An Abuja based lawyer, Maxwell Okpara, had asked a federal high court sitting in the federal capital territory (FCT) to stop Mohammed Adamu from ”parading himself” as the inspector-general of police (IGP).
Okpara, in the suit, with number FHC/ABJ/CS/106/2021, is challenging Adamu’s stay in office as IGP beyond February 1, 2021, when he ought to have retired. He listed Adamu, Buhari, Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), and the police council as defendants in the suit.
The lawyer, claiming the office of the IGP became vacant on February 1, said Buhari failed to appoint a new IGP.
“Whether the failure of the president and the Nigeria Police Council to appoint an IG on February 1, 2021 does not constitute abdication of their duties under Section 215 of the Constitution and Section 7 of the Nigeria Police Act, 2020,” the suit read.
He asked for an order restraining Adamu from “parading himself as IG or exercising any form of command or control over the Nigeria Police Force not being a serving police officer”.
He also prayed for another order mandating the president and the police council to immediately appoint a new IGP in line with the provisions of section 7 of the Police Act.
Recall that IvoryNG had reported that the inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu and many other top officials of the Nigeria Police Force were all expected to retire on Monday February 1, as their tenure ended on that day after spending the mandatory 35 years in service.
The IGP who took over from Ibrahim Idris in 2019, joined the service on February 1, 1986.
Aside the IGP, three Deputy Inspectors-General (DIGs) and 10 Assistant Inspectors-General (AIGs) are also due to retire from the police.
The amended Police Act, signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently, pegs the retirement age of police officers at 60 years of age or 35 years of service.
By precedence and practice, a replacement for the IGP ought to have been announced a few days ago.
IvoryNG had reported that there are indications that his tenure might be extended, just like the immediate past military chiefs.
The new Nigeria Police Bill, 2020, assented by President Muhammadu Buhari and passed by the National Assembly, stipulates that a person to be appointed IGP shall be a senior police officer not below the rank of an Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG).
It also says such a person must have an academic qualification of not less than a first degree or its equivalent in addition to professional and managerial experience. It also prescribes a four-year single tenure for a person appointed to the office of the IGP.