By Moses Omorogieva
Some security experts and a journalist have commended the posting of DCP Tunde Disu by the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, as the new commander of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), while one expert faulted the action.
In separate interviews with NAN in Lagos on Tuesday, some of the experts said Disu was competent to occupy the position, while one said that the next officer in command to Abba Kyari should have been appointed to the office.
NAN reports that on Monday, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Baba, approved the posting of DCP Tunji Disu as the new Head of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
The is contained in a statement issued by CP Frank Mba, the Police Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters on the heels of police Management’s decision to fill the leadership gap within the IRT and refocus the unit for better service delivery.
NAN reports that IGP Baba had in a statement released by Mba on Aug.1,2021, recommended the immediate suspension of DCP Abba Kyari, who until then was the Head of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), from the Service of the Nigeria Police Force, pending the outcome of an ongoing internal investigations touching on him.
The IGP, in his letter to the Police Service Commission, dated July 31, 2021, noted that the recommendation for the suspension of the officer, was in line with the internal disciplinary processes of the Force.
The IGP noted that the suspension was also expected to create an enabling environment for the NPF Special Investigation Panel (SIP) to carry out its investigations into the weighty allegations against DCP Abba Kyari without interference.
“The SIP, inter alia, is to undertake a detailed review of all the allegations against DCP Abba Kyari by the US Government as contained in relevant documents that have been availed the NPF by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),” Baba said in the statement signed by Mba.
NAN also reports that IGP Baba on Aug. 2, 2021 approved the posting of DCP Tunji Disu as the new Head of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) in a statement signed by Mba.
The statement added that the posting of the officer was on the heels of Management’s decision to fill the leadership gap within the IRT and refocus the Unit for better service delivery.
The IGP then harged the new Head of the IRT to demonstrate his professional competence in his leadership of the Unit. He also assured the citizens that the IRT would remain focused in the discharge of its duties in line with national statutes and international best practices.
An expert in security matters, Mr Segun Musa, said that Disu, his classmate at the School of Post Graduate Studies in Lagos State University some years ago, described Disu as a tested and a trusted officer.
Musa said that Disu had begun to demonstrate his professionalism since his days of working with a former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, till he left the Rapid Response Squad in Lagos.
He said that he could vouch for Disu in the area of competence, but he might not be able to do so in the area of falling a victim of a similar experience that befell Abba Kyari.
“The leadership of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) should make sure that anybody it wanted to appoint into such a sensitive position needs to declare his or her assets and ensure system audit of activities,” he said.
Another security expert,Mr Ikechukwu Nwanguma, said that if someone was good in his or her previous assignments, such a fellow should be acknowledged.
Nwanguma, also the Executive Director, Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC), said that it would be rash or even outright dishonest to say that there are no good men and women in the Nigeria Police.
He said that there were those whose conducts or performances were deserving of praises and commendations.
“I know many good police officers in the NPF. In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, I know DCP Disu, just like many others, as a good cop who is professional minded.
“Indeed there are many officers in the NPF who, in spite of the inhibiting factors, have demonstrated disposition and willingness to rise above the system. Disu did so while he was the Commander of the RRS in Lagos, State,” he said.
Nwanguma wished DCP Disu success and urged him to do his best and to remain at his best and avoid the pitfalls that might discredit him in the discharge of the mandates of the IRT.
“And I believe he will not disappoint,” he said.
He advised him to urge the IGP to disband the current team.
“Disu needs to set up his own team – carefully selected and oriented with new professional standards of operation, that will have zero tolerance for abuse and corruption, ” he advised.
Also, a former President of Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria [CRAN], Mr Christopher Oji, commended Abba Kyari for his dogged war against crime, especially, kidnapping, by putting in his best and applying technology in the fight against crime.
Oji noted that despite his shortfalls, Kyari changed the narratives.
Orji speaking on DCP Tunji Disu’s posting said that the new Commander of IRT was the commander of the Lagos State Rapid Response Squad, therefore, he was not a green horn in the fight against crime.
Oji said Disu also applied technology to track criminals while in RRS, same method as Kyari, except that his area of operations was restricted to Lagos State.
According to him, Lagos is a microcosm of Nigeria: Disu will need additional efforts to succeed in IRT.
“Those who chose him to replace Kyari knew what they did, because he is the right person to replace Kyari. He is a very responsive and proactive officer. His antecedent had shown me as being capable.
“My advice to him is not to jettison Kyari’s innovation. He should leverage it and add more values to it. He should also learn from Kyari’s mistakes and know those that he will associate with.
“For the job, he is good and will not disappoint Nigerians, but he must work out modalities that will help me to checkmate the excesses of his subordinates,” Oji said.
Another security expert, Mr Folorunsho Attah,however, said that the officer next to Abba Kyari should have been appointed to replace the former commander in an acting capacity pending the outcome of the findings of the Special Investgation Panel.