The Police Service Commission has transferred the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu, after months of resisting public pressure.
Mbu has been moved to the Federal Capital Territory Command while the Commissioner in charge of the Special Fraud Unit, Johnson Ogunshakin, replaces him in Rivers State, according to a statement from the Police Service Commission on Thursday.
The CP has been at loggerheads with the state government, which had accused the police boss in the state of taking sides in the lingering political crisis in the state.
The state Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, and the All Progressives Congress have insisted on Mbu’s removal, accusing him of partisanship and issuing unconstitutional directives.
Under Mbu’s watch, opponents of the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, had a field day disrupting public events organised by the state government.
Senator Magnus Abe was, a few weeks ago, shot at one of the state organised public events in Port Harcourt, the state’s capital, allegedly by the police.
He was flown to London for treatment and returned to the country only a few days ago.
Mbu has now been redeployed to the Federal Capital Territory as Commissioner of Police.
The PSC said the redeployment was in line with the recommendation of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar.
Also affected by the redeployment, as released by the PSC on Thursday are – Ambrose Aisabo who is now the Commissioner in charge of Kwara State; Felix Uyanya is new Commissioner for Ekiti State and Abdulmajid Ali moves to Imo State as Commissioner.
Similarly, Benjamin Onwuka is new Commissioner of Police in charge of Kebbi State; Ibrahim Maishanu moves to Osun State as Commissioner of Police; Adamu Ibrahim has been moved to Abia.
Adenrele Shinaba moves to Katsina State Command as Commissioner; Umaru Shehu has been moved from Nasarawa to Kaduna as Commissioner of Police and A. J. Abakasanga is now in charge of Adamawa State Command.
Kalafite Adeyemi and Ibrahim Idris have been moved from the Force Headquarters, Abuja to Taraba and Nasarawa States respectively as Commissioners of Police.
Chairman of the PSC, Mike Okiro, admonished the newly redeployed officers to put in their best in their new commands to ensure secure environment for the businesses and lives of the citizenry.
The Police Service Commission on Thursday bowed to pressure by transferring the controversial Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu.
To take over from him is the Commissioner in charge of the Special Fraud Unit, Johnson Ogunsakin.
Mbu was moved to the Federal Capital Territory Command in a transfer exercise that affected 21 other CPs and 13 Deputy Commissioners of Police.
It was widely believed that the All Progressives Congress directive to its members in the National Assembly to block the passage of all Executive bills, including the 2014 budget, might have contributed to Mbu’s redeployment.
The Caucus of the APC in the House welcomed his removal, saying with the development, it was fully ready to participate in the debate on the budget.
Names of 13 CPs affected by the transfer were contained in a statement by the Chief Information Officer, Ferdinand Ekpe. The names of nine other CPs and the 13 DCPs were contained in another statement by the Force Headquarters, Abuja.
The CPs are Ambrose Aisabo, who was transferred to Kwara State; Felix Uyanya, Ekiti; Abdulmajid Ali, Imo; Benjamin Onwuka, Kebbi; Ibrahim Maishanu, Osun ; Adamu Ibrahim, Abia; and Aderenle Shinaba, Kano.
Others are Umaru Shehu, Kaduna; Abakasanga A.J. Adamawa; Kalafite Adeyemi, Taraba; Ibrahim Idris, Nasarawa; Sotonye Wankama, Counter-Terrorism Unit; Kayode Aderanti, Western Port of Lagos; Sylvester Umeh, Commandant, Police College; and Danladi Mshelbwala, Bomb Disposal Squad.
Also affected by the transfer are Godfrey Okeke, who is now the Deputy Commandant, Police Staff College, Jos; Mohammed Mohammed, Deputy Force Secretary; Agboola Oshodi-Glover, Info-tech; Chintua Amajor-Onu, Homicide,FHQ; and Salisu Abdullahi, Federal Investigations Bureau.
Before Mbu’s transfer, Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, and the APC had insisted on his removal for alleged partisanship.
The state government had also instituted a legal action against the PSC and the Inspector-General of Police, asking for Mbu’s redeployment . It also sent a petition against him to the National Human Rights Commission.
But the PSC had refused to redeploy Mbu on the grounds that it did not want to pre-empt the court.
The APC lawmakers however welcomed Mbu’s redeployment, saying it showed that their party had made “real impact” by forcing the Federal Government to allow the rule of law to prevail in Rivers State.
They recalled that the political crisis was the reason the APC directed them to “block” all executive proposals by Jonathan.
“We have been vindicated that there are more than one way to skin a cat. As a party, we have been vindicated,” the Minority Leader of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, said in Abuja.
Gbajabiamila, who described the redeployment as a sign of victory for the APC, added that members of the caucus would now debate the 2014 budget.
The caucus had on Tuesday stalled the debate on the budget, using alleged “breach” of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 as an excuse.
The Interim National Publicity Secretary of the party, Lai Mohammed, however, declined to comment on the development.
The Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Ibim Semenitari, described the development as a routine exercise by the Police.
Semenitari explained that the government was in support of a police force that would play its roles to the benefit of Nigerians.
The Save Rivers Movement, a group that had its members and supporters dispersed on several occasions by the police in the state, described Mbu’s redeployment as a welcome development.
Its President, Charles Ahorlu, called on the new CP to perform his duties without bias.
“It (Mbu’s redeployment) is a welcome development because as the state police commissioner in Rivers, he showed that he was partisan. Our advice to the police commissioner that will replace him is that he should shun politics and be professional in carrying out his duties,” Ahorlu said.