By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
An Abuja based legal practitioner, Maxwell Okpara, on Wednesday, approached the Federal High Court in Abuja for an order to stop Mr Mohammed Adamu from parading himself as the Inspector General of Police, IGP.
The plaintiff, in the suit, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/106/2021, prayed the court to declare as illegal, all actions Adamu took as head of the Nigerian Police Force NPF, after February 1, 2021.
He further urged the court to restrain Adamu from exercising any form of command over officers of the NPF, insisting that his continued stay in office as IGP, after attaining the 35 years mandatory retirement age, is illegal and unconstitutional.
Aside Adamu, other Defendants in the suit are President Muhammadu Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, as well as the Nigeria Police Council.
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In a 10 paragraph affidavit he deposed to in support of the suit, the Plaintiff, argued that Adamu ceased to be a police officer from midnight of February 1, 2021, when he clocked the 35 years retirement age, by virtue of the Police Act.
He asked the court to determine whether the failure of President Buhari and the Nigeria Police Council to appoint another IGP, after the position became vacant by virtue of Adamu’s retirement, did not constitute an abdication of their duties.
The Plaintiff averred: “That the 2nd Defendant, though no longer a serving police officer, continued to function as the Inspector General of Police, sitting in the office of the Inspector General of Police and adorning the official uniform of an Inspector General of Police”.
He said the Defendants would continue to act in breach of the Constitution and the Nigeria Police Act, except the court, intervened.
Consequently, he among other things prayed the court to determine whether, by the provisions of section 215 and 216 of the Constitution and section 7 of the Nigeria Police Act 2020, Adamu can validly continue to function as IGP, not being a serving member of the Nigeria Police Force after midnight of February 1, 2021
As well as, “Whether the failure of the president and the Nigeria Police Council to appoint an IG on February 1, 2021, does not Constitute abdication of their duties under Section 215 of the Constitution and Section 7 of the Nigeria Police Act, 2020”
The Plaintiff said if the questions are answered in the affirmative, the court should declare that by law, Adamu, could no longer lawfully continue to function as the IGP as from midnight of February 1, 2021, and all actions he took thereafter were illegal, null and void and constituted a breach of the Constitution and the Police Act.
He, therefore, prayed the court for an order restraining Adamu from “parading himself as IG or exercising any form of command or control over the Nigeria Police Force not being a serving police officer”.
Likewise for an order mandating President Buhari to immediately appoint a new IGP in line with the provisions of Section 7 of the police act.
Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for hearing of the matter.