Mike Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment of the country’s inspector-generals of police (IGP) as a northern affair.
Ozekhome, in a statement he issued on Friday, said he could not understand why the president has continuously refused to respect the Federal Character principle enshrined in section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution.
Reacting to the recent appointment of Usman Alkali Baba as the acting Inspector General of Police, the senior lawyer condemned the move, insisting that the president’s decision was unlawful, wrong and lacked conscience.
The statement read: “The President cannot single-handedly appoint an IGP, as he has again unconstitutionally and illegally done.
“He can only do so in conjunction with the Nigeria Police Council comprising of Mr President as chairman, all the 36 state Governors, the Chairman of the Police Service Commission and the IGP.
“Such an appointment as just happened before the new Acting IGP is capricious, arbitrary, whimsical, unconscionable, illegal, unlawful, wrongful and unconstitutional. It eulogises strong men rather than strong institutions.
“Today, Buhari has again appointed DIG Usman Alkali Baba, a Northern Muslim, as Acting Inspector General of Police, to replace Adamu Mohammad, another Northern Muslim. With Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, another Northern Muslim as the Minister of Police Affairs, the circle of policing in Nigeria is complete.”
He added: “Is Buhari telling Nigerians that under his governance, Nigerians are indeed living in the Federal Republic of the North, or Northern Republic of Nigeria, or Republic of Northern Nigeria, or Northern Nigeria Republic, Republic of Northern Nigeria and Other Vassal States? I can’t decode Buhari’s defiant refusal to respect the Federal Character principle enshrined in section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution. Or, can you?”