Those pushing for the exit of Mohammed Adamu as the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) got an answer yesterday – President Muhammadu Buhari has a constitutional backing to retain him as long as it suits him.
Besides, the President is allowed by the constitution to extend the IGP’s tenure as he wishes.
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The President and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami took the position in the joint response they filed to a suit instituted by a lawyer, Maxwell Opara.
The lawyer has approached the court to challenge, among others, the President’s decision to extend Adamu’s stay as the IGP for another three months from February 1, 2021 when he ordinarily out to retire.
IG Adamu, in a defence filed by his laywer, Alex Izinyon (SAN), had earlier told the court that he has the right to remain in office till 2023 by virtue of his appointment as guaranteed by the Police Act.
In their counter-affidavit, the President and the AGF argued that the constitution conferred the President with executive power to “appoint serving police officer as the IGP in consultation with Police Council.”
They noted that neither the Nigeria Police Council (NPC) or the Police Service Commission (PSC) has “disclosed any contrary fact that the second defendant (IGP Adamu) is not a serving police officer.”
In the joint response, the President and the AGF, who are listed as the first and third defendants in the suit, adopted a similar argument earlier made in details in response to the case by the lawyer to the IGP, Alex Izinyon (SAN).
In the written submission filed for them by a lawyer in the AGF’s office, Maimuna Shiru, the President and the AGF agreed to rely on the argument by the IGP’s lawyer in answering the plaintiff’s question as to whether the President is empowered to extend the tenure of the IGP.
They said: “My Lord, on the above issue, it is our position that we will be relying and aligning with the argument canvassed by the 2nd defendant’s (IGP’s) counsel as their issue two in paragraphs 1.18 to 1.49 of their written address and we shall be adopting same as ours and urge this honourable court to uphold our argument and dismiss the plaintiff’s case as same is frivolous.”
They further argued that they failed to discharge the legal burden of proof that Adamu is not a serving police officer for the purposes of extension of his tenure in office.