Sone legal experts said on Thursday said that President Muhammadu Buhari violated the constitution and the Police Act by extending the tenure of the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu,
According to them, Adamu’s continued stay in office is an abberation of the law, noting that Nigeria doesn’t have IGP at the moment.
The lawyers who reacted are Dr Mike Ozekhome, Prof Paul Ananaba and Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa.
They said that the President doesn’t have the power to reabsorb a retired police officer back into the police.
In his reaction, Ozekhome said: “Section 7 (6) of the Nigerian Police Act, 2020…says that the IGP shall serve for four years. Has Adamu served for four years? No. Could he, therefore, continue in office? No.”
Ozekhome said that under Section 18(8) of the same Act, the IGP shall retire from office after 35 years in service or on the attainment of 65 years of age.
According to Ananaba, the action of the President is not in the best interest of the country’s political development.
Prof Ananaba said: “I don’t think it (the constitution) provides for powers to extend tenures because I think that the retirement of IGP is statutory. It is not by way of anybody’s rule.”
Adegboruwa said: “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 the 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.
But Kunke Adegoke (SAN) disagreed. He said “The law must be construed together with the provision of Section 11(1) of the Interpretation Act which provides that the power to appoint a person into an office includes the power to appoint the holder of that office from time to time and also the ‘power, exercisable in the manner and subject to the limitations and conditions (if any) applicable to the power to appoint,- (i) to reappoint or reinstate him, (ii) to appoint a person to act in his place, either generally or in regard to specified functions, during such time as is considered expedient by the authority in whom the power of appointment in question is vested.’
“From all the above, it is within the power of the President to extend the tenure of the Inspector General of Police in line with Section 11 of the Interpretation Act. The only qualification is that the President may have to consult the Nigeria Police Council before elongating the tenure.”