Two days after Inspector General of Police(IGP) Mohammed Adamu, ought to have retired, he is still sitting pretty in office.
President Muhammadu Buhari who is expected to name Adamu’s successor has kept mute, a position lawyers have assailed as a breach of the Nigerian constitution and the Police Act.
Adamu completed his 35 years in service on Monday. News that he handed over to AIG Zanna was debunked as fake news.
On Tuesday, Adamu was in the party that welcomed President Buhari at the airport in Abuja, as he returned after a four-day visit to his Daura hometown.
Some senior lawyers, who spoke with Daily Trust were unanimous that Adamu’s extended stay in office beyond February 1 violated the constitution.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mike Ozekhome was among the lawyers who spoke.
He said Adamu in the eyes of the law automatically ceased to be IGP on February 1 as he had completed the statutory service years of 35 years.
Dayo Akinlaja, another SAN said the action was a breach of the new Police Act and the Nigerian Constitution which could be challenged in court.
“What’s being done is certainly indefensible under the constitution and the law of the land. That’s clear enough,” he said.
Abdul Mohammed (SAN) said: “It is alarming that in spite of the clear provisions of the law, the Inspector-General of Police who, presumably, is expected to enforce all the laws of the land, is the one flouting [them] by coming to office under the guise of awaiting the decision of the President who is said to be in Daura.
“Perhaps they want us to believe that the country cannot be run until the President is in Abuja otherwise this conduct is an exhibition of the disease of African leaders known as the ‘sit-tight syndrome”.
Sagir Gezawa, another lawyer said the implications of the Police Act shows that Adamu ceases to be a policeman from February 1.
He said it was illegal for Adamu to add a single day in the office without “express communication from the president on fresh terms”.
“Except there’s an express provision where the employer issues a new engagement under fresh terms, the employment is terminated by effusion of time,” he said.
A former Minister of Police Affairs, Adamu Maina Waziri, on Tuesday, said Buhari had no reason to keep Nigerians in suspense on the appointment of a new IGP.
“The president shouldn’t have waited for a situation whereby on February 1, no official announcement in any form is made on either a new IGP or the extension of the current IGP, because failure to do that would lead to the erosion of public confidence in the administration. This is one of the drawbacks of this administration,” he said.