From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Hearing in a suit seeking the removal of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Mohammed Adamu, from office has been adjourned till March 16 by the Abuja division of the Federal High Court.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed fixed the date following the agreement of counsel in the matter.
The office of the IGP became the subject of litigation following the extension of his tenure of office by
President Muhammadu Buhari on February 3.
Adamu retired from the services of the Nigerian Police Force after completing 35 years of service in line with the provisions of the Nigerian Police Act.
Following the decision of the President, an Abuja-bassd legal practitioner, Mr Maxwell Okpara, approached the court praying for an order that Adamu resign from office having spent the mandatory 35 years in service.
When the matter was called, the counsel to Okpara, Mr UC Ejike, told the court that the matter was slated for hearing of the motion to abridge time.
Ejike, however, informed the court that the second defendant (IGP) filed a counter-affidavit which was served on his client on February 23.
The lawyer also told the court that the other defendants in the matter, the President and the Attorney-General, had not responded to the motion.
He informed the court that he needed time to respond to the counter affidavit just as he was expecting replies from the defendants to his motion to abridge time.
Responding, the counsel to the Inspector-General, Mr Alex Ejesieme, SAN, did not oppose the application for an adjournment but he informed the court that he was served with the motion late on February 22.
He, however, said that he was able to file a response and serve on the applicant on February 23.
The judge thereafter adjourned the matter until March 16 for hearing of the substantive suit.
The plaintiff, in the suit, in addition to asking the inspector-general to resign, is also praying the court to restrain him from exercising any form of command over the Nigeria Police.
He also contended that Adamu’s tenure elapsed on February 1 by virtue of the Nigeria Police Act.
He maintained that Adamu completed his tenure as inspector-general on February 1 after completing 35 years in service as required by the Nigeria Police Act.
In the originating summon in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/106/2021, the plaintiff, Maxwell Okpara, wants the court to determine, whether by provisions of Section 215, 216, and Section 7 of the Nigeria Police Act 2020, Adamu can continue to function as inspector-general after Feb 2.
The plaintiff also asked the court to determine, whether the failure of the president or the Nigeria Police (first and second defendants) to appoint another inspector-general did not constitute an abdication of their duty.
In a ten paragraph affidavit deposed to by the counsel, Maxwell Okpara,(plaintiff), stated that Adamu was no longer a serving police officer but had continued to function in that capacity.
The plaintiff urged the court to determine if the continued stay in office by Adamu was not a breech of the provisions of the constitution and the Nigeria Police Act.
The plaintiff, prayed the court to declare illegal, null and void all actions taken by Adamu from midnight of February 1, 2021.