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THE Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) has charged President Muhammadu Buhari and the Police Service Commission (PSC) to court over the extension of the tenure of Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police (IGP).
This was disclosed in a statement signed by Olumide Akpata, chairman of NBA, on Friday, who explained that the case had been filed before the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/214/2021.
“In fidelity to the motto of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) which is Promoting the Rule of Law, on Thursday, 11 February 2021, the NBA-Public Interest Litigation Committee (NBA-PILC). on behalf of the NBA, commenced legal action at the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/214/2021 (the ‘Suit against the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Police Service Commission, and Mr Mohammed Abubakar Adamu,” Akpata wrote.
He pointed out that the NBA wanted to understand the constitutionality of the president’s extension of the IGP’s tenure for three months despite attaining 35 years in the Nigeria Police Force.
The NBA noted that its position was that as of February 1st, Adamu had ceased to be a member of the police force according to the constitutional provision.
Akpata further noted that the president’s extension of Adamu’s tenure by three months, in the NBA’s respectful view, was unconstitutional.
“In the grand scheme of things, the NBA is wary that the more government officials casually violate the law, the harder it would become to expect citizens to be compliant Citizens take their cues from their leaders, and public office holders who flout the laws of the country that they are meant to uphold will discover sooner or later that their examples will be followed by those that they purport to govern,” the statement further read in part.
The lawyers’ association noted that ‘acts of impunity’ by those in high public offices posed threats to the survival of Nigeria.
The ICIR had reported that Buhari extended the tenure of the IGP for three months against the provision of the Police Act signed by the president in 2020.
According to the Police Act 2020, Part 111 Section 7 (6) , only a single tenure of four years was provisioned for persons appointed as the IGP subject to the provisions of clause 18 (8), which stipulates that every police officer shall, on recruitment or appointment, serve in the Nigeria Police Force for a period of 35 years or until he attains the age of 60 years, whichever is earlier.
The ICIR has also reported several times the Nigerian President had violated constitutional provisions and agencies’ Acts in the appointment of public officials since his assumption of office in 2015.
Buhari recently extended the tenure of service and defence chiefs before they finally ‘resigned’ a few weeks ago.