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Ex-IG Ringim seeks asylum in UK

By The Citizen
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Immediate past Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Hafiz Ringim, may be seeking asylum in the United Kingdom, Daily Sun has learnt. Shortly after his sack on January 25, 2012, Ringim quietly relocated to the UK and has not stepped foot on Nigerian soil, family sources said. Daily Sun gathered that Ringim's application for asylum is before the UK Border Agency.

The former police chief's request is reportedly anchored on fears that Islamic militants, Boko Haram, may kill him should he return to Nigeria. Ringim reportedly told the agency that his lucky escape in the June 2011 bombing of the Force Headquarters in Abuja, by Boko Haram, a few days after he threatened in Maiduguri, Borno State, to crush the group, fuelled fears he was a prime target.

The ex-IGP was also said to have drawn the attention of the British officials to the June 6, 2011 murder of his deputy in office, Alhaji Abubakar Ningi. Also killed in the attack were Ningi's police orderly and driver. Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the killings. Sources said that he informed the British agency that former military chiefs have not been spared by the Islamic militants.

He reportedly cited the November 2012 murder of a civil war combatant, General Mamman Shuwa. Ringim, under whose tenure the United Nations' office in Abuja was bombed, reportedly told the UK officials that returning to Nigeria was akin to sending him to certain death.

Close friends and associates of the former police boss told Daily Sun that Ringim was happier living in the UK. 'The sleepless nights Hafiz had because of Boko Haram shot up his blood pressure. His health deteriorated so fast that some of us were relieved the moment he was asked to go.

We are in constant touch and he sounds happier and more relaxed,' a source offered. Efforts to get the UK agency's comment on Ringim, weren't successful. As at Press time, they had yet to respond to an email request on his reported application for asylum. The Sun