There are indications that the Nigerian Police Council may nominate a new Inspector-General of Police by February.
It is unclear if the current Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, will get a tenure extension but unconfirmed sources said his successor may be announced.
The council, which is chaired by the President, comprises the 36 state governors and the Chairman of the Police Service Commission.
Adamu, who is the 20th indigenous police boss, is expected to retire next month when he would clock 35 years in service.
Sources said he had launched a vigorous lobby for tenure extension to enable him to conclude certain reforms in the police but it is still unclear if his bid to secure an extension additional was successful.
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had recently extended the tenure of the Comptroller-General of Immigration, Muhammad Babandede, and the Commandant-General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Muhammadu Gana.
Buhari has been under fire for extending the tenure of the Chiefs of Defence Staff, Army Staff, Naval Staff and Air Force.
It was gathered that the race for the IGP’s successor has begun with some state governors, influential politicians and traditional rulers rooting for their candidates.
A senior official said intense lobby for the new IG has commenced with various interest groups pushing the candidacy of their protégés.
A handful out of about 20 Assistant Inspectors-General of Police are eligible for appointment as the next IG, Sunday PUNCH gathered on Saturday.
A source stated: “The police council always meets confidentially to decide the next IG but a lot of people are already pushing for their candidates; the pressure is high but it is the President’s prerogative to select the IG.
“We have about 20 AIGs but most of them do not qualify under the new Police Act, which stipulates that a candidate for the office of the IG must have at least five years of service.
“We know that AIG Moses Jitiboh (former Chief Personal Security Officer to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan) still has over five years but they are trying to spoil his chances. Apart from him, about four other AIGs from the North also have good chances of being appointed.”
The source disclosed that the IG recently nominated Jitiboh for promotion to DIG in a move to bypass the most eligible AIG.
When asked about the race for the police top office, the Commissioner representing the media on the PSC board, Mr Austin Braimoh, said the commission was not involved in the appointment of the IG, noting that this remained the prerogative of the police council.