President Muhammadu Buhari has said Nigeria’s Constitution gives him the power to extend the tenure of Mohammed Adamu as Inspector-General of Police, (IGP), as he wishes.
It would be recalled that an Abuja-based lawyer, Maxwell Okpara had approached a Federal High Court, in Abuja, with a suit seeking to stop Adamu from parading himself as the IGP.
Okpara joined the President, IGP Adamu, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) and the Nigeria Police Council as defendants in the suit.
But, President Buhari and Malami, in a counter-affidavit filed on March 15, said, in the exercise of the executive power conferred on the President by the Constitution, he can appoint a serving police officer as the IGP, in consultation with the Police Council.
According to the President, the Police Council and the Police Service Commission have not disclosed any contrary fact that Adamu is not a serving police officer.
He said: “The Nigeria Police Act 2020 is a subsidiary legislation passed by the National Assembly and the appointment of an IGP is by the Constitution, conferred on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
President Buhari and Malami, who are 1st and 3rd defendants in the suit, therefore, prayed the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s suit with a heavy cost for being frivolous, unmeritorious and undeserving of the time of the court.
The judge then adjourned the matter till March 30, 2021, to enable service of court processes on the 4th defendant, who should file and serve a response within seven days.
Okpara is also asking the court to restrain Adamu from exercising any form of command over officers of the Nigeria Police Force. He argued that Adamu’s tenure has elapsed on February 1, 2021, by virtue of the Police Act.
He also wants the court to determine whether the failure of President Buhari and the Nigeria Police Council to appoint another IGP does not constitute an abdication of their duties.