The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has sued President Muhammadu Buhari for extending the tenure of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, by three months.
Buhari, through the Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammad Dinggyadi, had on February 4 announced the tenure elongation of Adamu as the IGP even though Adamu attained the maximum 35 years of service on February 1.
The NBA argued through its suit filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos, on Thursday, that the tenure extension was “outside and in excess of the provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
It contended that the Nigerian Constitution and the Police Act, which was signed into law by Buhari last year, prohibits a retired police officer from holding the office of the IGP
“The need to prevent abuse of power necessitated the filing of this action by the Nigerian Bar Association, whose main objective is to promote the rule of law,” Charles Mekwunye, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, who leads the NBA’s legal team, argued in the suit.
The court documents listed Buhari along with the Police Service Commission (PSC) and Adamu as the defendants.
The plaintiff in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/219/2021, prayed for among others, a declaration that Buhari’s act “purporting to extend” Adamu’s tenure as the IGP after his retirement from the service of the Nigeria Police Force “is in contravention of the provisions of Section 215(1)(a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended and therefore, null and void.”
The umbrella body of Nigerian lawyers also urged the court to declare that Buhari’s act “is in contravention of the provisions of Sections 7(3) & (6) and 18(8) of the Nigeria Police Act. 2020, and therefore unlawful, null and void.”
It asked the court not to only set aside “the purported” tenure elongation” but to also order Adamu “to vacate forthwith the office of the Inspector General of Police and refund all salaries, allowances and benefits received from February 1 2020 (when he retired from the Police Force) to the coffers of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”
The association also urged the court to issue an order of perpetual injunction restraining Buhari from further acting in breach of the provisions of Section 2(5(I) of the Nigeria Constitution by extending the tenure of the occupant of the office of the IGP.