By Evelyn Usman
LAGOS—THE anticipated change of guard between the Commissioner of Police, CP Imohimi Edgal and his supposed successor, CP Kayode Egbtokun, took a dramatic turn, yesterday, following a directive from Abuja that status quo should be maintained.
Mr. Edgal was expected to handover to his supposed successor, Mr. Egbetokun, yesterday.
As part of the preparation to receive Egbetokun, all Area Commanders, Divisional Police Officers and other Unit Commanders, including the Deputy Commissioners of Police in-charge of Operations, Administration and the State Criminal Investigation, SCI, and Intelligence Department, assembled at the conference hall of the Command as early as 11am, for a formal introduction of Egbetokun, by Edgal.
Drama over change of guard
Journalists, on their part, assembled, waiting for Edgal and Egbetokun to conclude the indoor procedures before the official handover, as earlier reported.
However, at about 1.30 pm, journalists were requested to go to the Commissioner of Police mini conference hall, where they were later joined by Edgal and Egbetokun.
But they were taken aback after what was expected to be a handover speech by Edgal, turned out to be the opposite.
In his brief remark, Edgal, said: “As we were about concluding the handing over procedure, we were instructed from our bosses in Abuja to stop action for now. So, there will be no change of guard for now.
“I am happy and humbled that you find this serious enough for you all to come and see what is happening here. I consider it an honour.”
Also speaking, Mr. Egbetokun said,: “We are government agents and we take directives.”
When news of the suspension of the change of guard reached the conference hall where senior police officers were waiting to be briefed, there was jubilation.
One of Egbetokun’s aides was seen carrying his boss’s seat, which was brought from his former office, into one of the vans.
At about 3.20pm, Egbetokun drove out in his official car which was parked at the designated space for the CP, followed by those of his orderlies.
Moments later, Edgal drove out as well as they were both said to be leaving for Abuja.
Other senior police officers also took turns to leave the premises in their respective cars, declining to speak with journalists on the development.
A signal via the Police wireless message with number TH.5361/FS/FHQ/ABJ/T.6/538 , reverting the posting , showed that it emanated from the new Police boss, Mohammed Adamu.
It read, “ the Inspector-General of Police has reverted the posting of the following Commissioners of Police to command/formation indicated against their names. To CP Lagos State, Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, CP Edgal.
To CP EODFHQ , Abuja, Ag. Commissioner of Police, Kayode Egbetokun Adeolu. Posting is with immediate effect”.
Also a statement by the Lagos State by the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Chike Oti, read, “ The Lagos State Police Command wishes to inform the general public that the Inspector-General of Police, has graciously suspended the planned redeployment of the CP Lagos State, Edgal Imohimi from the command.
The IGP in his wisdom , said the status sqo should be maintained. The CP who is well known for his discipline and respect for orders, was handing over to Mr Kayode Egbetokun yesterday, when he received the directive to suspend the ceremony and await further instructions.
“ While humbled by the decision, the CP wishes to assure the people of Lagos that their safety and security remains his priority”.