IGP, AIGs, CPs, 200 Other Senior Officers to Retire after 35 Years in Service
By Kingsley Nwezeh, Abuja
IGP Usman Alkali Baba
After serving the country for 35 years, Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Usman Baba and about 300 other senior police officers are to retire statutorily today.
Baba clocked 35 years in service on March 1, 2023 and will be 60 years old today.
However, Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Dingyadi, said in January that President Muhammadu Buhari had extended the IGP’s tenure by two years. The minister explained that the extension of Baba’s tenure was in consonant with the Police Act of 2020.
The Act stipulates that any officer that would be appointed IGP should have not less than four more years in service.
Dingyadi further explained that the extension of Baba’s tenure was to enforce the Act.
However, the Police Service Commission (PSC) had said there was no room for such extension for retiring senior personnel, including the IGP.
Some senior police officers and legal luminaries, who spoke on condition of anonymity, disagreed with the police affairs minister. Some stakeholders also disputed the minister’s argument.
A source had said, “There is no provision of the Police Act that gives the president the power to extend the tenure of the IGP. The provision the Hon. Minister was referring to is Sect 7 (6), which states, ‘The person appointed to the office of the IGP shall hold office for four years.’ However, this provision must be read together with the other provisions of the same Act in order to do the proper thing.”
The source said, “In addition to 7 (2), 7(3) reads, ‘The IG shall be appointed by the president on the advice of the Police Council from among serving members of the police force.’ Note serving members of the force.
“Read this together with Sect 18(8) of the same Police Act 2020. ‘Every police officer shall on recruitment or appointment, serve in the Nigeria Police Force for a period of 35 years or until he attains the age of 60 years, whichever is earlier.
“If you are affected by 18(8) you are no longer a serving officer and, therefore, cannot serve out the four years tenure as IGP. If you are also affected by 18(8), you will be in contravention of the constitutional provision as stated in Sect 215(1)(a) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigerian that the appointment of an IGP must be made from among serving members of the NPF.
“Is the president going to amend the constitution to have a non- serving member of the force to head the NPF?”
A retired senior security officer said, “Assuming, but not conceding, that the president can invoke his powers to grant a waiver for the continued services of a public officer, should this be extended on what basis, performance or what? What is the exemplary performance in office by the IGP, which will justify such a dangerous precedent?
“If they did not, against statutory laws and logic, extend Adamu’s tenure, will Alkali Baba be dreaming of such bonanza? Where’s the morality that his colleagues (DIGs, AIGs, CPs, etc.) are all going to retire in accordance with their contract of service, but only him will enjoy a waiver.
“For God’s sake why? On the issue of timing, coming at the time of election. Why are they turning logic upside down, that it’s not proper to appoint a new IGP now? If a new IGP is appointed now, the election will be fairer and more peaceful.
“I will tell you that nothing has been more effective as changing CPs the night before the election.
“Those who ‘sowed seeds’ with the current holders would gnash their teeth and will know that their evil deeds are automatically dead.”
A security analyst, who spoke anonymously, said, “Appoint the new IGP now, the governors who ‘sowed seeds’ would know that their plan to rig the election will no longer work. It’s the legal opinion and that of virtually all nonpartisan senior lawyers that the president cannot legally extend the tenure of a retired IGP to enable him continue in office.”
It was gathered that some senior officers were positioning themselves for consideration, if Buhari decided not to extend Baba’s tenure.
Should Buhari adhere to the public service rules and regulation, he may direct the IGP to hand over to the most senior Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG), pending when a substantive IGP is announced
The most senior DIG is from Katsina State. He has only nine months more to serve in the force.
Further checks showed that there were two other DIGs and three AIGs, whose details were said to be under consideration by the presidency.
One AIG, who is said to be close to the president-elect, Bola Tinubu, is also being seriously considered.