By Kingsley Omonob
The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and many other top officials of the Nigerian Police Force are billed to retire on Monday, after spending the maximum number of years in service.
The IGP, who joined the service on February 1, 1986, will attain the mandatory 35 years in service.
Adamu took over from Ibrahim Idris who retired in January 2019.
Aside the IGP, three Deputy Inspectors-General (DIGs) and 10 Assistant Inspectors-General (AIGs) are also due to retire from the police.
The DIGs are former EFCC boss Ibrahim Lamorde, Aminchi Baraya and Nkpa Inakwu.
The AIGs are Nkereuwem Akpan, Olafimihan Adeoye, Agunbiade Labore, Undie Adie and Olugbenga Adeyanju.
Others are Asuquo Amba, Mohammad Mustapha, Jonah Jackson, Olushola Babajide and Yunana Babas.
The amended Police Act, signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently, pegs the retirement age of police officers at 60 years of age or 35 years of service.
By precedence and practice, a replacement for the IGP ought to have been announced few days to his retirement.
However, sources in the police have said the IGP is expecting a tenure elongation, just like the immediate past military chiefs.
The immediate past heads of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) also got tenure extensions beyond their retirement ages.
WHAT THE POLICE ACT SAYS
President Muhammadu Buhari, in September 2020, assented to the Nigeria Police Bill, 2020, which was passed by the National Assembly.
Amongst others, the new Police Act stipulates that a person to be appointed IGP shall be a senior police officer not below the rank of an Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG).
It also says such a person must have an academic qualification of not less than a first degree or its equivalent in addition to professional and managerial experience.
Part 111 Section 7 (6) of the Act prescribes a four-year single tenure for a person appointed to the office of the IGP.
Some lawyers have argued that based on the subsection mentioned above, any senior police officer who has less than four years to retirement cannot become an IGP while others are of the opinion that the four years only counts from the date of appointment.
The amended police act, however, did not explain elaborately on the eligibility.
Going by the amended Police Act which permits only the appointment of only officers on DIG and AIG cadres as IGP, the president would have to choose from the current DIGs and AIGs.
With the retirement of three DIGs and 10 AIGs, the race has now been limited to 33 eligible officers.
Out of the officers, five are DIGs while the remaining 28 are AIGs. If an AIG is appointed, all the other DIGs must go on compulsory retirement.
The eligible DIGs are Sanusi Lemu, Usman Baba, David Folayiwo, Joseph Egbunike and Moses Jitoboh.
The AIGs are Garba Umar, Bello Sadiq, Illiyasu Ahmed, Dibal Yakadi, Zaki Ahmed, HH Karma, Baba Tijjani, Hafiz Inuwa, Lawal Ado, Austin Abonlahor and Isaac Akinmoyede.
Others are Awuna Donald, Uba Kura, Johnson Kokumo, Zana Ibrahim, Murtala Usman, Maurice Abimbola, Bala Zama, Basen Dapiya, Haruna Mshelia, Aishatu Abubakar, Garba Umar, Aminu Pai, Gwandu Abubakar, Ajani Olasupo and Dasuki Galadanci.
The president is expected to pick one amongst the eligible senior officers to replace the outgoing IGP.