Inspector-General (IG) Mohammed Adamu has faulted argument that his retention in office was unlawful having attained the attained the maximum 35 years in service on February 1.
Adamu argued that the new Nigeria Police Act gave him a four-year tenure which would only lapse in either 2023 or 2024.
He insisted that his tenure will lapse in 2023 if counted from 2019 when he was appointed as the IGP, or 2024, if counted from 2020 when the new Nigeria Police Act came into force.
His position is contained in the counter-affidavit and notice of objection he filed against a suit by a lawyer, Maxwell Opara before the Federal High Court in Abuja, challenging Adamu’s continued stay in office beyond February 1.
In the documents filed by his lawyer, Alex Iziyon (SAN), Adamu contended that the office of the IGP is not governed by the general provisions applicable to the rest of the police force.
The IG noted that the provision of “section 18(8) of the Nigeria Police Act, 2020 which is that ‘Every police officer shall, on recruitment or appointment, serve in the Nigeria Police Force for a period of 35 years or until he attains the age of 60 years, whichever is earlier,’ is with due respect, inapplicable to the office of the Inspector General of Police in the circumstance.”
He argued that the effect of Section 7(6) of the Nigeria Police Act, 2020 “is that immediately a person is appointed into the office of the Inspector-General of Police, a new legal regime is triggered off.”
The IG stated that, from the various provisions of the law, it was “discernible” that “the office of the Inspector-General of Police is conferred with a special status, unique and distinct from other officers of the Nigeria Police force.”
Adamu argued that the IG, upon appointment, “is only accountable to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Nigeria Police Council and this fact we submit makes his office a quasi-political office with a tenure of four (4) years pursuant to Section 7(6) of the Nigeria Police Act, 2020.”
He further argued: “Therefore, based on our submission above, the combined effect of Sections 215 and 216 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Section 7 of the Nigeria Police Act, 2020, is that the 2nd defendant can validly function as the Inspector General of Police after midnight of February 1, 2021 in so far as he was a serving member of the Nigeria Police Force during the period of his appointment, as his tenure in office is specially regulated by Section 7(6) of the Nigeria Police Act which stipulates in unambiguous terms that upon his appointment he stays in office for four(4) years.”