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When ‘super cops’ are named as a subsection of historical happenings in Nigeria, the name Tafa Balogun comes to mind even before the embattled Abba Kyari is mentioned.

The current travails of Abba Kyari being instantly changed from leading the Inspector General of Police (IGP)’s crack Intelligent Response Team (IRT) unit to being hunted by the FBI mirrors that of the ex-Inspector General of Police, Tafa Balogun.

Born in Ila Orangun, Osun State on 25 August 1947, Tafa Balogun was seen as a favourite to replace Musiliu Smith as IGP with his career record and media appearances.

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After having graduated from the University of Lagos, Akoka with a B.A. in Political Science in 1972, Mustafa Adebayo Balogun joined the Nigeria Police Force the following year in May 1973.

Ironically for Tafa Balogun, he also earned a law degree from the University of Ibadan while he was in active Police service; but his knowledge of the law could neither dissuade him from the atrocities he immersed in as Inspector General nor did it save him during the trial.

Tafa Balogun had his first stint with the upper police echelon when he became Principal Staff Officer to former Inspector General of Police, Muhammadu Gambo. He later became Deputy Commissioner of Police in Edo State, and then  Commissioner of Police in Delta State, Rivers State and Abia State – in that order.

He went to be an Assistant Inspector General (AIG) in Zone 1 Kano from there; a position he held until he was promoted as the 11th Inspector General of Police in Nigeria on March 6, 2002.

Tafa Balogun’s rise was meteoric, so was his downfall.

By ending of 2004, newspaper publications published allegations of corruption committed by Tafa Balogun on a massive scale such as pocketing public money and taking bribes from politicians and criminal elements.

The allegations did not die a natural death but instead opened a can of worms against Tafa Balogun.

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The charges brought up by a junior policeman subordinate, who also happens to be then Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu, were as much as 70 covering the period from 2002 to 2004.

After being arraigned on money laundering and theft charges valued at about N13 billion at the Federal High Court, Abuja on April 4, 2005, he negotiated a plea bargain to return the ill-gotten properties.

Part of Tafa Balogun’s six months additional sentenced to jail was spent at Abuja National Hospital until he was released on February 9, 2006.

And so if Abba Kyari, another supposed ‘super cop’, is made to face the consequences of his alleged crimes; he would not be the first in Nigeria’s history.

Featured image source: ThisDayLive
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This article was first published on 12th August 2021


Macaddy is mostly a farmer in the day who also dabbles into technology at night, in search of other cutting edge intersections. He's on Twitter @i_fix_you

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