SANs fault IGP’s three months tenure extension


Published February 5, 2021
Olalekan Adetayo and Friday Olokor
A legal practitioner , Ebun -Olu Adegboruwa ( SAN) , on Thursday faulted the extension of the tenure of the Inspector General of Police , Mohammed Adamu, by three months saying it cannot be done without the advice of the Nigeria Police Council .
The Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammad Dingyadi, on Thursday , said the President , Major General Muhammadu Buhari ( retd .) , decided to extend Adamu ’s tenure as the IGP for three months “ to allow for a robust and efficient process of appointing a new IG.”
The minister disclosed this in an interview with State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa , Abuja .
Recall that Adamu ’s tenure ought to have expired on Monday when he attained 35 years in service .
Adamu remained at his duty post since Monday , fuelling speculation that his tenure could have been ‘ secretly ’ extended .

The situation made a lawyer , Maxwell Okpara , to ask a Federal High Court in Abuja to stop Adamu from parading himself as the IGP forthwith .
Justifying the three -month extension , however, Dingyadi said it was meant to ensure that a right officer was appointed to replace Adamu .
The minister said , “ Mr President has decided that the present IGP , Mohammed Adamu , will continue to serve as the IG for the next three months to allow for a robust and efficient process of appointing a new IGP .
“ This is not unconnected to the desire of Mr President to, not only have a smooth handover, but to also ensure that the right officer is appointed into that position . Mr President is extending by three months to allow him get into the process of allowing a new one .”
However, a legal practitioner , Ebun -Olu Adegboruwa ( SAN) , on Thursday maintained that the Nigeria Police Council must be involved in the extension of the IG’ s tenure .
According to him , having served the mandatory years of service , the IGP ceased to be a member of the Nigeria Police Force from the date of his completion of his service .
Adegboruwa made the clarification in a statement titled , ‘The purported extension of the expired tenure of Mr . Adamu as Inspector -General of Police is illegal and unconstitutional .’

He cited Section 215 ( 1 ) ( a) of 1999 Constitution which stipulated that “ 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. ”
According to him, Section 216 ( 2 ) said , “ 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 .”
Adegboruwa said , “ From all the above , 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 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 . ”
Also, a constitutional lawyer , Mike Ozekhome , SAN, described as arbitrary, illegal and unconstitutional the extension of the IG’ s tenure .
The Cable reports that Ozekhome , while featuring on Politics Today , a Channels Television programme, said Buhari should have appointed a replacement for Adamu before the expiration of his tenure .
“ The president was wrong to have purportedly extended the tenure of Mr Adamu . Did he not see what just happened in America that we modelled our democracy after ? Before Biden was sworn in on the 20 th of January, he had already assembled his entire cabinet .
“ A fire -brigade approach and doing the things that are unconstitutional, illegal , unlawful, unconscionable , arbitrary, whimsical and capricious are the present acts of Mr President . ”
Explaining that the Nigeria Police Force has its rules , which are different from the civil service , the lawyer maintained that that Adamu tenure extension contravened the Nigeria Police Act of 2020 .

“ The Nigeria Police Force is in a class of its own ; that is sui generis . What do you mean by sui generis? It means that it is in a class of its own that does not go according to other laws , like the civil service rule , just like election petitions are sui generis and governed by electoral acts and electoral rules of procedures , and not by the ordinary service procedural rule that we know in our court .
“ Section 7 , sub -section 6 of the Nigeria Police Act 2020 , what does it say ? In very emphatic and categorical words , it says that the Inspector -General of Police shall serve for four years. Has Adamu served for four years ? No . Could he therefore continue in office ?
“ Why you go to section 18 , sub -section 8 of the same Nigeria Police Act of 2020 , it makes it clear, unambiguously , that the Inspector -General of Police shall retire from office when he would have served for 35 years, or he has attained the age of 65 years ,” he said.

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