THE Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Solomon Arase, has denied reports of his opposition to the tenure extension of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba.
Arase, a former IGP, also clarified that the appointment and extension of the tenure of the IGP was solely at the discretion of the President, with the endorsement of the police council.
This statement comes amid controversies regarding the tenure of Baba.
According to Number 229 of the police service rules, Baba is subject to mandatory retirement upon reaching the age of 60 or completing 35 years of service, whichever comes first. In his case, the age criterion takes precedence, as he turned 60 on March 1, indicating that he should have stepped down.
On May 28, a Federal High Court in Anambra state issued an order prohibiting Baba from continuing to hold the position of Nigeria’s IGP.
The presiding judge, Fatun Riman, deemed Baba’s continued tenure beyond the retirement age of 60 as both illegal and unconstitutional.
The Force headquarters had dismissed the court ruling, saying that the IGP had the right to appeal the judgment.
Arase was quoted as stating that any potential waiver by the President to grant a tenure extension to the IGP would fundamentally undermine the law.
However, in a statement on Wednesday, June 8, the PSC spokesperson, Ikechukwu Ani, dismissed the report as fictitious and misleading.
Ani clarified that the PSC chairman had neither given an interview to the reporter nor authorised anyone to speak on his behalf regarding the matter.
He emphasised that Arase was well aware of the established communication channels pertaining to his advice and contributions to the appointment of an IGP.
“He has always been clear that the appointment of an IG, with the endorsement of the police council chaired by the President, is solely the prerogative of Mr. President,” he said.