A Lagos-based human rights lawyer and a senior advocate of Nigeria, (SAN), Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa has outrightly countered the purported decision by President Muhammadu Buhari to extend the expired tenure of the Inspector General of Police, (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, against the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the Nigeria Police Council (NPC) Act, as well as the Police Service Commission (PSC), Act.
Adamu clocked the mandatory retirement age to quit the service on February 2, 2021 but still occupies the expansive oval office at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, the nation’s capital as the Inspector General of Police despite the expiration of his tenure.
In condemning this arbitrary act of the President of retaining Adamu as IGP, Adegboruwa drew his attention to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), saying:
“Section 215 (1)(a) of 1999 Constitution states thus:
“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.”
“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 states:
“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.”
According to the fiery lawyer:
- 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 on February 2, 2021, he cannot be appointed as IGP, from outside the Force.
- The President lacks the powers 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.
- He therefore finally posited that as at today the Federal Republic of Nigeria does not have IGP properly so recognized by law as long as Adamu remains in office.