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Suit seeking IGP’s removal suffers setback

Suit seeking IGP’s removal suffers setback
March 16
16:10 2021

The suit seeking the removal of Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police, from office suffered a setback on Tuesday over the irregular service of originating processes on the Nigerian Police Council (NPC).

Adamu, who was appointed in 2019, had clocked the mandatory 35 years in service on February 1 and was expected to have been replaced by the president.

However, on February 4, President Muhammadu Buhari extended Adamu’s tenure by three months.

Maxwell Opara, a legal practitioner, subsequently took the IGP to court, contending that by virtue of section 215 of the Nigerian constitution and section 7 of the Nigeria Police Act, 2020, Adamu cannot continue to function as the IGP, having retired as a serving member of the force.

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But in a counter-affidavit, the IGP submitted that the new Nigeria Police Act gave him a four-year tenure, which would only lapse in 2023.

The suit has President Muhammadu Buhari as the first defendant, IGP as the second defendant, the attorney-general of the federation (AGF) as the third defendant, and the NPC as the fourth defendant.

At a resumed sitting, Ugochukwu Ezekiel, the plaintiff’s counsel, informed the court that he had just been served with the counter-affidavits wherein the first and third defendant raised objection to the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter.

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Also, there was no legal representation for the NPC, the fourth defendant.

Upon inquiry, the record of the court showed that one Adeyemi, whose status could not be verified, had acknowledged receipt of the originating processes.

Subsequently, the court held that the fourth defendant was not properly served with the processes and the hearing notice issued on March 8.

“There is doubt as to whether the fourth defendant was properly served with the originating processes,” Ahmed Mohammed, the judge, held.

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“Service is fundamental and we all know what happens to an entire proceeding once there was no proper service.

“The court has to be cautious and ensure that the right thing is done.”

Mohammed ordered that processes be served on the NPC and adjourned the matter to March 30 for hearing.

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