By Alex Enumah
An Abuja based legal practitioner, Maxwell Okpara on Wednesday asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to stop Mr Mohammed Adamu from parading himself as the Inspector General (IG) of Police.
Okpara made the request in a suit filed before the court challenging Adamu’s stay in office as IG beyond February 1, 2021.
Defendants in the suit are President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mohammed Adamu, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and Nigeria Police council.
The lawyer in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/106/2021, is also praying the court to declare as illegal all actions taken by Adamu after February 1, 2021.
In a 10 paragraph affidavit he deposed to in support of the suit Okpara claimed that Adamu “by midnight of February 2021 retired from the Nigeria Police Force having served for 35 years”.
While claiming that the office of Inspector General of Police became vacant on February 1, he said that the first defendant failed and neglected to appoint a new Inspector General of Police.
He said, “That the second defendant though, no longer a serving police officer continued to function as the Inspector General of Police, sitting in the office of the Inspector General of Police and adorning the official uniform of an Inspector General of Police”.
Okpara submitted that if the court does not intervene, the defendants will continue to breach the provisions of the Constitution and the Nigeria Police Act.
Among the issues he brought for determination were whether by the provisions of section 215 and 216 of the Constitution and section 7 of the Nigeria Police Act 2020, Adamu can validly continue to function as IG not being a serving member of the Nigeria Police Force after midnight of February 1, 2021.
“Whether the failure of the president and the Nigeria Police council to appoint an IG on February 1, 2021 does not Constitute abdication of their duties under Section 215 of the Constitution and Section 7 of the Nigeria Police Act, 2020.
He said if the questions are answered in the affirmative, the court should declare that that by law Adamu cannot lawfuly continue to function as IG as from midnight of February 1, 2021 and that all actions taken thereafter are illegal, null and void and constitute a breach of the constitution and the Police Act.
He therefore prayed for an order restraining Adamu from “parading himself as IG or exercising any form of command or control over the Nigeria Police Force not being a serving police officer”.
He also prayed for another order mandating the president and the police council to immediately appoint a new IG in line with the provisions of Section 7 of the police act.
Adamu, as at the time of writing is still performing his official duties as IG despite attaining the mandatory 35 years in service on Monday February 1, 2021.
The IGP, who joined the service on February 1, 1986, attained the mandatory retirement age of 35 years in service.