Human Rights lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, has faulted the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to extend the tenure of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu.
Speaking on Channels Television Breakfast Programme, Sunrise Daily, Ozekhome said the President’s action is illegal, unconstitutional, and even ‘immoral.’
“Mr President cannot even single-handedly appoint an Inspector General of Police as we have been seeing it. He must do so in full consultation and at a meeting with the Nigeria Police Council.
“What we have been seeing is actually a situation of arbitrariness when Mr. President will single-handedly appoint an IGP. He can also not remove or dismiss an IGP without going through the Nigeria Police Council.
“Mr President’s action is patently, glaringly, illegal and unconstitutional. Even to me, it is immoral. The reason why I used the word ‘immoral’ is because you are denying other members of the Nigeria Police Force who are also aspiring to go up to become Inspector General,” Ozekhome said.
Speaking further on the constitutional interpretation of the elongation of the IGP’s tenure, the human rights lawyer says as far as the constitution is concerned, Nigeria currently does not have an IGP.
“In the eye of the law, we do not have an Inspector General of Police because the last one has retired by the fruition of time, statutorily and constitutionally.
“So Mr President cannot by an administrative fiat recreate the law or remake the law. The only organ that can make the law is the National Assembly.
“The President was wrong to extend the tenure of Mr Ibrahim, who was supposed to retire as of the 1st of February 2021, after spending 35 years in service,” Ozekhome added.
He further quoted the Nigerian constitution which states the standard tenure of the IGP is expected to last for four years.
The Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Dingyadi had earlier on Thursday announced that the Inspector-General of Police will continue his duty as the nation’s police chief despite the completion of his tenure.
According to him, this is the position of the Federal Government after President Muhammadu Buhari approved the extension of the tenure of the police boss by three months.
He explained that the decision to extend the tenure of the police chief was to give the Federal Government ample time to select the appropriate person to succeed him.