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Inspector General of Police to testify on arms procurement


Inspector General of Police to testify on arms procurement

Photo: Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters

Nigeria’s acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Alkali Baba will testify before a government committee investigating claims that funding for arms purchases went missing under past military service chiefs, today.

As the head of Nigeria’s police, the IGP is responsible for deploying personnel and resources. Baba’s appointment on April 6 followed calls for reform in Nigeria’s police forces due to widespread documentation of malpractice and abuse, especially by its Special Anti-Robbery Squads.

The claims of misappropriation were made by Nigerian National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno. It is not the first instance of arms funding-related corruption—in 2015, it emerged that the National Security Adviser’s office embezzled $2 billion meant for procuring arms in Nigeria’s fight against Islamic insurgencies.

Expect Baba to be slow to assist the committee in its inquiry. He has repeatedly attempted to avoid testifying in the first place, initially sending a deputy in his stead. Nigeria’s police force is currently pushing to clean up its practices and improve public relations. For Baba, committing his agency to help the inquiry, instead of hiding behind the excuse of being “new at the job,” would be a strong public demonstration of his intentions to reform Nigerian policing.

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