The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has instituted an action at the Federal High Court, Abuja challenging President Muhammadu Buhari’s extension of the tenure of Mohammed Adamu as the country’s Inspector General of Police.
President of the NBA Olumide Akpata in a tweet on Friday said action “seeks judicial determination of the constitutionality of the purported extension of Mr Adamu’s tenure as IGP for 3 months after Mr. Adamu had, on 1 February 2021, attained 35 years of service as a member of the Nigeria police as stipulated under the Police Act 2020.
“An order directing the 3rd Defendant to vacate forthwith the office of the Inspector General of Police and refund all salaries, allowances and benefits received from February 1, 2021, (when he retired from the Police Force) to the coffers of the Federal Government of Nigeria”, the Public Interest Litigation Committee of the NBA said in a suit.
“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the 1st Defendant either by himself and/or acting through any of his Ministers, officers, servants and/or under any guise further breach the provision of Section 215(1)(a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended by extending the tenure of the occupant of the office of the Inspector General of Police of Nigeria.”
Mr Akpata also noted that the move is in line with the association’s duty to reassert the supremacy of the rule of law.
“The NBA’s decision to take this extraordinary line of action is underpinned by an urgent need, and a sacred duty, to reassert the supremacy of the rule of law in the face of growing impunity and the seeming reluctance of law officers in government to give proper counsel,” he said.
“The NBA’s position in the suit is that Mr Adamu ceased to be a member of the Nigeria Police Force when he attained the milestone of thirty-five years of service. Therefore, the President’s extension of Mr Adamu’s tenure by three months, in the NBA’s respectful view, is unconstitutional.”
Criticisms have continued to trail the decision of President Buhari to extend the stay of the police boss who had in February reached the mandatory 35 years in service and was expected to have been replaced.
By Abel Ejikeme