- The president lacks the power to solely appoint an IGP
Mike Ozekhome, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), says president Muhammadu Buhari cannot single-handedly appoint Usman Alkali Baba as the acting inspector-general (IGP) of police.
President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, directed Baba to take over the office of the IGP with immediate effect.
Reacting to the appointment via a statement on Tuesday, Ozekhome said the appointment of the new IGP contravened the constitution.
He added that the president lacks the power to solely appoint an IGP.
Citing “sections 7(6) and 18(8) of the Nigeria Police Act, 2020, in addition to the clear provisions of sections 214 ,215 and 216 and paragraph 7 to the 3rd Schedule of the 1999 Constitution”, Ozekhome said “the president cannot single-handedly appoint an IGP, as he has again unconstitutionally and illegally done.”
“He can only do so in conjunction with the Nigeria Police Council comprising Mr. President as chairman, all the 36 state governors, the chairman of the Police Service Commission and the IGP,” he said.
“Such an appointment as just happened before the new acting IGP is capricious, arbitrary, whimsical, unconscionable, illegal, unlawful, wrongful and unconstitutional.”
The senior advocate also raised the issue of tribalism, saying that the president is “opaque” in his appointments.
“Today, Buhari has again appointed DIG Usman Alkali Baba, a northern Muslim, as acting inspector-general of police, to replace Adamu Mohammed, another northern Muslim,” he said.
“With Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, another northern Muslim as the minister of police affairs, the circle of policing in Nigeria is complete.
“Of course, Buhari controls the police by virtues of sections 214, 215 and 216 of the 1999 Constitution. It is the same situation with the ministry of petroleum resources and NNPC, the entire security architecture of Nigeria, and other key sectors and commanding heights of the economy.
“The illogical and puerile argument is always that the president only appoints people he can trust and that such persons are qualified in any event. That argument is insulting and insensitive to the intelligence, sensibilities and plurality of Nigeria.
“Can’t President Muhammadu Buhari for once, just for once, in his opaque appointments look beyond his religion and immediate and forsake sectionalism, cronyism, prebendalism, tribalism, favouritism, and act as a true statesman?
“Is he truly saying he cannot trust any of the other over 15 million Nigerians who voted for him, or that he cannot find any of them that is qualified to be made an IGP?”
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