Mike Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has said the extension of the tenure of Mohammed Adamu as Inspector General of Police is “unconstitutional and unconscionable”.
President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, extended the tenure of the IGP by three months.
Adamu, who was appointed in 2019, had clocked the mandatory 35 years in service on Monday, and was expected to leave office.
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Reacting to the development while featuring on Politics Today, a Channels Television programme, Ozekhome described Buhari’s decision as “illegal, unlawful, unconscionable, arbitrary, whimsical and capricious”, adding that Buhari usually engages in a fire-brigade approach to appoint members of his cabinet.
Ozekhome made a reference to how US President, Joe Biden, assembled his cabinet before the January 20th inauguration.
He noted that the President 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”, he said.
“Did he not see what just happened in America that we modeled our democracy after? Before Biden was sworn in on the 20th 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”.
Ozekhome argued that the Nigeria Police Force has its own rules and regulations different from the civil service, stating that the tenure extension of Adamu 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 stated.
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He noted that Adamu has served in the force for 35 years “to the best of his ability”, adding that although “he may not have been the best inspector-general of police, I can score him definitely above average.”