President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, extended the tenure of the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, by three months.
This is in contrast to the Police Act signed by President Muhammadu Buhari last year which pegs the retirement age of police officers at 60 or 35 years in service.
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Adamu was due for retirement on February 1, 2021, having spent 35 years in service.
Section 18(8) of the new Police Act states: “Every police officer shall, on recruitment or appointment, serve in the Nigeria Police Force for 35 years or until the age of 60 years whichever is earlier.”
The Act provides for a tenure of four years for the Inspector-General of Police. Section 7 subsection 2 of the Act provides that: “The person to be appointed as Inspector-General of Police shall be a senior police officer not below the rank of Assistant Inspector-General of Police with the requisite academic qualification of not less than a first degree or its equivalent in addition to professional or management experience.”
The section also pegs the tenure of the police IG as four years.
The Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Dingyadi, who announced the extension of Adamu’s tenure to reporters yesterday, explained that it was to give room for the proper selection of a successor and proper handover.
“Mr President has decided that the present IGP, Mohammed Adamu, will continue to serve as the IG for the next three months, to allow for a robust and efficient process of appointing a new IG.
“This is not unconnected to the desire of Mr President to, not only have a smooth handover but to also ensure that the right officer is appointed into that position.
“Mr President is extending by three months to allow him to get into the process of allowing a new one.
“There’s no lacuna. Mr President can decide to extend his tenure for three months,” the minister said.
In its reaction, the Northern Elders Forum yesterday described the three-month extension of the tenure of the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, as a big disappointment.
The Director, Publicity and Advocacy for the forum, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, in a chat with Daily Trust, said: “The president had all the time in the world, he knew the former IG was going to retire, he knew that there is a process for which a new IG should be appointed and so, extending his term by another three months under the excuse that he needs time to consider who will succeed him is disappointing.”
Baba-Ahmed said by extending Adamu’s tenure, “Buhari is seen to encourage and condone people staying in duty posts beyond the dates that are statutorily expected of them adding that such action causes a lot of problems.
“It affects morale, it affects careers of those below him (IG) and there is no reason and no excuse for this. Obviously, this is going to be a big disappointment for Nigerians.”
In the same vein, the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, yesterday rejected the extension of Adamu’s tenure, wondering if there was no officer within the police hierarchy that could be chosen as the next IGP.
Afenifere spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, in a chat with Daily Trust, described the president’s decision as “nepotism.”
“There are some of the nepotic agenda of this administration for the past six years.
“Is it that there is no more policeman who can take over from the retiring IG, no.
“It is the nepotistic agenda that have been taken to the next level that we are witnessing.
“Is it not the same police force? Are there no colleagues of him who can take over the position and continue from where he stops?
“For us, it’s nepotism, naked nepotism,” Odumakin said.
A security expert and Professor of Counselling and Criminal Justice, University of Ibadan, Oyesoji Aremu, said: “The nomination of the immediate past service chiefs as non-career ambassadors indicates in a very clear term that the Presidency still reckons with their services this time, as private citizens.”
A former assistant director at the Department of State Service, Dennis Amachree, said: “The extension of the tenure of the IGP is more of seeking extra time to scout for a suitable replacement.
“People are raising issues because the president would have been served a notice of retirement earlier and for the president to have taken a proactive measure of having a new IGP in waiting.”
Also reacting, Chairman, Media Committee, Coalition of United Political Parties, Chukwudi Ezeobika, said the extension of the IGP tenure was illegal and unconstitutional.”
Executive Director, CLEEN Foundation, Benson Olugbuo, said. though it is the prerogative of the president to appoint or extend the tenure of whom he wishes in the interest of the country, it is also the responsibility of the National Assembly to do its constitutionally assigned roles.
By Muideen Olaniyi, Idowu Isamotu, Abbas Jimoh (Abuja), Lami Sadiq (Kaduna) & Abdullateef Aliyu (Lagos)