The Federal High Court in Abuja ruled Friday that Nigeria’s president can extend the tenure of a retiring Inspector General of Police (IGP) pending the completion of the process for the appointment of a substantive successor.

A federal judge, Ahmed Mohammed, gave the decision on a suit, filed in February by a lawyer, Maxwell Okpara, challenging President Muhammadu Buhari’s extension of the tenure of the immediate-past IGP, Mohammed Adamu, by three months.

Mr Adamu was due for retirement on February 1, the date he attained the maximum 35 years in service.

The plaintiff, an Abuja-based lawyer, argued in his suit filed on February 3, that by virtue of section 215 of the Nigerian Constitution and section 7 of the Nigeria Police Act, 2020, Mr Adamu could not validly continue to function as the IGP having retired as a police officer as from midnight of February 1, 2021.

The Nation reports that the judge, in his Friday’s decision, noted that both the Nigerian constitution and the Police Act are silent on whether or not the president can extend the tenure of a retired IGP.

But the court held that since the Nigerian president is empowered by the Nigerian constitution and the Police Act to appoint an IGP, he can by implication, extend the tenure of a retiring IGP before concluding the required consultation with the Police Council and other processes required for the appointment of a substantive replacement.

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