487 views | Festus Ogun | April 8, 2021
1. The recent appointment of Usman Alkali Baba as the Acting Inspector of Police (IGP) is illegal, unconstitutional and an arbitrary political move that could escalate tension in the country.
2. First, the President lacks the power to unilaterally appoint the (Acting) IGP. By virtue of Section 215 and 217 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the appointment of an IGP shall be made by the President on the advice of Nigeria Police Council.
3. As at the time the appointment was made, the Council is yet to meet, let alone carry out its mandate. The Council, composed of the President, all Governors, Police Service Commission Chair, and the IGP, does not have any say in the appointment; a violation of the Constitution.
4. The failure to seek the advice of the Council renders the appointment unconstitutional, defective and null and void. Worryingly, Section 7(3) of the ‘Police Act’ signed by the President just last year provides for the same condition. Still, President Buhari acted lawlessly.
5. Apart from the failure to consult the Council, the appointment of Baba violates Section 7(6) of the Police Act, 2020 which provides for the term of office of an IGP. By law, an appointee must be able to spend four years in office whereas Usman Baba retires on March 1, 2023.
6. An officer to be appointed to the office of the IGP must be one whose retirement will not fall before the end of the four year tenure. It cannot be the contemplation of law for new IGPs to be routinely appointed. That will be inimical to national security, stability and peace
7. Sadly, the appointment also contravenes Section 14(3) of the Constitution. Buba’s appointment is against the principle of Federal Character that must ordinarily be reflected in “conduct” and “affairs” of government. President Buhari runs a federalism without federal character
8. The immediate past IGP and the illegally appointed IGP are both from the North. Disturbingly, the security architecture of the country appears to be kept in the hands of the North. The President should be told in clear terms that Nigeria does not belong to a particular region.
9. The lopsided appointment made by the President is unprogressive, evil and capable of breaking up the tottering pillars of the country. Nigeria belongs to all Nigerians irrespective of region, ethnic or religious belief and no Nigerian is more Nigerian that the other Nigerian.
10. Assuming without conceding that all the requirements of law were met, the President still cannot validly make any appointment. Reason: The failure to transmit power when embarking on vacation renders anything done by or on behalf of the President null and void.
11. All acts done by the President at the time he unlawfully exercises power as President while on vacation amount to a nullity, sheer waste of time and zero at the centre of nothing; you cannot put something on nothing and expect that it stands. Section 145 of the Constitution
12. From the foregoing, it can be safely concluded that Usman Baba Alkali cannot be said to be Nigeria’s (Acting) IGP, in the eyes of the law except we all give up that the law now means nothing in our country. President Buhari must urgently put a stop to this reign of anarchy.