Lagos lawyer and human rights activist, Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa SAN on Thursday carpeted President Muhammadu Buhari on the extension of the tenure of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu for three months, saying the president lack the powers to proclaim such extension. “The Federal Republic of Nigeria presently has no IGP properly so recognized by law”, he said.
The Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi disclosed the extension on Thursday while briefing State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
But Adegboruwa said the extension of the expired tenure of Adamu is illegal and unconstitutional since he (Adamu) ceased to be a member of the police force since February 2, 2021.
Adegboruwa quoted the following sections of the constitution to support his claims.
Section 215 (1)(a) of 1999 Constitution: “There shall be an Inspector-General of Police who, subject to section 216(2) of this Constitution shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Nigeria Police Council from among serving members of the Nigeria Police Force.”
Section 216(2): “Before making any appointment to the office of the Inspector-General of Police or removing him from office, the President shall consult the Nigeria Police Council.”
Paragraph 27 of Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution:
“27. The Nigeria Police Council shall comprise the following members:
(A) the President who shall be the Chairman;
(B) the Governor of each State of the Federation;
(C) the Chairman of the Police Service Commission; and
(D) the Inspector-General of Police.”
From all the above, the said the following can be deduced:
- When the tenure of a serving IGP expires on the ground of completing the mandatory 35 years of service, he cannot be asked to continue in office beyond his mandatory tenure.
- An IGP who has served the mandatory years of service ceases to be a member of the Nigeria Police Force from the date of his completion of his service. In this case, Mr Adamu ceases to be a member of the NPF from February 2, 2021.
- Under and by virtue of section 215(1)(a) of the Constitution and section 7(3) of the Police Act, 2020, only a SERVING member of the Nigeria Police Force can be appointed as IGP. Mr Adamu having completed his mandatory years of service in February 2, 2021, he cannot be appointed as IGP, from outside the force.
- The President lacks the power to reabsorb a retired police officer back into the NPF through a purported tenure extension, which is not contemplated by law.
- The President cannot appoint an IGP or extend the tenure of a retired IGP without the advice of the Nigeria Police Council, which in this case has not met to consider, let alone approve such tenure extension.
- The Federal Republic of Nigeria presently has no IGP properly so recognized by law.