Tinubu’s team and responsible policing: Frank Mbah as case study

Of all said or not said about the President Bola Tinubu administration, what cannot be disputed about the team that now runs the country are their track record of service, competence and professionalism. Browse the various sectors and segments of the federal government, you will find accomplished men and women in government whose proclivity to academic excellence, hard work, love and patriotism for fatherland are not disputable. 

From the security apparatchik to the various ministries and parastatals, President Tinubu selected an unimpeachable team, which, devoid of the usual hiccups in government, ought to perform and deliver good governance to Nigerians. 

This is a radical departure from the last administration often accused of nepotistic tendencies and manifestations in its operations. But Tinubu’s team has zero tolerance for appointment of senile and half literate individuals whose merit of office was that they knew the president or knew who knew the president. 

Moreso, their appointment did not come as a compensation for what favour they did for the president or any of his relatives. Most of them were not selected on the basis of their party leaning or loyalty. They were selected on merit. They were nominated for their competence, they were hired for their patriotism and unassailable records to serve their country.

In most cases, some of these appointments were not approved by the party leadership and followers but they had to be there anyway on the president’s conviction that the country deserves some onerous and expected service in nation building.

Some of the appointments might have failed to placate the president’s kinsmen and some ethnic proclivities but they needed to be there to help restore the battered economy and the dignity of the Giant of Africa. 

Some members of the Tinubu team fell short of appeasing some elitist club members that the president belonged but they still needed to be there to satisfy the goal of expunging the menace of insecurity which has almost reduced the country to a pariah state.

To President Tinubu, governance must be approached from the dispassionate point of view if it must make the necessary impacts and that is why he brought them from all parts of the country. The president understands that for there to be a remarkable departure from the past, governance must courageously shun pettiness and pedestal inclinations which ruined past administrations.

Tinubu is one president who seemingly understands the power he wields and that if it is not properly managed due to the overbearing influence of friends, fans and relatives, history will not be kind to him in its judgement.

It is in the light of the above that the current Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, was appointed. Egbetokun apparently became the number one police boss in the present administration because of the touch of excellence and professionalism he applied, and still applies, to his job. 

Since he was appointed as the IGP about a year ago, he not only has returned the police on the role of civil protection, his era has ensured that extrajudicial killings that were hitherto the order of the day have been reduced to the barest minimum. 

Egbetokun has acquitted himself as a professional cop whose desire to improve the welfare of officers and rank and file is unquestionable. For the first time in the history of Nigeria’s policing, the police as an institution has become more civil in line with the laws that establishes it. The IGP has also demonstrated fairness in dealing with his colleagues and other Nigerians and there is need to continue on these good developments in the Nigeria Police Force.

The appointment of the next IGP is the exclusive preserve of Mr President. In the twilight of IGP Egbetokun’s career, there is need to maintain the hallmark of professionalism which has come to characterise the Tinubu administration. As Egbetokun’s career inches towards a denouement, there’s the need to shop for the right candidate for the sustenance of excellence spirit which has become the hue of the Tinubu administration.

From the information already in the public domain, it seems President Tinubu does not have to go far in this search. For what he seeks in Sokoto might just be there in his shokoto.  

From available records, there just might be one man who the cap fits having transversed all the posts in the police force. For the sake of clarity, the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Mr Frank Mba has fulfilled all the requirements to succeed Mr Egbetokun. 

For DIG Frank Mba, the last three years has been his best since he joined the Nigeria Police Force. He rose from being a commissioner of police to becoming DIG in less than three years, a feat never to have been achieved by any police officer. His rapid promotion in the police force at the age of 51 places him in poll position to become the Inspector General of Police in the nearest future.

Mba was born in Lagos state, Lagos state 51 years ago and joined the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) in 1992 as a cadet officer. He was trained at the Nigeria Police Academy, Kano, where he finished as the best graduating cadet. He spent seven years as an Inspector before he was promoted in 1999 to an ASP and to a DSP in 2003.

Through commitment and hard work, Mba got promotion to an SP in 2008 after five years and to CSP in 2012. He was promoted to an ACP in 2014 and later to a DCP in 2018. Mba rose to the rank of a CP in December 2020. Three years after, in March 2023, he was decorated as an Assistant Inspector-General of Police. On June 16, 2023, he was promoted DIG.

Mba is an alumnus of the University of Lagos, Akoka, where he obtained his LLB (Law) Degree. He attended the Nigerian Law School, Abuja and won the Justice Kayode Eso’s award for Best Student in Professional Ethics. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2002.

Mba attended the University of Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom in 2005 for his Master’s degree in Law (LLM), graduating with distinction. Mba is also an alumnus of the prestigious FBI National Academy, Quantico – USA. He holds a Certificate in National and International Security from Harvard University, USA.

He is a member of the National Institute (mni), having successfully completed the Senior Executive Course at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos in 2022. He also attended the Oxford Strategic Leadership Programme at the Oxford Business School, University of Oxford, United Kingdom.

A passionate and versatile officer, Mba has worked in many challenging Police Units and Departments in Nigeria, cutting across Investigations, Operations, Administration and Public Relations.

He was Commissioner of Police, Ogun State Command, and the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Border Patrol Force, Department of Operations, Force Headquarters, Abuja.

He was a three-time national spokesman of the NPF and a recipient of the UN Medal, he was a member of the Nigeria Police Contingent to the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Liberia between 2006 and 2007.

Mba had served as the Area Commander in charge of Area ‘J’ Ajah and Area ‘E’ Festac Town, all in Lagos state. He was also an Assistant Commissioner of Police at the State Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Panti-Yaba, Lagos.

He equally served at different times and in different capacities at Zone XI Police Headquarters, Oshogbo; State CID, Umuahia; Special Fraud Unit, Ikoyi – Lagos; Force CID, Annex, Kaduna; amongst others.

He is a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR); Fellow, Chattered Institute of Local Government and Public Administration of Nigeria (CILGPAN); Fellow, Chattered Examiners of Criminology and Forensic Investigation Inc., USA (FCECFI); Member, International Institute of Certified Forensic Investigation Professionals, USA (CFIP); Member, FBI National Academy Associates Inc. (FBINAA); Member, The International Emergency Management Society (TIEMS); among others.

Before his appointment as the DIG in charge of Research and Planning, he served as the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID), Lagos Annex, Alagbon, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Mba is the only DIG from the Eastern part of Nigeria right now. DIG Frank has attended some of the finest Law Enforcement trainings, within and outside Nigeria. 

These include: Countering Violent Extremism and Police Leadership Course at the International Law Enforcement Academy, Roswell, New Mexico, USA (2018); Strategic Leadership and Command Course, Police Staff College, Jos (2017); Crisis and Disaster Management Course, Galilee International Management Institute, Israel (2013); Managing the Media in Crisis Situations, School of Media and Communications, Pan Atlantic University, Lagos (2013); International Visitors Leadership Program on International Crime Issues, Washington DC (2010); General Criminal Investigation Course at the International Law Enforcement Academy, Botswana (2009); Middle Management Course on Global Peace Operations in Vicenza, Italy (2008); amongst others.

Bayo Olumoko writes from Abuja