The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has approached a Federal High Court in Lagos, seeking a judicial determination of the constitutionality of the extension of Mohammed Adamu’s tenure as the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) for three months by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Adamu’s tenure as IGP expired on February 1, 2021, having attained the mandatory 35 years of service as a member of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
The suit has the President, Police Service Commission, and the IGP as defendants.
The NBA’s decision to take the legal action, according to the President of the association, Dayo Akpata, was underpinned by an urgent need, and a sacred duty, to reassert the supremacy of the rule of law in the face of growing impunity and the seeming reluctance of law officers in Government to give proper counsel.
The NBA’s position in the suit is that Adamu ceased to be a member of the Nigeria Police Force when he attained the milestone of 35 years of service, saying: “The President’s extension of Mr Adamu’s tenure by three months, in the NBA’s respectful view, is unconstitutional.”
Akpata said the NBA is wary that the more government officials casually violate the law, the harder it would become to expect citizens to be compliant.
“Citizens take their cues from their leaders and public office holders who flout the laws of the country that they are meant to uphold will discover sooner or later that their examples will be followed by those that they purport to govern.
“The ubiquity of acts of impunity, especially by those in high public offices, portends an existential threat to the survival of this country and her hard-won democracy. The NBA, now more than ever, is firmly committed to changing this narrative,” Akpata said in a statement.
The NBA added that it will continue to condemn and confront lawlessness in any form and from all quarters.