The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and many other top officials of the Nigerian Police Force are all expected to retire on Monday February 1, as their tenure comes to an end after spending the mandatory 35 years in service.
The IGP who took over from Ibrahim Idris in 2019, joined the service on February 1, 1986.
Aside the IGP, three Deputy Inspectors-General (DIGs) and 10 Assistant Inspectors-General (AIGs) are also due to retire from the police.
The DIGs are former EFCC boss Ibrahim Lamorde, Aminchi Baraya and Nkpa Inakwu while the AIGs are Nkereuwem Akpan, Olafimihan Adeoye, Agunbiade Labore, Undie Adie and Olugbenga Adeyanju. Others are Asuquo Amba, Mohammad Mustapha, Jonah Jackson, Olushola Babajide and Yunana Babas.
Only on January 6th 2021, Lamorde was promoted to a deputy Inspector General of Police. Lamorde until his elevation was a police commissioner.
The amended Police Act, signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently, pegs the retirement age of police officers at 60 years of age or 35 years of service.
By precedence and practice, a replacement for the IGP ought to have been announced a few days ago. However, there are indications that his tenure might be extended, just like the immediate past military chiefs, the immediate past heads of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS).
The new Nigeria Police Bill, 2020, assented by President Muhammadu Buhari and passed by the National Assembly, stipulates that a person to be appointed IGP shall be a senior police officer not below the rank of an Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG).
It also says such a person must have an academic qualification of not less than a first degree or its equivalent in addition to professional and managerial experience. It also prescribes a four-year single tenure for a person appointed to the office of the IGP.
Some lawyers have argued that based on the subsection mentioned above, any senior police officer who has less than four years to retirement cannot become an IGP while others are of the opinion that the four years only counts from the date of appointment. The amended police act, however, did not explain elaborately on the eligibility.