Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and human rights lawyer, says the extension of the tenure of Mohammed Adamu as inspector general of police is “illegal and unconstitutional”.
President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, extended the tenure of Adamu by three months.
Mohammad Dingyadi, minister of police affairs, confirmed the development to state house correspondents, noting that the extension was necessary to give room for the proper selection of a successor.
Adamu, who was appointed in 2019, had on Monday clocked the mandatory 35 years in service and was expected to have been replaced by the president.
Reacting to the development, Adegboruwa argued that when the tenure of an IGP expires on the basis of the mandatory 35 years of service, it cannot be extended.
The human rights lawyer cited section 215 (1)(a), section 216(2), paragraph 27 of the third schedule of the 1999 constitution to support his argument.
“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,” he said.
“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.
“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.”
He also argued that Buhari lacks the power to “reabsorb a retired police officer” to the force under the pretext of “purported tenure extension,” adding that the country does not have an IGP recognised by law.
“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,” he said.
“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.
“The Federal Republic of Nigeria presently has no IGP properly so recognized by law.”