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On Wednesday, Maxwell Okpara, an Abuja-based legal practitioner, approached the Federal High Court in Abuja for an order to stop Mr. Mohammed Adamu from parading as Inspector General of Police, IGP.
In the suit, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/106/2021, the plaintiff requested the court to declare all actions Adamu took as head of the Nigerian Police Force NPF after 1 February 2021 as illegal.
He also urged the court to restrict Adamu from exercising any form of command over NPF officers, insisting that his continued stay in office as an IGP is illegal and unconstitutional after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 35 years.
In addition to Adamu, President Muhammadu Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, and the Nigerian Police Council are also other defendants in the suit.
In a 10-paragraph affidavit he submitted in support of the lawsuit, the Plaintiff argued that, under the Police Act, Adamu ceased to be a police officer from midnight on 1 February 2021, when he clocked the retirement age of 35 years.
He asked the court to determine whether the failure of President Buhari and the Nigeria Police Council to appoint another IGP did not constitute an abdication of their duties after the position became vacant by virtue of Adamu’s retirement.
“The Plaintiff averred: “That the 2nd Defendant continued to function as the Inspector General of Police, sitting in the office of the Inspector General of Police and decorating the official uniform of the Inspector General of Police, although no longer a serving police officer.
He said that, unless the court intervened, the defendants would continue to act in breach of the Constitution and the Nigerian Police Act.
He therefore urged the court, among other things, to determine whether Adamu can validly continue to function as an IGP under the provisions of Sections 215 and 216 of the Constitution and Section 7 of the Nigeria Police Act 2020, not being a serving member of the Nigeria Police Force after midnight on 1 February 2021.
“As well as, “Whether the President and Nigeria Police Council’s failure to appoint an IG on 1 February 2021 does not constitute abdication of their responsibilities under Section 215 of the Constitution and Section 7 of the Nigeria Police Act, 2020
The Plaintiff said that if the questions are answered in the affirmative, the court should declare that, as of midnight of 1 February 2021, Adamu could no longer legally continue to function as the IGP by law, and all actions he took thereafter were illegal, null and void and constituted a violation of the Constitution and the Police Act.
“He therefore asked the court for an order to prevent Adamu from “parading himself as an IG or exercising any form of command or control over the non-serving police officer of the Nigeria Police Force.
Similarly, an order requiring President Buhari to appoint a new IGP immediately in accordance with the provisions of Section 7 of the Police Act.
In the meantime, no date has been set for the hearing.
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