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FACT CHECK: Born in 1960? Is Tunji Disu, new head of Police IRT, due for retirement?

FACT CHECK: Born in 1960? Is Tunji Disu, new head of Police IRT, due for retirement?
August 09
00:01 2021

On August 2, 2021, Usman Alkali Baba, inspector-general of police (IGP), named Tunji Disu as the new head of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) — a unit of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) once led by Abba Kyari.

Abba Kyari, a deputy commissioner of police (DCP), was suspended by The Police Service Commission (PSC) on the recommendation of the IGP over his alleged relationship with Ramon Abbas, self-confessed international fraudster better known as Hushpuppi.

Following Disu’s appointment, media reports began making the rounds, claiming that Disu was born in Southwest Nigeria on April 17, 1960. 

Reputable media houses immediately highlighted some information about Disu. We archived some of them here, here, and here


The police officer was appointed to quite some applause on and off social media. 

Beyond news reports, multiple biographies on the internet stated that Disu “was born in Southwest Nigeria on 17 April, 1960”.

All the posts which seemed to have quite a number of similarities did not attribute their assertions to any clear source. They have since raised conversations as to why the DCP is yet to be retired from the police force.


Is Disu 61 years old and due for retirement?

Disu being decorated by Akinwunmi Ambode, former governor of Lagos State, with the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police in 2019.

The claim that Disu was born on April 17, 1960, simply implies that Disu is currently 61 years, three months, and 21 days old as of Monday, August 9, 2021. According to the newly amended Police Act, signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari in September 2020, the retirement age of a Nigerian police officer is 60. 

In cases where the officer has been in service for 35 year before he or she is 60, the officer will have to retire before their 60th birthday. 

In the case of former IGP Mohammed Adamu, CSOs called for his retirement as soon as he turned 60. President Muhammadu Buhari insisted that Adamu could stay on till 2023, but the president eventually bowed to the law by replacing the IGP

To get clarifications on the matter, TheCable called Disu to speak about the issues surrounding his age and retirement, but the calls were not answered nor returned.


Frank Mba, the Police Force public relations officers (FPRO), however, told TheCable that the widely shared claims that Disu was born in 1960 are false and should be disregarded. 

“The records are there, and there is absolutely no need for the controversies. I can affirm that DCP Tunji Disu was born on the 13th of April, 1966 according to the police records,” Mba told TheCable by phone.

Screenshot of Police Staff List showing Disu’s details

TheCable also obtained a record of senior officers currently in the employ of the Nigerian Police Force. The records show that Disu was born in 1966 and only became 55 years old in April 2021.

According to documents seen by TheCable, the new head of the Police IRT is not due for retirement until April 2026. 


Disu joined the force on June 18, 1992, and would not have served for 35 years by the time he is due for retirement in 2026 — except there is an amendment to the Police Act that necessitates extension beyond the age of 60. 

The DCP was commander of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) in Lagos State between 2015 to 2020. He was posted to the force headquarters in 2020, before he was picked to lead the IRT in 2021. 


Verdict: The claim that Disu is due for retirement is inaccurate.


This story is published in partnership with Report for the World, a global service program that supports local public interest journalism.

1 Comment

  1. Iwinokolo
    Iwinokolo August 09, 11:39

    Let’s hope though, that schooling records or other documents won’t later indicate that he falsified age while applying for police job.

    Reply to this comment

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