Ozekhome Rejects Buhari’s Appointment of Baba as IG, Says It’s Unconstitutional

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A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and human rights activist, Chief Mike Ozekhome has rejected the appointment of Mr. Usman Alkali Baba, as the new Acting Inspector General of Police (IG) by President Muhammadu Buhari, describing it as unconstitutional and nepotistic.

In a statement issued yesterday and titled, ‘Buhari’s Northernisation of The Nigeria Police Force, ’ Ozekhome, who had also kicked against the extension of the tenure of the former IG, Mohammed Adamu, said going by “paragraph 7 to the 3rd Schedule of the 1999 Constitution, the President cannot single-handedly appoint an IG, as he has again unconstitutionally and illegally done.

“He can only do so in conjunction with the Nigeria Police Council comprising of Mr. President as chairman, all the 36 state Governors, the Chairman of the Police Service Commission and the IG.

The senior lawyer said: “Such an appointment as just happened before the new Acting IG is capricious, arbitrary, whimsical, unconscionable, illegal, unlawful, wrongful and unconstitutional. It eulogises strong men rather than strong institutions.

“Today, Buhari has again appointed DIG Usman Alkali Baba, a northern muslim, as Acting Inspector General of Police, to replace Adamu Mohammad, another Northern Muslim. With Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, another Northern Muslim as the Minister of Police Affairs, the circle of policing in Nigeria is complete.

“By the way, can’t President Muhammadu Buhari for once, just for once, in his opaque appointments look beyond his religion and immediate and forsake sectionalism, cronyism, prebendalism, tribalism, favouritism, and act as a true statesman?

“Is he truly saying he cannot trust any of the other over 15 million Nigerians who voted for him, or that he cannot find any of them that is qualified to be made an IG? I thought gleefully told Nigerians on 29th May, 2015, while taking his first oath of office, that he was for “everybody and for nobody”? So, Buhari had actually deceived Nigerians and is desecrating his solemn oath of office?

“Is Buhari telling Nigerians that under his governance, Nigerians are indeed living in the Federal Republic of the North, or Northern Republic of Nigeria, or Republic of Northern Nigeria, or Northern Nigeria Republic, Republic of Northern Nigeria and Other Vassal States ? I can’t decode Buhari’s defiant refusal to respect the Federal Character principle enshrined in section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution. Or, can you?”