A human rights lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), on Thursday, described as “unconstitutional” President Muhammadu Buhari’s act of extending the tenure of Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.
Ozekhome, while reacting to the extension when he appeared on Channels Television’s programme: ‘Politics Today’, monitored by our correspondent, said the President was wrong to have extended the IGP’s tenure considering what the new Police Act stipulates.
He said: “The President was wrong, the President was wrong and the President was wrong to have purportedly extended the tenure of office of Mr Adamu.
“That he was going to retire on the 1st of February was not a surprise, everybody knows that he was born in 1961, everybody knows that he joined the Nigeria Police Force 35 years ago.
“Did you not see what happened in America that we modelled our democracy after?
“Before Biden was sworn in on the 20th of January, he had already assembled his cabinet, a rainbow coalition, a Dolly Parton’s coat of many colours.
“By their features you will see them –Blacks, Hispanics, Americans, Jews, Chinese, Russians, Arabs, African-Americans.
“Why do we always wait till the last moment to begin to adopt the fire brigade approach and then do the things that are unconstitutional, illegal, unlawful, questionable, arbitrary, whimsical, capricious as the present act of Mr President has done.
“Don’t Mr President’s handlers know that they are embarrassing Mr President and Nigeria?”
The senior lawyer argued that the President specifically flouted Section 7, Sub-section 6 of the Nigeria Police Act 2020, which states unambiguously there should be no extension for any retired officer.
According to him: “We have to look at Section 7, Sub-section 6 of the Nigeria Police Act 2020, what does it say?
“In very emphatic, categorical words, it says that the Inspector General of Police shall serve for four years.
“Has Adamu served for four years? No. Would he, therefore, continue in office? No.
“Why? Section 18, Sub-section 8 of the same Nigeria Police Act 2020. It makes it clear, unambiguously that the Inspector General of Police shall retire from office when he would have served for 35 years or he has attained the age of 65 years.
“Granted that Adamu, born in 1961, being the 20th Inspector General of Police, has not attained the age of 65 but he has served 35 years and he ended that 35 years on the 1st of February, 2021.
“Adamu has served this country to the best of his abilities, why don’t you let him retire quietly to his village in Lafia, Nasarawa State and allow him to enjoy his retirement?” the lawyer queried.