Amby Uneze in Owerri and Udora Orizu in Abuja
The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), has dragged President Muhammadu Buhari; the Police Service Commission (PSC); and the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, before the Federal High Court in Abuja, to stop the alleged illegal plot of the president to extend the tenure of the Inspector General, which they said will place him in a position to be used by the APC to rig the 2019 presidential election.
In a statement issued by its National spokesperson, Ikenga Ugochinyere, the applicant said the patriotic legal action is to ensure that the constitution is not violated and that a partisan IG, whose membership of the Police Force will expire on January 15, 2019, after attaining the mandatory 60 years retirement age, is not allowed to remain in office to avoid endangering the electoral process, democracy and the lives of the citizens.
“This opposition’s legal offensive, which was filled at the Federal High Court Abuja few days ago with Suit Number FHC/ABJ/CS/1570/2018 and instituted by the National chairman of Action Peoples Party (APP) and spokesperson of the opposition coalition CUPP (Coalition of United Political Parties) on behalf of the CUPP, is seeking the court’s interpretation on whether by the combined provisions of section 215(1) of the 1999 constitution, which provides that the appointment of a new IG shall be made from amongst serving officers and the provisions of Rule 020810 of the Public Service Rules, which places the cap for retirement at 60 years or 35 years of service, whichever comes first, the IG Ibrahim Idris, who was born on 15 January, 1959 and who by 15 January 2015 will turn 60, (retirement age) and consequently ceases to be a police officer, can be reappointed as IG in violation of the constitutional provision, which clearly stipulates that only serving police officers are to be appointed.
“It is based on the above, that the suit is seeking a court declaration that IG Idris is not eligible to remain in office after 15 January, 2019 having attained the retirement age of 60,” the statement said.
Ugochinyere is also seeking for an order to restrain President Buhari from reappointing or extending the tenure of the IG beyond 15 January, 2019.
He called on the President to immediately direct the Idris to proceed on terminal leave as it is less than one month to his retirement date of 15 January, 2019.
“This call is to achieve the dual purpose of allowing the President who is usually too slow in making appointments to have at least one month to make up his mind and appoint another IG and also allow the IG time to commence his mandatory one-month pre-retirement workshop/seminar and put his records straight so as to facilitate the speedy processing of his retirement benefits”
He added that the issue of the retirement of the Inspector General of Police is yet another integrity test for the President, and the plan for this secret extension of the tenure of the IG will be unconstitutional, unlawful and unacceptable and It will also further expose the President’s desperation to win the elections by foul means.
He also raised alarm on an alleged shameful plot by the APC party to inaugurate the ousted former Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Lawal Daura as the Head of the Security Committee of the 2019 APC Presidential campaign Council.
“This move is another assault on our democracy, the march for free and fair election and public decency. The move has confirmed our stand years back that the former DG’s anti-democratic actions especially his failed attempt to overthrow the leadership of the parliament led by Saraki had the blessing of the President Buhari-led APC Govt.”
“This shameful move going by the history and records of the former DG who led many illegal assaults against human rights activists, judiciary officers, political opponents, religious groups, etc. is aimed at compromising the independence of our security agencies and drag them into the APC’s desperate move to retain power at all cost.”