The love for police work is a trait that runs deep in the blood of the family of famous Commissioner of Police, Muhammad Wakili, as both his father and grandfather once performed police roles, his childhood friend, Alhaji Ardo Chindo Abubakar, told Daily Trust on Sunday.
CP Wakili’s grandfather, Turaki Jamnati, was a palace guard in the Gombe emirate, while his biological father was a head of the Gombe Native Authority Police and retired as a senior officer in the then Nigeria Customs.
Speaking to our correspondent in Gombe, Chindo said CP Wakili’s grandfather Turaki Jamnati had served three emirs of Gombe as palace guard – Emir Umaru (1898-1922), Emir Haruna (1922-1935) and Emir Abubakar (1936-1984).
He said Jamanti was a fearless and brave palace guard who won many accolades for his act of gallantry, including the arrest of a notorious armed robber in Gombe-Abba, the then seat of Gombe emirate.
“The arrest of that notorious armed robber which was considered as act of bravery at that time, made Turaki Jamnati closer to the emir and part of Emir Umaru’s entourage that migrated from Gombe-Abba to Nafada where they stayed for five years and finally moved to present Gombe in 1919,” he said.
Chindo also narrated that Wakili’s father, Buba Turaki (Baba Wakili) had also worked for 11 years, from 1954 to 1965, as head of the Gombe Native Authority (NA) Police, popularly known as ‘Yan Doka, (hence the name Wakili, a short form of Wakilin Doka).
“Mohammed Wakili’s father, Buba Turaki Jamnati, was born in 1927. He schooled at Gombe Elementary School and Bauchi Middle School after which he joined the Gombe NA as Agric Officer where he worked for many years and later joined the NA Police.
“He trained together with the late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero. At the end of their training, Bayero was posted to Kano and Turaki was posted to Gombe as head of the NA police.
“CP Wakili’s father, Buba Turaki, was a fearless cop and really worked hard to rid Gombe NA of criminals and miscreants when he served as the Chief of the NA police,” he added.
Chindo further said Turaki later joined the then Nigeria Customs and Excise and served for 10 years. During his stint at the customs, he was at a time supervisor of Kano and the Northeastern states. “He worked at the customs with people like the late Sule Katagum. He voluntary retired in 1975 at a rank equivalent to Assistant Comptroller General.
The former customs boss, who is now over 90 years, lives at his residence in Tudun Wada area of Gombe metropolis.
According to Ardo Chindo, CP Wakili’s passion to join the police was a childhood dream.
“Since we were kids, Yaya Yelwa, as he was fondly called by his younger siblings, was kind, honest and sincere in all his dealings. He was very generous as he could give you his last kobo and go empty pocket. He hates dishonesty and hardly back bites a person in his absence.
“When we were still in secondary school, he confided in me that after his studies he would like to join the police to correct the bad image that characterized the police force,” he narrated.
CP Wakili places of work
Ardo Chindo told our correspondent that after he (Wakili) was commissioned as ASP, his first place of posting was Malumfashi in the present day Katsina State.
“From Malumfashi he was transferred to Tafawa Balewa LGA in Bauchi State, he served as a Divisional Police Officer and led a police team in an operation at a village called Zalanga. That operation cleared Bauchi-Darazo road of incessant cases of armed robbery,” he recalled.
He added that Wakili worked in different police commands, including serving as 2iC Operations in Kano, Lagos Police commands and Peace Keeping operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Chindo further revealed that CP Wakili was among the pioneer staff of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) when the agency was established in 2003.
“He worked at the EFCC for 12 years during which he served as head of operations in Kano office.
“He was also head of operations and deputy to Ibrahim Lamorde at the EFCC headquarters. However, he was promoted to the rank of Commissioner of Police and posted to the force headquarters which paved the way for the appointment of the acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, who was his junior,” he said.
Some of the high profile cases handled by Wakili at the EFCC include the arrest of the former Managing Director of the defunct Bank of the North Limited, Alhaji Shettima Mohammed Bulama and that of the Chairman of Globacom Nigeria, Mr Mike Adenuga.
Chindo said there have been many heroic actions by Wakili since he joined the police force, explaining that “but because he was a junior officer, the credit always goes to his superiors.”
Also speaking to Daily Trust on Sunday, his immediate younger brother, Farouk Buba Turaki, said his brother was a gentle, generous and down to earth personality outside the uniform.
He said because of his brother’s humility, it was hardly to compare him with his contemporaries. “He grew up with people like Dr Abubakar Ali Gombe and Malam Murtala Aliyu, former ministers of Health and Power and Steel, respectively. But whenever he is home, you will always find him with common people in the neighborhood.”
“If he is not in uniform, you won’t know that he is a police officer. He relates with people very well and respects all and sundry. He has only a house in Gombe. He constantly reminds us, whenever we discuss, that this life is transient and there is no need for accumulating money illegally.
“He always says no matter what someone accumulates, at the end he will die and meet his Creator. As such, no amount of money will make him to change his mind and do something that is dishonorable,” his brother said.
Farouk, a Chief Vehicle Inspection Officer (VIO) with the state Ministry of Housing and Transport, said his brother like helping others.
He said: “Yaya Yelwa is generous to a fault; he can give you his last kobo to put a smile on your face. He is humble and you won’t know that he is a senior police officer when he is with us and his friends.”
According to him, the story of CP Wakili’s heroic role during the March 9 elections in Kano did not came to the family as a surprise. “We were not surprised because that was how he grew up always standing against injustice. Also, our father, (Baba Wakili) has trained us to fear Allah in whatever we are doing.
“And since he joined the police, there has never been a time that he did something that was dishonest or against the law. Also, he is very religious and never plays with prayers and other religious obligations,” he said.
CP Mohammed Wakili was born in June 1969 in Gombe. He attended Central Primary School, Gombe and was among the pioneer students of the Gombe Community Secondary School, known as Doma, at a temporary site in present Tudun Wada Primary School. He proceeded to the North East College of Arts and Science (NECAS) – the college was upgraded to the University of Maiduguri – and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Hausa Language. After his NYSC, he joined the Nigeria Police Force in 1986.