Popular Nigerian lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), has described the extension of the tenure of Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, by President Muhammadu Buhari as illegal and unconstitutional.
Briefing State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi, said the President extended the IGP’s tenure in order to allow enough time to select a new police boss.
However, reacting to the extension of Adamu’s tenure, Adegboruwa condemned the President for violating the Nigerian Police Act, 2020, as amended.
He stressed that the President lacks the power to reabsorb a retired police officer back into the Nigeria Police Force through a purported tenure extension.
The Senior Advocate noted that the implication of Buhari’s action is that Nigeria presently does not have an Inspector General of Police.
He told Vanguard that: “The Federal Republic of Nigeria presently has no IGP properly so recognized by law.
“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 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.”