From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The controversy surrounding the office of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) has taken a legal dimension with a suit asking the federal high court to stop Mohammed Adamu from further parading himself as the holder of the office.
In an originating summons marked FHC/ABJ/CS/106/2021, the plaintiff, Maxwell Opara, an Abuja based legal practitioner listed President Muhammadu Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Police Council as defendants.
Adamu is still performing his official duties despite attaining the mandatory 35 years in service on Monday, February 1.
The IGP, who joined the service on February 1, 1986, attained the mandatory retirement age of 35 years in service.
In the suit dated February 3, 2021, the plaintiff is seeking an order of court restraining Adamu from exercising any form of command or control over the Nigeria Police Force.
It equally sought an order of court mandating President Buhari and the Police Council to immediately appoint a new Inspector-General of Police in line with the provisions of section 7, of the Nigeria Police Act.
Other reliefs sought by the plaintiff are a ‘declaration that by the combined effect of the provisions of section 215 and 216 of the 1999 constitution and section 7 of the Nigeria Police Act, 2020, the 2nd defendant (Adamu) cannot lawfully continue to function as the Inspector-General of Police not being a serving member of the Nigeria Police Force as from midnight of February 1, 2021, and therefore all actions taking thereafter are illegal, null and void and constitute a breach of the constitution and the Police Act.
‘A declaration that the failure of the 1st (Buhari) and the 4th (Police Council) defendants to appoint an Inspector-General of Police as at February 1, 2021, constitutes an abdication of their duties under section 215 of the 1999 constitution and section 7 of the Police Act.’
In a 10 paragraph affidavit in support of the originating summons, Opara deposed that Adamu 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; that if the court does not intervene, the defendants will continue to breach the provisions of the constitution and the Nigeria Police Act.