September 20, 2021
FEATURES

Anxiety in Louis Edet House as I.G Adamu retires

The current administration under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has been accused in several quarters of not adhering to the principle of federal charracter in his appointment of public officers since he came to power in 2015.

Many instances abound in the country where most appointments are skewed in favour of people from his north geo-political zone at the detriment of the south.

A cursory look at top management officials in the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation ,NNPC,throws up what many allude to as his northernersation of appointments in key sectors.

The Nigeria Police Force is another area where the last three  Inspector Generals of Police, IGP,  except Mr. Solomon Arase,  who was incharged  briefly between 2015 to 2016, Sulieman Abba, I brahim Kpotun and  Abubakar Adamu, are all from the Northen  region of Nigeria.

 Aljazirah Nigeria gathered that already tension is at the edge of the razor over who takes over from the current  Inspector General of police  Mohammed Adamu retires on 1 February,2021, a few months away. He would have attained the retirement age of 60/35 years in service as stipulated in the civil service rule of the nation.

Feelers have it that subtle moves have begun to extend his tenure beyond his retirement date and this is creating tension and bad blood among men and officers of the police force.

This is however is against the to the Bill AN ACT TO REPEAL THE POLICE ACT CAP.P19, LAWS OF THE FEDERATION OF NIGERIA, 2004 AND ENACT NIGERIA POLICE BILL, 2020 TO PROVIDE FOR THE FRAMEWORK FOR THE POLICE FORCE AND ENSURE COOPERATION AND PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE POLICE AND HOST COMMUNITIES IN MAINTAINING PEACE, COMBATING CRIME. PROTECTING LIBERTIES, LIFE AND PROPERTY; AND FOR RELATED MATTERS, which has just been assented to by Mr. President,

According to the ACT in PART 111-APPOINTMENT, REMOVAL, FUNCTIONS AND POWERSETC OF INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF POLICE 5&6 states inter allia; The Inspector-General shall only be removed from office by the President on the advice of the Police Council. The person appointed to the office of Inspector-General of Police shall hold office for Four(4) years subject to the provision of clause 18(8) of the ACT.

Also in Section 2 on page 4 of the ACT, an Inspector-General of the Nigeria Police must have a first degree and must have attended the Nigeria Institute for public and Policies Service, NIPPS, or Defence College.

As the general practice has been in the country the position of Inspector General of Police is usually filled by a serving Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG.

 Information available to us has it that majority (23) of the officers in the AIG cadre have less than 2 years to serve in the capacity as IGP when so appointed,. This is due to the unquestionable facts that either by age or longevity in service they must retire as at when due. By 2021, 15 of this AIGs will be retiring from the Force while 5 will retire in 2022 leaving one of the AIGs to retire in 2029 and another a year later in 2030.

To state that the nation requires the services of a man or woman that will hold the office for a long time will be saying the obvious. No thanks to the insecurity that has held the nation prostrate in the last two decades. AIGs are already versed with policing work and will not be strangers in a terrain they are familiar with if appointed to the position of IGP.

Insecurity and deep knowledge of the subject matter has seen the military service chiefs staying more than their stipulated time in service. This some may say is reason why the incumbent should be allowed to stay after he is due to retire come February next year. However the scenario is different as it can be safely argued that while the police is charged with internal security the military on the other hand is responsible for the external security of the country.

 Furthermore, AIGs as earlier stated are grounded men and women in the act of policing, whereas, in the military any officer on the rank of a Brigadier – General can be appointed as service chiefs if convenient for the President.

This is a comprehensive list of the Inspectors General of Police in Nigeria since independence till present day. Nigeria as a country has had twenty (20) Inspectors General of Police; including the present one.

The Inspector General of Police is the head of Police force and most senior officer in the police service. The person who appoints IGP is the president; often by the recommendations by the Nigeria Police Council.

The current inspector general of police is IGP Mohammed Abubakar Adamu. He has been in office since 2019 till present day.

