Ibrahim Idris, Inspector General of Police, has ordered the immediate withdrawal of police officers attached to politicians, rich and powerful private citizens and other Very Important Persons (VIPs).
Idris gave the order on Monday at a meeting with commissioners of police and assistant inspectors general of police at the police headquarters.
Speaking to newsmen after the meeting, Abayomi Shogunle, Head of the Police Public Complaints Unit, said private financial institutions were excluded from the order.
“The IG asked the commissioners to go back to their states and withdraw the police officers from private individuals and companies,” Sogunle said.
“After that, the commissioners would start accepting applications for protection and examine individuals cases to see who has serious security threat that could warrant being granted police protection in their states.”
Sogunle said Idris’ order would be implemented in full, unlike similar directives by past IGPs which were never carried out.
He explained that Idris had written President Muhammadu Buhari, asking him “to approve the categories of public officials who would be entitled to police orderlies”. Only those approved by the President would be entitled to personal police protection, he added.
Mike Okiro, Chairman of the Police Service Commission and former IGP, had said during an interview that 150,000 out of a total of about 400,000 police personnel, were attached to private individuals.
Also, last year, Isah Misau, a member of the Senate, accused Idris of pocketing billions of naira annually in bribes collected from big companies and wealthy individuals in order to provide them with police escorts.
Misau is currently facing libel charges filed against him by the office of the attorney general of the federation, following the allegations.