Sunday, December 3, 2023
HomenewsLawyer contests Buhari's authority to extend the tenure of the IGP

Lawyer contests Buhari’s authority to extend the tenure of the IGP

In order to prevent President Muhammadu Buhari from appointing the current Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali, to continue in office as of March 1, 2023, Maxwell Opara, a lawyer and rights activist with a base in Abuja, has filed a motion on notice before the Court of Appeal, Abuja.Opara’s motion asks the appeal court to rule on whether the IGP can continue in that position after he retires as a police officer.In particular, the Appellant/Applicant wants to stop the Respondents from continuing to flagrantly disregard established legal principles that are inscribed in various National Assembly statutes. Opara is referring to is Buhari, abusing the power of his office to contradict the standing law of the land which is that a non-serving police officer can not hold an office under the Nigeria Police Force, talk more of a very sensitive office such as the Inspector General Office. The Applicant holds the position of the law that, once the Alkali retires, a serving police officer who can serve as the Inspector General of Police, and as such the constitution must be protected from it being violated. the court held”The Courts must stand out strongly to protect the Constitution from the vagaries and impunity of those clamouring for power at all costs.”Your Lordship, the question of whether an application of this nature should be granted by this Honourable Court is a matter of discretion; same being an equitable relief. “In other words, this kind of application is not granted as a matter of course; neither does the court exercise its powers arbitrarily, but upon sufficient, correct and convincing reasons. Therefore, the applicant is praying the court to restrain the President from extending the tenure of IGP Usman Baba Alkali as whatever document he (Alkali) signs after March 1, would be a nullity.Opara, in a motion exparte, informed the court that he has a pending appeal on whether the President has the power to allow any occupant of the office of Inspector General of Police continue to stay in office after he is no longer a serving Police Officer.He said, while the appeal is pending and adjourned for hearing, the President announced his intention to allow the current occupant of the office of IGP to continue to occupy the office after he is no longer a serving Police Officer.While praying for urgent hearing of the matter by the appellate court to avoid destroying the subject matter, the lawyer said, in his affidavit in support of the motion for interlocutory injunction that he filed the suit that gave rise to the appeal at the Federal High Court, Abuja.He averred, in the affidavit that the trial court dismissed his suit in a judgement delivered on June 18, 2021. ‚ÄúThat the appeal has been adjourned to February 16 for hearing and while the appeal is still pending and adjourned for hearing, the 1st respondent, (Buhari), through the Minister for Police Affairs announced that he intends to allow the current IGP, who will cease to be a serving Police Officer on March 2023 to continue to occupy the office of the IGP. END.

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