A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ebun Adegboruwa has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to extend the expired tenure of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu as illegal and unconstitutional.

Adamu’s tenure expired on Monday, February 1, 2021, when he attained 35 years in service, but instead of replacing him, the president decided to retain him as the IGP for three more months.

Shortly after his tenure extension was announced on Thursday, February 4, 2021, the Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammad Dingyadi said the three-month extension was meant to ensure that the right officer was appointed to replace the IGP.

Adegboruwa, however, explained that Adamu cannot be asked to continue in office because he had completed his mandatory 35 years of service.

He said, “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 the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution — The Nigeria Police Council shall comprise the following members: the President who shall be the Chairman; the Governor of each State of the Federation; the Chairman of the Police Service Commission; and the Inspector-General of Police.

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 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 lawyer argued that “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.”

He added that “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.”

Adegboruwa concluded saying Nigeria presently has no Inspector General of Police that is recognised by law. 

Source: Pulse Nigeria

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