Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Dingyadi, has said President Muhammadu Buhari did nothing wrong by not consulting the Police Service Council before appointing Usman Alkali Baba as the new Inspector-General of Police (IGP).
Buhari had on Tuesday appointed Baba as the new IGP to replace Mohammed Adamu.
One of the issues that trailed the appointment of the new IGP was that the president did not consult the Police Service Council as contained in the Nigeria Police Act 2020, and sections 214, 215, and 216 of the 1999 constitution (as amended).
Human rights lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, had argued that the appointment of Baba was unconstitutional, noting that the president cannot singlehandedly appoint the IGP without consulting the council.
But speaking on Friday while features on Channels Television programme, Politics Today, the minister said Baba is serving in acting capacity, adding that the president is making arrangements to consult the police council, when he returns from the United Kingdom.
“Mr president, by law, has been asked, while appointing the Inspector-General of Police to consult the police council. Mr president has not yet consulted the police council and that is why you have seen that the person he is appointing now is on acting capacity.
“So, he’s making arrangements now to consult the police council, and as you are aware, Mr president is not in the country at this material time.
“As soon as he comes back, he will set the machinery in motion to do the necessary processes provided by the law to consult the police council in this direction,” the minister said.
Asked what will happen if the police council rejects Baba’s appointment, Dingyadi noted that such has not happened before, but said the president must have done his homework before announcing Baba as the IGP.
“I’m not sure, but this kind of thing has never happened, because before the president takes decision on an acting appointment, he must have made his own homework.
“What the police council will be after is ensuring that the right person is brought on board, somebody who is capable; somebody who is a professional; somebody who is qualified and experienced.
“And I want to believe that the governors who are members of this council have all the confidence in Mr president and they know the kind of person he is. I think Mr president should be able to convince members of the police council on this decision that he has taken at this material time,” Dingyadi added.