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Lawyer asks court to stop IG tenure extension

Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba

A lawyer, Mr Maxwell Opara, has urged the Court of Appeal, Abuja to stop the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), from extending the tenure of the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, pending the hearing and determination of a motion on notice.

Specifically, Opara wants the Appeal Court to decide if a person can stay in office as IG after he is no longer a serving police officer.

The tenure of the present IG is expected to end by March 1, 2023, when he is expected to clock 60 years old.

The lawyer, in a motion exparte, told the court that he has a pending appeal on whether the President has the power to allow an occupant of the IG’s office to continue in office after he is no longer a serving police officer.

He said while the appeal was pending and adjourned for hearing, Buhari declared his intention to allow the current IG to continue in office.

As a result, the lawyer said whatever document AlkBabaali signs after March 1 would be null.

Joined as respondents in the appeal marked CA/A/ABJ/CS/106/2021 with the President are, Mohammed Adamu Lafia; the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and the Nigeria Police Council.

While praying for an accelerated hearing of the matter by the appellate court to avoid destroying the subject matter, the lawyer said, in his affidavit in support of the motion for an interlocutory injunction, that he filed the suit that gave rise to the appeal at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

He averred, in the affidavit that the trial court dismissed his suit in a judgment delivered on June 18, 2021.

“That the appeal has been adjourned to February 16 for hearing and while the appeal is still pending and adjourned for hearing, the first respondent (Buhari), through the Minister for Police Affairs announced that he intends to allow the current IG, who will cease to be a serving police officer on March 2023 to continue to occupy the office of the IGP,” he stated.

Questioning the legality or otherwise of allowing a non-serving police officer to occupy the office of the IGP, he said Buhari’s decision to extend the tenure of the IG beyond the officer’s retirement date is a breach of the provision of the 1999 constitution and the Nigeria Police Act, 2020.

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