Nigerian Human Rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana, has said that there is no provision for the extension of office for the Inspector General of Police (IGP) in the new Police Act 2020.
Falana said this on Tuesday while speaking on a television programme. He described the extension as the sustenance of the culture of impurity that was started by the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
“President Obasanjo started the culture of extending the tenure of certain public officers upon the completion of their term of office, it was illegal and remains illegal.
“Under the police act, which has not been repealed under which Mohammed Adamu was appointed as the IGP. The President has the power to appoint an IG once he has consulted with the Nigerian Police Council, he can also not remove the IG without consulting with the body.
“This time around, as usual, the President never consulted with the Nigerian Police Council, of which is the chair, the 36 governors are members, the chairman Police Service Commission is a member, the IG is a member. There was no meeting of that body, there was no consultation, what so ever.
“That questions the removal because at the time the President appointed the IG, he has made him act for a few months, he now called the meeting, this is my candidate for the office of the IG, this time around, there was no consultation.
“What is going on is a litany of illegalities,” the human rights advocate said.
The senior advocate further explained that “Now, the IG has retired, because in accordance with the public service rules, once you clock 60 years or you have put in 35 years in the public service, you are bound to go, all his colleagues left last week.
“Now, the President has now extended his tenure by three months, in other words, a retired IG is asked to stay on for three more months.
“It is like what happens in the university, once you’re retired as a professor if there is a shortage of staff, you’re now employed as a contract staff, you cannot become the vice-chancellor, this is what is going on.
“Again, as I said, we started these illegalities in 1999, what Nigerians are now saying is that the culture of impunity has to stop, this was the experience with the service chiefs.
“Whereas, the law requires the President to seek the approval of both chambers of the National Assembly, if you’re going to appoint military service chiefs.
“So, if you’re going to renew the appointment or extend their tenure, even if it is illegal, you still have to go back to both chambers to say that oh, these guys have completed their terms of office, I want to extend their tenure, which is like reappointing a minister, you don’t simply ask a minister to go on, you still have to return to the Senate for confirmation.
“Under the new Police Act 2020, there is no provision for extension. An IG shall be in office for four years.”