The Anambra State government has expressed deep sadness at Tuesday’s death of the Head of the Federal Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (FCIID), Joseph Egbunike.
Until he slumped and died in his office in Abuja, Egbunike was the head of the Special Investigation Panel that is handling the alleged money laundering case involving the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police Abba Kyari.
DIG Egbunike hailed from the illustrious Egbunike family of Onitsha and would have retired in about three months at 60 years.
In consoling with Igwe Nnamemeka Alfred Achebe of Onitsha, the officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force, the Anambra State government, in a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C. Don Adinuba, said that the government and people of the state ‘are consoled by the fact that DIG Egbunike was a star in the Nigeria Police Force and beyond. He was another worthy Anambra State ambassador’.
Adinuba recalled that when Egbunike was appointed the DIG in January, last year, ‘being the most senior police officer from the Southeast who had served meritoriously as Commissioner of Police, Governor Willie Obiano and, indeed the entire Anambra State administration hailed the appointment. We were delighted not just because he was from Anambra State — specifically Onitsha — but because of his sterling record’.
Adinuba continued: ‘DIG Egbunike was one of the most read officers in the Nigeria Police Force ever. Trained in accountancy at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, he was to obtain degrees in different disciplines from the University of Lagos, Lagos State University and University of Abuja, crowning the academic pursuits with a doctorate in criminology. He was a member of such bodies as the Nigerian Institute of Management, Chartered Institute of Cost Management, Nigerian Bar Association, Institute of Directors, Nigerian Institute of Management, and Association of National Accountants of Nigeria as well as Institute of Fraud Examiners.
‘The Police Force was appreciative of his knowledge, skills and integrity’, the Commissioner said, adding that that was why ‘when a new Inspector General of Police was appointed, DIG Egbunike was asked to remain in office rather than retire. In the words of IGP Usman Alkali Baba, the fallen DIG was a huge asset to the force. He served the nation and the NPF with aplomb, discharging various duties across the nation with admiration. Very few officers have been saddled with sensitive duties, requiring a high level of trust, as Egbunike’.
The late officer served for several years as the Head of the Police Finance Department until he became a DIG in 2020.