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The late Chief Adebayo Alao Akala

12.01.2022 Extra OBITUARY: Alao Akala, Dismissed Policeman Who Became Governor

Published 12th Jan, 2022

By Daniel Ojukwu

The career of Chief Adebayo Alao Akala, one of Oyo State’s most popular and respected politicians, can be arguably described as one of fortune and luck.

From serving in the police force between 1974 and 1995 to enjoying an illustrious career in politics from 1996 until his demise, Akala was quite fortunate. He evaded law enforcement amid criminal allegations.

On Wednesday, the 71-year-old passed away, ending a 48-year career in the police force and politics.

But, it was never a smooth sailing for him.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Alao Akala, Ex-Governor of Oyo, Is Dead

POLICE CAREER

Akala enlisted as Cadet Inspector of Police in June 1974 at the Nigeria Police College, Ikeja. He was recommended for overseas training at the Metropolitan Police Training School, Peel Centre, Hendon, London, after performing brilliantly.

He has also attended other police institutions across Nigeria and participated as a Nigerian delegate at two INTERPOL conferences in Nice, France and Malaga, Spain.

From the position of Station Officer in the Nigeria Police, he became Administrative Officer, Federal Operations (FEDOPS), Nigeria Police Force, Lagos. He later rose to the position of Operations Officer.

Subsequently, he became the Personal Assistant to Sunday Adewusi, then Assistant Inspector-General of Police.

Other positions he held in the police force include O/C Advanced Training Wing, Police College, Ikeja; Divisional Police Officer, Bode Thomas, Lagos; Divisional Police Officer, Iponri Police Station, Lagos; Railway Divisional Police Officer, Nigeria Railways, Ebute Meta, Lagos; Area Commander, Western District, Nigeria Railway Police, Ibadan; CSP Admin. Gongola State Command, Yola; CSP Admin. Kwara State Command, Ilorin; and Assistant Commissioner of Police, Agodi Area Command, Oyo State Police Command, Ibadan.

DISMISSAL AND EARLY EXIT FROM THE POLICE FORCE

At the age of 45, and having spent only 24 years in the force, Akala’s retirement was all but normal. Statutorily, he could have spent another 11 years in the force, but allegations of misconduct saw the police come close to dismissing him, choosing instead to compulsorily retire him.

The officer who joined the police as Cadet Inspector of Police, retired as Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Logistics and Supply, Oyo State Police Command, Eleiyele, Ibadan.

As published by SaharaReporters back in 2007, the then Bayo Alao only acquired a new name, ‘Akala’ to cover up his ugly past of compulsory retirement from the Nigeria Police Force after he was found guilty of gross misconduct by an Administrative Panel of Inquiry set up by the Police in 1995. He was then recommended for dismissal for reasons that were not disclosed by the letter of sack.

The paper said interventions by the former Inspector General of Police, Sunday Adewusi, whom Alao-Akala once served as Personal Assistant resulted in the conversion of his dismissal to compulsory retirement.

The paper wrote: “The letter for the compulsory retirement was signed by J.A Obe (mni) who was the Secretary of the Nigerian Police Service Council. The letter with reference number PSA/s/88/V.3/149 which was dated September 7th 1995 stated inter alia:

“In view of the serious act of misconduct against you from which you have not exonerated yourself, the Head of State and Commander-In- Chief of the Armed Forces, after due consultation and deliberation, and as the appropriate authority in this regard, and in accordance with the provisions of the public officers (Special Provision) Decree No. 17 of 1984 has decided to compulsorily retire you in public interest”.

WIELDING A POLITICAL MAGIC WAND

When Akala joined politics in 1996, he began as a member of the New Dimension, a political party championed by young Nigerians.

He would later be part of the United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP), where he sponsored eight candidates to local government elections in 1997.

He enjoyed victory when he won the chairmanship seat of the Ogbomoso North Local Government Area under the platform of the All Peoples Party (APP) in 1998.

Akala continued to rise through the political ranks, similar in fashion to Goodluck Jonathan in Bayelsa. He served as Deputy Governor of Oyo State from May 2003 to January 2006, and then Governor in 2006 until 2011.

His attempts at a second term in office failed multiple times. Akala contested under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP).

In 2015, after two failed attempts, he defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC), the party that had just secured presidency at the time.

READ ALSO: INVESTIGATION: From Enugu to Anambra, the Terror of Bandits, Herdsmen, ESN

DEFECTION TO AVOID CORRUPTION CHARGES

Prior to joining the APC, Akala and two others were facing corruption charges at the Oyo State High Court for allegedly conspirirng to misappropriate N11.5 billion from the state treasury.

Although the case which began in 2010 was later struck out on December 2, 2021, it suffered delay while he was with the APC amid claims his political affiliations delayed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s (EFCC) prosecution.

Akala left the APC for the Action Democratic Party (ADP) in 2018, but was defeated by the PDP’s Seyi Makinde in the 2019 gubernatorial election; he stepped down shortly before the election, but his name was in INEC’s ballot papers and his votes were recorded.

READ ALSO: OBITUARY: Ernest Shonekan, Mark of the Annulment-Era Politics

He returned to the APC after losing the election and remained there until his demise. His most recent political comment was his rejection of Goodluck Jonathan as presidential candidate of the party in the 2023 election, saying others were ahead of the former president in the race for the party’s ticket.

Speaking on Agidigbo 88.5FM in Ibadan back in October 2021, Akala said, “I am not saying Jonathan can’t join APC, but he can’t be president under APC in 2023.

“I’m not saying Jonathan can’t be president, but it can never be under APC in 2023, because some people are on the queue already.”

Editor’s Note: This piece has been updated to provide further context to the paragraphs on Alao-Akala’s dismissal, later converted to compulsory retirement, from the Police.

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Published 12th Jan, 2022

By Daniel Ojukwu

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