Apart from the appointment of the inspector General of police , the Nigeria police force is currently locked in a battle with the Police Service Commission  over the recruitment and promotions of officers .

The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal last week set aside a judgment which validated the powers of the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, to recruit the rank of constables for the Nigeria Police Force.

The appellate court in a unanimous decision held that the IG lacked the power to recruit constables for the police force and consequently nullified the said recruitment.

The Police Service Commission (PSC) had approached the appellate court to challenge last year’s recruitment of 10,000 constables by Adamu.

However, delivering judgment in the appeal, a three-man panel of the appellate court led by Justice Olabisi Ige held that the power to carry out the recruitment was exclusively that of the Police Service Commission.

According to the appellate court, the word “appointment” used in the Constitution with respect to the powers conferred on the Police Service Commission included “the power of recruitment and or enlistment of recruit constables.”

Justice Ige stated that the police regulation and or provisions of the Police Act, which purportedly vested the IG the power of recruiting constables “are null and void being in conflict with the constitutional powers vested in the Police Service Commission.”

He, therefore, declared the recruitment carried out by the IG as null and void.

The appellate court subsequently granted all the prayers sought by the PSC in its amended suit filed at the Federal High Court.

The commission had in September 2019, instituted the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1124/2019 to stop the IG’s recruitment process which the NPF and the IG, had as of that time, almost concluded.

Claiming exclusive rights to recruitment of constables the PSC had prayed the lower court to nullify the process already commenced by the NPF and the IG

But the lower court in its judgment delivered on December 2, 2019, by Justice Inyang Ekwo, dismissed the suit for lacking in merit.

He held that the law guiding the enlistment of constables into the NPF was the Nigeria Police Regulations of 1968, issued by the Nigerian president in accordance with the provisions of Section 46 of the Police Act 1967 (No 41), providing for the organisation and administration of the police force.

The judge further stated that Section 71 of the said Nigeria Police Service Regulations, 1968, gave the power to enlist constables to the Police Council and the NPF under the control of the IG, and not the PSC.

He ruled that PSC by its enabling law retained the exclusive powers to promote, demote, dismiss and discipline any police officer apart from the IG, adding that the commission could only appoint constables after the recruitment exercise carried out by the NPF.

Not satisfied, the appellant through their lawyer, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), approached the Court of Appeal to set aside the lower court’s judgment.

The list of indigenous Nigerians to occupy the Inspector General of police office which shows that the Northern region has dominated the top hierarchy of the police .

  1. IGP Louis Edet (1964-1966): Chief Louis Edet is the first indigenous Nigerian to occupy the office of Inspector General of Police. The Nigeria Police Force headquarters in Abuja is named after Louis Edet as “Louis Edet House”.
  2. IGP Kam Salem (1966-1975)
  3. IGP Muhammadu Dikko Yusufu (1975-1979)
  4. IGP Adamu Suleiman (1979–1981)
  5. IGP Sunday Adewusi (1981–1983)
  6. IGP Etim Inyang (1985–1986)
  7. IGP Muhammadu Gambo-Jimeta (1986–1990)
  8. IGP Aliyu Atta (1990–1993)
  9. IGP Ibrahim Coomassie (1993–1999)
  10. IGP Musiliu Smith (1999–2002)
  11. IGP Mustafa Adebayo Balogun (2002 – 2005)
  12. IGP Sunday Ehindero (2005–2007)
  13. IGP Mike Mbama Okiro (2007–2009)
  14. IGP Ogbonna Okechukwu Onovo (2009 – 2010)
  15. IGP Hafiz Ringim (2010 – 2012)
  16. IGP Mohammed DIKKO Abubarkar (2012 – 2014)
  17. IGP Suleiman Abba (2014 -2015)
  18. IGP Solomon E. Arase (2015 – 2016)
  19. IGP Ibraim Kpotun Idris (2016-2019)
  20. IGP Mohammed Abubakar Adamu (2019-Till Date)

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