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Ex-IGP, Tafa Balogun, dies four days to 75th birthday

A former Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Tafa Balogun, is dead.

Family sources confirmed his death late yesterday, but without details. He died four days to his 75th birthday.

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The former helmsman in Nigeria Police Force, whose infamous trial for graft drew global attention in 2005, was the 21st IGP.

The Ila-Orangun, Osun State-born former chief cop of the federation was docked for stealing after quitting service in the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Born on August 8, 1947, the late Balogun was a member of cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Course 3 in the Force Training system.

Having worked in various police commands throughout the federation, and earning his promotions as when due, Tafa, was at a time, the Principal Staff Officer (PSO) to former Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Muhammadu Gambo.
He was also the deputy commissioner of police (DCP), Edo State, as well as the pioneer commissioner of police in Delta State. He was also CP in Rivers and Abia states.

A fellow of the premier highest military institution in Nigeria, the National War College, Balogun later became the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Zone One police command, Kano, from where he was named the 21st IGP on March 6, 2002.

His largely infamous trial drew global attention in 2005 when, on April 4, 2005, Balogun was arraigned at the Federal High Court, Abuja for allegedly stealing and laundering over $100 million in his three years as police head from the treasury.

Anti-graft body, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), under a relatively junior officer, Nuhu Ribadu, piled 70 charges against the ex-IGP, covering the period from 2002 to 2004 he held forte.

Balogun made a plea bargain with the court, in exchange for returning much of the property and money he reportedly stole.
He was sentenced to six months in jail.

During the sentence, Justice Binta Nyako said her sentence considered the ‘fact’ that Balogun was the first offender and had shown remorse.

He was directed by the court to pay N500,000 on each of eight counts of charges, all totalling N4m.

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While the trial lasted, the nation was treated to very unentertaining scenes of drama, such as when he collapsed on his seat on June 29, 2005, at the Abuja High Court.

The former police boss, who pleaded guilty to eight of the 56 count charges directly affecting him, was convicted and sentenced to six months in each of the charges, which was, however, to run concurrently.

It was the first trial of such nature in the force’s history.

Balogun was released on February 9, 2006, after serving his sentence, part of it at the National Hospital, Abuja.

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