Court Orders Usman Baba To Stop Parading As IGP, Vacate Office Immediately

Justice Fatun Riman of a Federal High Court in Awka, Anambra State has told the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali, that he is an illegal occupant of the office he is presently holding.

The court declared that his appointment and continued stay in office were unlawful and unconstitutional.

The court in its judgment in suit number FHC/AKW/CS/58/2023, filed by Okechukwu Nwafor, who described himself as a taxpayer said Alkali’s continuous stay in office is against the clear provisions of the Police Act, 2020.

Justice Riman further held that only an officer within the listed rank, with four years in service, can be appointed as IGP, not one with less than four years.

The court also ordered Alkali Baba to stop parading himself as the Inspector-General of Police (IGP).

The court ordered the President to convene a meeting of the Nigeria Police Council to appoint a new Inspector General of Police who will hold office for four years.

The plaintiff in the suit dragged the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and Nigeria Police Council before the court, seeking an order to stop the IGP from further occupying office as his tenure has expired.

Rule, the 2nd Defendant is obliged to step down on March 1st, 2023. The PSR retirement age provision, is mirrored in section 18 (8) of the Police Act, on the word ‘Shall’ is used in the provision, it is mandatory. See the case of ISHOLA V. AJIBOLA 1994 4 NWLR PT 352 para 506 by Rhodes Vivour JCA (as he then was) and also IBRAHIM & ANOR V. AKINRISOLA (2010) LEPLR 444 CA, Section 7 (6) at the Police Act provides for a four-year term or tenure for the Inspector General of Police and the word ‘Shall’ is also used in the said provision.
“I also observe that despite the prerogative power of the President, he is limited to the provisions of the Constitution. The Inspector General of Police retirement is a statutory and constitutional issue and no other law of the land can change the ground norm.”

“In my view, the requirement of locus is not necessary in constitutional cases as the application of the concept could impede the administration of justice. There is a liberalisation of the concept of locus standi when it involves constitutional matters. The Plaintiff is a Nigerian and taxpayer, as stated in his affidavit paragraph, and this has not been disputed. I find merit in this suit. Accordingly, judgment is entered in favour of the Plaintiff in accordance with the reliefs sought.”

Alkali Baba clocked 60 on March 1, 2023.

Buhari in January extended Alkali’s tenure, knowing fully well that he is to clock 60 years which is the compulsory year for retirement.

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