PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has commenced moves to officially extend the tenure of Ibrahim Idris as the Inspector General of Police (IGP).
Idris ought to have retired from service on January 3 which marked his 35th year in the Nigeria Police Force in keeping with the public service law, but he has continued to oversee the affairs of the police regardless.
On Saturday, a report by TheCable quoted reliable sources saying that President Buhari has asked for direction from the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, on the legality or otherwise of the extension of the IGP’s tenure.
This is coming a few days after Buhari admitted responsibility for the poor performance of the heads of security agencies, including the IGP, in the face of mounting security challenges across the country.
According to the report, “Buhari is favourably disposed to extending Idris’ tenure ‘by two to three months’ but would not want any legal issues around it”.
“The president has asked Malami for a legal opinion on the tenure extension. He does not want to take any decision that will be upturned by the courts,” the presidential source was quoted as saying.
Ibrahim Idris’s tenure as the IGP has been fraught with several controversies, leaving many wondering why exactly the president is keen on extending his stay in office.
In January last year, Idris flouted a direct presidential order after Buhari directed him to relocate to Benue State to quell the herdsmen crisis there that had claimed dozens of life. The IGP went to Benue but returned to Abuja less than 24 hours after. In Abuja, Idris was pictured celebrating his birthday in his office while herdsmen continued to have a field day in Benue.
The President took no action when he learnt of this several weeks later during his visit to Benue.
There have also been allegations of massive corruption against Idris. A former police officer-turned Senator, Isah Misau, accused the IGP of receiving about N10 billion monthly − N120 billion annually − in bribes from wealthy individuals and big companies in Nigeria in order to provide them with dedicated police security. Misau has been sued by the federal government for libel.
Idris has also been accused of gross nepotism and abuse of office. He is alleged to have granted many police officers from his Nupe ethnic group special promotions. The police admitted that some officers were granted special promotions, but that the exercise was not illegal.