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PSC denies supporting elongation of IGP’s tenure

By Odita Sunday and Ameh Ochojila, Abuja
24 January 2023   |   5:17 am
Police Service Commission (PSC) headquarters has denied it supports elongation of the tenure of Inspector General of Police (IGP) Alkali Baba. In a statement, PSC spokesman, Ikechukwu Ani, notes: “The attention of the Commission has been drawn to an online publication where the Commission ...

[files] Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba. Photo/FACEBOOKTHENIGERIAPOLICE

As Abuja lawyer queries extension of police boss’ term

Police Service Commission (PSC) headquarters has denied it supports elongation of the tenure of Inspector General of Police (IGP) Alkali Baba. In a statement, PSC spokesman, Ikechukwu Ani, notes: “The attention of the Commission has been drawn to an online publication where the Commission was said to have endorsed tenure elongation of the current IGP Usman Alkali Baba.

“The publication, in a supposed interview with AIG Lawal Bawa (rtd), Commissioner at the Police Service Commission (representing the Police), stated that Bawa confirmed that the Commission ‘is not against the extension of the tenure of the IGP’.

“It went further to quote the Commissioner (as saying), ‘if the IGP feels that it will affect effective monitoring of the elections, let him write to the President for their extension. We (PSC) have no objection.’ The Commissioner has since denied making such statement, stressing that he was obviously misquoted.

“The Commission, therefore, wishes to state that it has not endorsed any tenure elongation for the current IGP. As a matter of fact, the Commission was never contacted on this subject at any time.

“It notes that it will always commit itself to the letters and spirit of the laws of the land and will not, at any time, support or encourage any attempt to subvert these laws. The Commission wishes to appeal to the media to avoid unnecessary sensationalism in an attempt to attract huge readership. The Commission will also continue to work to ensure an effective and efficient Nigeria Police rooted in the rules and regulations governing its operations.”

Reacting, Chairman of the Joint Service Union (PSC chapter), Mr. Adoyi Adoyi, told The Guardian: “Well-meaning Nigerians must rise to the occasion of the impending daylight robbery, which is about to be perpetrated through the suggestion of the Minister of Police Affairs, to the effect that the IGP’s tenure would continue after March 1, when he should normally retire on account of age. But that is not the case. We must also note that, despite the prerogative powers of the President, he is limited to provisions of the Constitution.

“The IGP’s retirement is a statutory and constitutional issue and no other laws of the land can change the grundnorm.

“Even though the President is being manipulated to extend the tenure by an Act which, in fact, states that for an IGP who is so appointed to enjoy that clause of four-year tenure, as stipulated in the Police Act 2020, such an IGP must also have not less than four years remaining in service.

“We should also be better informed, here, that several positions of the Police Act 2020 was set aside by the Court of Appeal in its judgment on the case between the PSC and the Nigeria Police Force, for being in contravention of the Constitution, which is the grundnorm.

“Now, the very big concern is, how people who are supposed to be guiding the President to offer quality services to the nation, continue to misguide and ill-advise him, how personal aggrandisement threatens to choke the system and stunt the career progression of those down the rung of the career structure of the Nigeria Police.”

MEANWHILE, an Abuja-based legal practitioner, Maxwell Opara, has asked the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, to restrain President Muhammadu Buhari from allowing Alkali to continue in office as from March 1, 2023, pending the hearing and determination of a motion on notice on whether a person can stay in office as IGP after he is no longer a serving police officer.

Opara is saying by March 1, 2023, the tenure of the current IGP would expire and he would cease to be a serving police officer. He is praying the court to prevail on the President to rescind the decision to extend Alkali’s tenure, as whatever documents the IGP signs after March 1 would be a nullity.

Opara, in a motion ex parte, informed the court that he has a pending appeal on whether the President has the power to allow any occupant of the office of IGP to remain in office after he is no longer a serving police officer.

Joined as respondents in the appeal numbered CA/A/ABJ/CS/106/2021 along with the President, are: Mohammed Adamu Lafia (the then IGP), Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, and the Nigeria Police Council.

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