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The Federal High Court in Abuja ruled that Nigeria’s president can extend the tenure of a retiring Inspector General of Police (IGP) pending the completion of the process for the appointment of a substantive successor.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on February 4 extended the tenure of Mohammed Adamu as inspector-general of police by three months after he clocked the mandatory 35 years in service on February 1.
Maxwell Opara, a legal practitioner, subsequently took the president and IGP to court, contending that by virtue of section 215 of the Nigerian constitution and section 7 of the Nigeria Police Act, 2020, Adamu cannot continue to function as the IGP, having retired as a serving member of the force.
Mr Adamu was due for retirement on February 1, the date he attained the maximum 35 years in service.
But giving the judgement on Friday, a federal judge, Ahmed Mohammed, noted that both the Nigerian constitution and the Police Act are silent on whether or not the president can extend the tenure of a retired IGP.
But the court held that since the Nigerian president is empowered by the Nigerian constitution and the Police Act to appoint an IGP, he can by implication, extend the tenure of a retiring IGP before concluding the required consultation with the Police Council and other processes required for the appointment of a substantive replacement.