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Police: Court judgment sacking Baba as IGP is subject to appeal

Usman Baba, IGP on electoral offences Usman Baba, IGP on electoral offences

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has reacted to the court judgment sacking Usman Baba as the inspector-general of police (IGP).

TheCable had reported that a federal high court in Anambra has ordered Baba to stop parading himself as IGP.

In a judgment delivered on May 14, Fatun Riman, the presiding judge, held that Baba’s continued stay in office after clocking the retirement age of 60, is illegal and unconstitutional.

The judge argued that Baba should have stepped down as the IGP on March 1, 2023.

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The suit, marked FHC/AKW/CS/58/2023, was filed by one Okechukwu Nwafor.

Reacting to the judgment, Muyiwa Adejobi, force spokesperson, in a statement on Monday, said the verdict is subject to appeal.

Adejobi claimed that the verdict sacking the IGP is “false,” while asking the public to ignore the report.

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“The said judgment is subject to appeal and the alleged news is thus false, unfounded, and perceived to be the handiwork of mischief makers,” the force spokesperson said.

“IGP Alkali was appointed in a letter-number SGF.20/S.6/83 dated 30th November 2021 for a 4-year tenure and his stay in office is within the purview of his appointment.

“It is imperative to note that the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday, February 21, 2023, dismissed a suit that sought to compel the inspector-general of police, IGP, Usman Alkali Baba, to vacate his office on March 1, 2023.

“The federal high court, in the judgment delivered by Justice J. K. Omotosho, held that going by the provision of Section 7 (6) of the Police Act, 2020, anyone appointed as the IGP has a statutorily recognized four-year tenure.

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“It described the IGP’s four-year tenure as sacrosanct, stressing that his retirement as the IGP had nothing to do with age or years of service.”

THE CONTROVERSY

Baba was appointed as the police chief in April 2021.

He was commissioned into the force on March 15, 1988, as a cadet assistant superintendent of police.

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As of March 2023, Baba was supposed to retire after reaching the age of 60 and 35 years of service, according to the public service rule.

Meanwhile, section 7(6) of the Police Act of 2020 stipulates that any person appointed to the office of IGP shall hold office for four years.

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Based on the Police Act, Baba’s tenure is expected to end in 2025.

Those calling for the sack of the IGP argue that the police service rule should come into consideration first.

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