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Group to Tinubu: Appointment of next IGP should adhere strictly to rule of law

Group to Tinubu: Appointment of next IGP should adhere strictly to rule of law
June 16
15:14 2023

The Civil Society Contact Group (CSCG), a civil society organisation, has asked President Bola Tinubu to adhere strictly to the provision of the law in the appointment of the next inspector general of police (IGP).

The group said Tinubu is expected to announce a replacement for Usman Baba, the current IGP, who should have exited office in March after reaching the compulsory retirement age of 60 years, but was retained by Former President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement on Friday, the group asked the president to avoid steps that could reignite controversies and a “judicial logjam”.

Taiwo Akindolu, director-general of CSCG, also asked the president to focus primarily on good governance and human rights.

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Akindolu said the person to be appointed to the office of the IGP, according to the law, shall hold office for four years while the law also states that such appointee shall be a senior police officer not below the rank of an assistant inspector-general of police with the requisite academic qualifications of not less than a first degree or its equivalent in addition to professional and management experience.

“We strongly advise President Tinubu to uphold the rule of law in the appointment of a new IGP. As of the date of his appointment, Usman Baba was 58 years old and stepped into an office with a four-year tenure when he had just two years left in the service,” he said.

“It behoves on Mr President not only to ensure a prudent adherence to the laws guiding the appointment of an IGP but must also take other fundamental variables into consideration, particularly with regard to Section 7(6) of the Nigeria Police Act, 2020 which states that the person appointed to the office of the Inspector-General of the Police shall hold office for four years.

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“In the wisdom of the drafters of this section of the Act, it follows that while making the choice of who to be Nigeria’s IGP, the president and the police council must pay special attention to ensure that whoever is being chosen has at least four more years or above to serve in the Nigerian police before retirement.

“We take this position because if policemen and officers, by law, are to retire at age 60 or after serving 35 years in the police, for any officer to remain in service beyond the statutory age of retirement is tantamount to illegality and a direct violation of the Nigeria Police Act 2020.

“Appointing a police officer who has just a few months or two years or less to retire as IGP defeats the purpose or the intention of Section 7(6) of the Police Act.”

According to the group, an officer nearing retirement cannot have the same zeal, focus, and energy that the demanding office of the IGP requires and can not aggregate the capacity to run the office productively

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The group further said there is need to appoint an IGP that will have the time frame to develop his plans and vision and execute the same in the interest of the force and Nigeria.

“We urge President Tinubu to appoint only candidates who have up to four years and above in service and the process should be conducted in consultation with the police council as stipulated by both the Police Act and the Nigerian constitution,” the group said.

“Apart from acting in consonance with the Police Act, we hope the president will consider geopolitical balancing, managerial competence, merit, qualifications, capacity, and unblemished records.”

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