This position of inspector General of Police holds significant importance as it is responsible for overseeing law enforcement and maintaining public safety throughout the country.
This article aims to provide a comprehensive list of all the Inspector Generals of Police who have served the nation since the advent of democracy.
1. Musiliu Smith (1999 – 2002)
In May 1999, Alhaji Musiliu Adeola Kunbi Smith became the first Inspector General of Police in Nigeria during the transition to democracy.
He held this position until March 2002, when he retired due to a police strike. Smith was born on April 17, 1946.
During his tenure, he played a crucial role in the country’s law enforcement system. Smith’s leadership brought about significant changes and improvements in the police force.
2. Mustafa Adebayo Balogun (2002 – 2005)
Mustafa Adebayo Balogun, also known as Kumawu, was a Nigerian police officer. He served as the 11th Inspector General of Police from March 2002.
However, due to widespread allegations of corruption, he was compelled to retire in January 2005. He passed away on August 4, 2022.
During the April 2003 national elections, he oversaw police security. However, there were reports of police abuses during that time.
In August 2003, Balogun discussed ways to improve Nigeria’s electoral violence and national security.
He suggested measures like national identity cards, mass education, reforms in electoral laws, citizen participation in politics, good governance, and the creation of a constitutional court.
3. Sunday Ehindero (2005 – 2007)
Sunday Gabriel Ehindero served as the Inspector General of the Nigeria Police Force from 2005 to 2007.
He hails from Oyin-Akoko in Ondo State. Born in Jos, Plateau State, he is one of 14 siblings who are still alive.
He is proficient in Yoruba, Hausa, and English languages. Apart from being an accomplished author, he presently practices law in his own firm.
Serving in this esteemed position, he played a crucial role in maintaining law and order in Nigeria. Ehindero’s tenure as Inspector General of Police was marked by his commitment to upholding justice and ensuring the safety of citizens.
4. Mike Mbama Okiro (2007 – 2009)
Following Sunday Ehindero, Mike Okiro assumed the role of Inspector General of Police and held the position from 2007 to 2009.
Sir Mike Mbama Okiro served as the Inspector General of the Nigeria Police Force from 2007 to 2009. He was born on July 24, 1949, in Oguta, Imo State, and is from Egbema in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State.
He holds the title of Agunechemba I of Egbema and is the first ethnic Igbo from Nigeria to become Police Inspector General.
On May 8, 2013, President Goodluck Jonathan nominated Okiro to be the chairman of the Police Service Commission.
His appointment was confirmed by Senate President David Mark after a Senate confirmation hearing.
5. Ogbonna Okechukwu Onovo (2009 – 2010)
Ogbonna Okechukwu Onovo, born on 7 February 1953, was the Inspector General of the Nigerian Police (IGP) from July 2009 to September 2010. He became IGP after Mike Mbama Okiro retired.
Ogbonna Okechukwu Onovo became the acting Inspector General of Police in July 2009, promising to continue the previous administration’s efforts.
He aimed to reduce crime by implementing new strategies and motivating the police force. In August 2009, he limited the tenure of aide de camps attached to governors and political office holders to three years before returning to the force.
He also deployed mobile police officers to combat kidnapping in Anambra State and the South East region.
During this time, the extremist group Boko Haram attacked police stations in Northern Nigeria, resulting in the capture and death of their leader, Mohammed Yusuf, while in police custody.
Onovo called the Commissioners of Police in the North East to explain their involvement.
In September 2009, Onovo honored the 20 police officers who died while maintaining order by declaring them “National Heroes” and compensating their families.
6. Hafiz Ringim (2010 – 2012)
Hafiz Ringim, a Nigerian Policeman, served as the Inspector General of Police. He took office in 2010, succeeding Ogbonna Okechukwu Onovo, and was later succeeded by Mohammed Dikko Abubakar in 2012.
During his tenure, Ringim made significant contributions to the Nigerian police force, implementing various initiatives to enhance public safety and maintain law and order. His commitment to upholding justice and ensuring the security of the nation has been widely recognized.
7. Mohammed Dikko Abubakar (2012 – 2014)
Mohammed Dikko Abubakar, a retired Nigerian Policeman and former Inspector General of Police, served from 2012 to 2014.
He is currently the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Council at Al-Hikma University, Ilorin, and also the President of the Alumni Association of the National Institute (AANI).
