The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has dragged President Muhammadu Buhari before the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court over his decision to extend the tenure of the Inspector General of Police, Muhammadu Abubakar.
President Buhari through the Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammad Dinggyadi, had on February 4 announced the controversial elongation of the tenure of Adamu as the IGP by three months.
In the suit marked as FHC/L/CS/214/2021, the NBA said the tenure extension was “outside and in excess of the provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Joined in the suit as co-defendants are the Police Service Commission (2nd defendant) and IGP Mohammed Abubakar (3rd defendant).
Olumide Akpata, NBA President, in a statement said it was seeking a judicial determination of the constitutionality of the President’s extension of Adamu’s tenure after he had on February 1, 2021, attained 35 years of service as a member of the Nigeria Police Force.
The statement read, “In fidelity to the motto of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) which is Promoting the Rule of Law, on Thursday, 11 February, 2021, the NBA-Public Interest Litigation Committee (NBA-PILC), on behalf of the NBA, commenced legal action at the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/214/2021 (the ‘Suit’) against the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Police Service Commission, and Mr Mohammed Abubakar Adamu.
“In the suit, the NBA seeks judicial determination of the constitutionality of the President’s extension of Mr Adamu’s tenure as the Inspector-General of Police for three months after Mr Adamu had, on 1 February, 2021, attained 35 years of service as a member of the Nigeria Police Force.
“The NBA’s decision to take this extraordinary line of action is 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 Mr Adamu ceased to be a member of the Nigeria Police Force when he attained the milestone of 35 years of service. Therefore, the President’s extension of Mr Adamu’s tenure by three months, in the NBA’s respectful view, is unconstitutional.
“In the grand scheme of things, 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. As the outcome of the suit is awaited, the NBA will continue to condemn and confront lawlessness in any form and from all quarters.”