Edgar Imohinmi, appears to be at stake as Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, has reportedly rejected him as the state Police Commissioner.
Imohinmi was among some CPs recently deployed about two weeks ago to state commands by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu.
Their deployment was sequel to the elevation of 13 CPs, some of whom headed state commands.
For instance, Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Zubairu Muazu was CP in charge of Lagos State Police Command, and acting CP Azeez Odumosu was deployed to take over Lagos Command from him.
Edgar was once Lagos State CP when Akinwumi Ambode was governor of the state. It is believed that Edgar and Ambode were secondary school classmates in old Bendel State.
Edgar was deployed to Ogun State while CP Kenneth Ebrimson was deployed to Akwa Ibom State.
Investigations by Daily Independent have revealed that they were course mates to the IGP.
Further investigations revealed that last week Edgar assumed duties in Ogun State, while Kenneth assumed duties on Wednesday in Akwa Ibom State.
But soon after Edgar assumed duties, Governor Abiodun was said to have put a call to IGP Adamu complaining that he would not be able to work peacefully with Edgar.
The IGP was said to have promptly redeployed Edgar to Akwa Ibom State to replace Kenneth, who was redeployed to Ogun State.
However, it has been reliably learnt that Akwa Ibom State governor, Emmanuel Udom, has also rejected Edgar.
Kenneth, according to sources, has not yet handed over to Edgar as at the time of filing in this story.
A source in Ogun State on Monday hinted that Edgar was rejected by Governor Abiodun possibly because the energetic police officer was never favoured by some power blocs in Ogun State.
The politics of the appointment, it was gathered, started immediately after the former commissioner in the state, Bashir Makama, was elevated to the position of Assistant Inspector General of Police.
The source further hinted that the former Police Commissioner in the state who is now the AIG in zone II, Ahmed Iliyasu, was also caught in the web of the politics as the powers-that-be in both Lagos and Ogun states did not favour his deployment to zone II.
He was accused of being too loyal to former Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, under whom he served as CP, and especially for his alleged role during the presidential campaign of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state where President Muhammadu Buhari narrowly escaped missile attack from alleged angry political thugs.
It was gathered that the politicians were so much on the neck of the IGP that he had to deploy the newly promoted AIGs to zones before they were decorated, according to him, as against the normal practice of deployment in the police.
The source further revealed that the power blocs in Ogun State opted for Hakeem Odumosun but he was later posted to Lagos State by the IGP.
Daily Independent further gathered that Governor Abiodun said he could not work with Edgar as the chief security officer of the state, even though he gave no reasons.
Governor Abiodun, who was reportedly outside the country as at the time of the deployment, was allegedly contacted by his aides on Edgar’s deployment.
Another ‘sin’ of Edgar, it was gathered, was the manner he took over the leadership of the Police Command without proper handing over by the erstwhile commissioner in the state, Makama, who was said to be away in Bayelsa State for election duties.
It would also be recalled that immediately he resumed office, Edgar ordered the cancellation of leave permits granted to deserving police officers, insisting that all must resume their duties for headcount except those on emergencies.
He was also reported to have had confrontation with some senior police officers, a development which reportedly angered many senior police officers in the state, who – alongside some politicians – allegedly worked for his redeployment from the state.
When contacted, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Abiodun, Kunle Somorin, said the redeployment was news to him as he was on the verge of arranging a meeting between the governor and the new police boss through the Office of the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO).
When also contacted, Force Police Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, confirmed the redeployment, adding that there was no political colouration to the action of the police but that it was purely an operational need.
Frank said: “As far as the police is concerned, posting or deployment of senior police officers is not predicated on political considerations or any form of primordial sentiments.
“Posting is essentially a function of operational need and in this instant case, the redeployment of the officer is purely a routine and operational decision.”
When asked if the operational need was not considered five days before the posting of Edgar, Frank said: “Operational landscape can change very quickly and, as they change, you need to adjust to the change equally.
“If you understand policing, you will understand that policing operational landscape can alter very quickly and responsive leadership equally implies that you respond to the changes immediately.”