Abubakar was born in Gusau, a city in Sokoto State, now the capital of Zamfara State. He comes from a large family, and his father is an Islamic scholar and farmer.
8. Suleiman Abba (2014 – 2015)
Suleiman Abba, born on March 22, 1959, is a retired Nigerian police officer. He held the position of the 17th Inspector General of the Nigerian Police.
Appointed as acting IGP on August 1, 2014, by President Goodluck Jonathan, he was later confirmed as the substantive IGP on November 4, 2014. Prior to this, Abba served as the Assistant Inspector-General in Charge of Zone 7, Abuja.
On April 21, 2015, he was sacked due to noticeable indiscipline in the Nigerian Police Force leading up to the 2015 general election.
Abba was born in Gwaram, Jigawa State, Northwestern Nigeria. He joined the Nigerian police in December 1984 and steadily climbed the ranks, reaching the position of AIG in February 2012.
During his time in the police service, Abba held various roles. He served as the Commissioner of Police in Lagos and Rivers States and also as the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 7 Abuja.
Additionally, he worked as the Aide-De-Camp (ADC) to Maryam Abacha, the spouse of Nigeria’s former military leader, Sani Abacha.
9. Solomon Arase (2015-2016)
Solomon Ehigiator Arase, born on June 21, 1956, is a retired Nigerian police officer. Currently, he serves as the Chairman of the Nigeria Police Service Commission, a position he was appointed to in January 2023 by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Before becoming IGP, Arase held the position of the head of the Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Bureau, the highest intelligence gathering unit within the Nigerian police force.
Arase was born in Owan West Local Government, Edo State, in Southern Nigeria. He joined the Nigerian Police on December 1, 1981, one year after his birth.
In October 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari bestowed upon Arase the Nigerian national honor of Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR).
10. Ibrahim Kpotun Idris (2016-2019)
Ibrahim Idris Kpotun, born on January 15, 1959, is a Nigerian police officer who served as the Inspector General of Police. He succeeded Solomon Arase, who retired on June 21, 2016.
Idris is from Kutigi, Lavun in Niger State, and joined the Nigerian Police Force in 1984. Before his appointment, he held the position of Assistant Inspector General of Police (Operations) at FHQ Abuja.
He also served as the leader of the Police Mobile Force and held commanding positions in Kano State and Nasarawa State police commands in Nigeria, with the rank of Commissioner of Police.
11. Mohammed Adamu (2019-2021)
Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, born on September 17, 1961, is a retired Nigerian police officer. He served as the 20th Inspector-General of Police in Nigeria, appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari on January 15, 2019.
He replaced Ibrahim Kpotun Idris of Niger State. Adamu is from Lafia, Nasarawa State. He was succeeded by Usman Alkali Baba on April 6, 2021.
Adamu joined the Nigerian Police Force in 1986. Prior to becoming the Inspector-General of Police, he held the position of Assistant Inspector-General of Police in Benin City, Edo State.
In that role, he oversaw the management and operations of the NPF Zone 5, which includes Bayelsa, Delta, and Edo State police commands.
12. Usman Alkali Baba (2021- 2023)
Usman Alkali Baba CFR was born on 1 March 1963 and is currently the 21st Inspector General of Police in Nigeria.
He was chosen by President Muhammadu Buhari to take over from Mohammed Adamu, who retired from the Nigeria Police Force in February 2021. On 4 June 2021, the Police Council confirmed Alkali Usman Baba’s appointment as the Inspector General of Police.
Baba was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari on 6 April 2021 to replace Mohammed Adamu, who retired from the Nigeria Police Force in February 2021.
Before becoming the Inspector General of Police, Baba served as the Deputy Inspector General of Police at the Force Criminal Investigation Department at the Force Headquarters.
13. Kayode Egbetokun (Present)
Kayode Egbetokun, a Nigerian police officer, is currently serving as the Inspector General of Police. Egbetokun was born on September 4, 1964, in Erinja.
On June 19, 2023, President Tinubu appointed Egbetokun to replace Usman Alkali Baba. Prior to becoming the inspector general, Egbetokun held the position of Deputy Inspector General of Police and was in charge of the South-West geo-political zone.
He supervised the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID) at the Force Headquarters in Abuja starting from April 6, 2023