…Says he became a ‘socially-exposed’ police officer, Over-dramatising his ‘exploits’
A security expert, and one-time director of the State Security Service, SSS, Mike Ejiofor, has described as “good riddance to bad rubbish”, the fate that has befallen Abba Kyari, the now suspended Commander of the Inspector General of Police’s Intelligence Response Team, IRT, who was widely celebrated as a “super cop” because of his crime-bursting prowess. Ejiofor, who said he saw the fall of the highly decorated deputy commissioner of police, DCP, coming, described his conduct as “unprofessional” as he “virtually became a socially-exposed police officer”.
Speaking on Wednesday as guest on Channels Television breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, the vice president of the Alumni Association, National Institute of Security Studies, Abuja, accused Kyari of trying to “outshine his master to the point people were now saying he’s the future IG”.
Asked how the intelligence community was taking the news of Kyari being caught in a web of cybercrime and drug deals, Ejiofor lamented that “within the security circle, it’s quite embarrassing; very, very embarrassing. I saw this coming, the fall of Abba Kyari; I saw it coming because some of his antics which people term exploits were over-dramatised. We’ve witnessed this type of thing before and that was in the 80s when we had this Anini saga when the late George Iyamu who was executed through firing squad, carried out such “exploits” too (in quote) – you know, killing armed robbers, displaying their corpses. I think it has come to a point that the police management on their own part gave him the necessary support and all the necessary requirements, technological, and so on, and he now tried to outshine his master to the point people were now saying he’s the future IG; he was celebrated at the National Assembly, you know all those kind of balderdash.
“It is very, very embarrassing and I think it’s a lesson for all of us that people should not be dramatising operations. A situation where, just like we have politically-exposed persons, he virtually became a socially-exposed police officer, filming his operations, dancing on social media. He was on Facebook, he was on Youtube; he was virtually everywhere. That was quite unprofessional, and I think the police too have done well in at least cooperating with the various agencies in handing him over to the NDLEA”.
Reacting to why he could not have been cautioned against such exposure, Ejiofor said “The problem is that, like it is said, who the gods want to destroy, they first make mad. This Abba Kyari has failed to be reined in by the management. I have had occasions too to even call him and he refused to take his calls. You see, some of these our people, including our elite and big men, you put a call across to them, they don’t know why you are calling; they don’t even answer their calls. So, it’s an opportunity for them to look at, examine themselves; you do not owe anybody. So, if you’re a public officer, you must always pick your calls. For me, it’s a source of information for me. I take all my calls, even the ones I don’t know, I return the calls. But because of the shady deals they have, they refuse to take calls”.
Insisting that it was very unprofessional for a serving police officer to be living the kind of life Abba Kyari was living, the former SSS director said “You can see the videos coming out now; we are expecting more. Petitions, I believe, will also come up”.
Commenting on the illegal operations the embattled ‘super cop’ was engaged in with serving police officers said to have been armed, the security expert retorted: “You know that Satan too has his followers. Even if he was on suspension, which I would not hold police management responsible now, so devil has its followers. These people must have been carrying out this illegal operation for a long time. Like it’s said, everyday for the thief, one day for the owner. The cup has filled up now and that is what manifested in this one. So, I don’t know if he was armed, but the police should be able to know whether he was armed. The most important thing is that disciplinary action has been meted to those of them who are younger officers. They were taken to orderly room trial; they are also suspended. And the police service commission, based on the recommendation of the IG, has also suspended Abba Kyari and handed him over properly to the NDLEA to continue their investigation”.
To clear the Augean stable, Ejiofor suggested the need to monitor the lifestyle of serving police officers; to fish out people living above their means. According to him, “I can tell you that we have more police officers who are doing their jobs more creditably than Abba Kyari that have not even been recognized and given the type of publicity given to Abba Kyari. So, for me, he has to face his cross. I think Police management, for now, has been transparent in their process; he has been investigated, and handed over to the NDLEA to complete their investigation. I can tell you that if this is the price we have to pay as a nation to dispense with his services, then it’s good riddance to bad rubbish”.
He also suggested that management of security agencies should do some in-house searching to fish out bad elements who engage in illegal operations and giving the respective services a bad image. He admitted that under his command while in service, he recorded some incidents like that and disciplinary actions were taken against such officers.
Ejiofor said the practice of junior officers making “returns” to their superior officers must stop, either in the Police, Customs, or Immigration. “And what happens is that these people, from the bottom up, make returns to some of these senior officers. So, it’s now inherent on the top management to do things right and stop this issue of returns and posting of officers to what they describe as lucrative positions where they make extra money outside their salaries. You see some of them buying postings. It’s part of the system. It’s not only in the security agencies. Go to ministries; you see inflation of contracts. We need to fight corruption; corruption is the bane of our society and a major problem”.
Above all, he advised all security agencies to set up, maybe in collaboration with State Security Service, “What is called vetting section where you have continuous vetting to look at the continued loyalty and lifestyle of their various officers”, stressing that “It’s only then you can fish out all these characters. Without this, they are no magicians. You must be able to pinpoint how officers conduct themselves in their various services with what we call continuous vetting”. He said it is not difficult to fish out persons living above their means. “You have somebody who has been employed for just one year, or two years. He’s driving an SUV; you know his salary and he’s building houses, marrying wives, his children are in private schools. You cannot justify such means for God’s sake. So, it’s not rocket science. It’s something that is clear to everybody. You call such person to question; how did you get these things? Some of them would say they inherited it from their parents meanwhile their parents had nothing before they joined the service. So, it’s something that has to be continuous”.