Adamu’s Tenure Elongation; President Buhari’s action illegal, breach of Police Act – SANs

Two Senior Advocates of Nigeria, on Thursday, described the decision of President Mohammadu Buhari to extend the tenure of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, for another 3 months as illegal.

CRIMECHANNELS gathered that the Senior Lawyers stated this during an interview with Vanguard. They maintained that the President acted in breach of the Police act, 2020, as amended.

According to Afam Osigwe, SAN, a former Secretary General of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Adamu, is not fit to be called a Police officer or be capable of leading the Nigerian Police Force as it stands, since his tenure has expired.

He said, “The action of the President is in violation of Police Act 2020. The Act expects a Police officer to retire upon the attainment of 60 years or after 35 years in service.”

“It appears that the ex-IGP has attained that position. I have read the provision of the Act and it says that only a person who is a Police officer can be the IG.”

“So for the President to legitimately or lawfully extend the tenure of the IG, he has to be a Police officer. Unfortunately, Adamu is no longer a Police officer capable of being appointed in acting or substantive capacity to head the Nigerian Police Force.”

“It would have been a different thing if for example, he is still in service as a police officer and has spent the number of years stipulated in the police Act 2020 and he is leaving office as IG by virtue of the eflusion of time of his tenure as IG and he remains a police officer. In which case, the President, will be extending the tenure of a person who happens to be a Police officer.”

“The point I am makingg is that for the appointment by the President to be lawful or in sync with the Police Act 2020, Adamu has to be shown to be a serving Police officer.”

“So President Buhari lacks the power to foist on the Nigerian Police Force, a person who is not a police officer, which is what he would appear to have done at this time, “he concluded.

In the same vain, a renowned constitutional lawyer, Mr. Dayo Akinlaja, SAN, noted that it was not in doubt that Adamu has reached the mandatory retirement age.

He argued that the action of the President was illegal and contrary to the provision of both the Police Act and the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

Akinlaja, “I would not know, probably, there is a law that I am not privy to that allows the President to extend the tenure of a retired IG.”

“But going by the Constitution and the amended Police Act, it is very clear that anybody who would be qualified for appointment to the office of the IGP must be a serving member of the Nigerian Police Force.”

“Once that is a given, it follows to my humble mind that for anybody to serve in that office in whatever capacity, whether in acting or substantive capacity, the person, as a condition precedent, must be a serving member of the Nigerian Police Force.”

“If there is no debate about the fact that the IGP has retired or reached retirement age, it follows in my own humble view that he cannot continue in that office.”

“So, once it is against what the Constitution and the Police Act has prescribed, I want to believe that what the President has done does not enjoy the support of either the Constitution or the Police Act”.

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