President Muhammadu Buhari has extended the tenure of Mohammed Adamu as the Inspector General of Police (IGP) by three months.
IGP Adamu was due to retire from the police last Monday having spent the maximum 35 years in service.
The extension to his tenure was announced on Thursday by the Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammad Dingyadi, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Dingyadi said the extension was necessary to give room for the proper selection of a successor.
But legal practitioner Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa says the extension is unconstitutional.
Adegboruwa provided the legal perspective in a statement on Thursday. The statement read:
THE PURPORTED EXTENSION OF THE EXPIRED TENURE OF MR ADAMU AS INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF POLICE IS ILLEGAL AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL
Section 215 (1)(a) of 1999 Constitution:
“There shall be an Inspector-General of Police who, subject to section 216(2) of this Constitution shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Nigeria Police Council from among serving members of the Nigeria Police Force.”
“Before making any appointment to the office of the Inspector-General of Police or removing him from office, the President shall consult the Nigeria Police Council.”
Paragraph 27 of Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution:
“27. The Nigeria Police Council shall comprise the following members:
(A) the President who shall be the Chairman;
(B) the Governor of each State of the Federation;
(C) the Chairman of the Police Service Commission; and
(D) the Inspector-General of Police.”
From all the above:
1. When the tenure of a serving IGP expires on the ground of completing the mandatory 35 years of service, he cannot be asked to continue in office beyond his mandatory tenure.
2. An IGP who has served the mandatory years of service ceases to be a member of the Nigeria Police Force from the date of his completion of his service. In this case, Mr Adamu ceases to be a member of the NPF from February 2, 2021.
3. Under and by virtue of section 215(1)(a) of the Constitution and section 7(3) of the Police Act, 2020, only a SERVING member of the Nigeria Police Force can be appointed as IGP. Mr Adamu having completed his mandatory years of service in February 2, 2021, he cannot be appointed as IGP, from outside the force.
4. The President lacks the power to reabsorb a retired police officer back into the NPF through a purported tenure extension, which is not contemplated by law.
5. The President cannot appoint an IGP or extend the tenure of a retired IGP without the advice of the Nigeria Police Council, which in this case has not met to consider, let alone approve such tenure extension.
6. The Federal Republic of Nigeria presently has no IGP properly so recognized by law.
Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN