The three months extension of the tenure of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, by President Muhammadu Buhari, falls within the confines of the President’s powers as per the 1999 Constitution, a legal practitioner has said.
THE WHISTLER earlier reported that the Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammad Dingyadi, had on Thursday confirmed the extension of the IGP’s tenure to State House correspondents.
Adamu ought to have retired last week, but has been asked to stay for another three months to enable the President search for a suitable replacement.
Reacting to the development, Barrister J. Nwadike, told THE WHISTLER on Friday that contrary to opinions that Buhari’s extension of the IGP’s tenure was illegal, the President is empowered by the Constitution to give a presidential order on whatever he feels was in the nation’s best interest.
“Under the constitution, there is what is called presidential order and the president has the power to exercise that jurisdiction of the constitution in any aspect.
“So, it is under that umbrella that he can elongate the service of any person; except if such orders is not from the president. Once an action comes under presidential order, it is legitimate,” he said.
On his part, Abubakar Marshal (of the Femi Falana Chambers) told our correspondent that even though the IGP is an appointee of the president, it was binding on Buhari to follow certain constitutional provisions to arrive at extending or even appointing an IGP.
He argued that Buhari had first violated the Constitution by failing to consult with the Nigeria Police Council before appointing Adamu as IGP and subsequently extending his appointment.
His words: “The Inspector General of Police is no doubt an appointee of the president, the president is no doubt the person to appoint under section 215 (1) of the Constitution, but no doubt, such an appointment is subject to Section 216 of the same constitution which requires the nomination to be by the Nigeria Police Council.
“Though the Nigeria police Council may delegate some of its powers to any of its members, the police council has not met since 2015 when General Buhari assumed office… Thus, the appointment of the IGP and the extension of his tenure violates the Constitution and a sad usurpation of the Constitution, just like the appointment of the service chiefs.”
Some have also argued that the Buhari breached provisions of Section 18, subsection 8 of the amended Police Act which stipulates that, “Every Police officer shall on recruitment, or appointment, serve the Nigeria Police Force for a period of 35 years or until he attains the age of 60 years whichever is earlier”.