Federal High Court Says President Can Extend Tenure of IGP
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ruled that the president has power to extend the tenure of a retiring Inspector General of Police (IGP) pending the completion of the process for the appointment of a substantive successor.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed who made the judgment on Friday said if the president has power to appoint, he could as well be meant to extend same appointment.
The suit was filed in February by a lawyer, Maxwell Opara, challenging President Muhammadu Buhari’s extension of the tenure of the then IGP, Mohammed Adamu, by three months.
The President had on February 3 granted three-month extension to Mr Adamu who had attained the maximum 35 years in service two days earlier on February 1.
The lawyer argued that by virtue of section 215 of the Nigerian Constitution and section 7 of the Nigeria Police Act, 2020, Mr Adamu could not validly continue to function as the IGP having retired as a police officer as from midnight of February 1, 2021.
Justice Muhammad said, “the Police Act and the Nigerian constitution are clear on the appointment of IGP, but are silent on the extension of the tenure of the IGP.”
He held that since the Nigerian president who is clothed with the constitutional powers to appoint the IGP, in consultation with the police council, equally has the power to extend the tenure pending when a substantive IGP would be appointed to avoid a vacuum.
“Since the President has the power to appoint Inspector General of Police, in consultation with the police council, he has the power to extend the tenure as a stopgap measure, pending the appointment of a substantive.
“The constitution and the Police Act did not forbid it,” Mr Mohammed held.
He added that the plaintiff abysmally failed to prove that President Buhari had no power to extend the tenure of the former IGP, Adamu for three months.
“The suit of the plaintiff failed and it is accordingly dismissed,” the court held.
The plaintiff has indicated his dissatisfaction with the judgement, saying he would appeal.
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