Human rights lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), has faulted the appointment of Usman Alkali Baba as acting Inspector-General of Police, describing it as unconstitutional and nepotistic.
In a statement titled “Buhari’s Northernisation Of The Nigeria Police Force”, Ozekhome said it was illegal for President Muhammadu Buhari to single-handedly appoint an IGP.
The lawyer noted that the president’s action contravened paragraph 7 to the 3rd Schedule of the 1999 Constitution.
Ozekhome said; “He can only do so in conjunction with the Nigeria Police Council comprising of Mr President as chairman, all the 36 state Governors, the Chairman of the Police Service Commission and the IGP.
“Such an appointment as just happened before the new Acting IGP is capricious, arbitrary, whimsical, unconscionable, illegal, unlawful, wrongful and unconstitutional. It eulogises strong men rather than strong institutions.
“Today, Buhari has again appointed DIG Usman Alkali Baba, a Northern Muslim, as Acting Inspector General of Police, to replace Adamu Mohammad, another Northern Muslim. With Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, another Northern Muslim as the Minister of Police Affairs, the circle of policing in Nigeria is complete.”
He added; “By the way, can’t President Muhammadu Buhari for once, just for once, in his opaque appointments look beyond his religion and immediate and forsake sectionalism, cronyism, prebendalism, tribalism, favouritism, and act as a true statesman?
“Is he truly saying he cannot trust any of the other over 15 million Nigerians who voted for him, or that he cannot find any of them that is qualified to be made an IGP? I thought gleefully told Nigerians on 29th May, 2015, while taking his first oath of office, that he was for “everybody and for nobody”? So, Buhari had actually deceived Nigerians and is desecrating his solemn oath of office?
“Is Buhari telling Nigerians that under his governance, Nigerians are indeed living in the Federal Republic of the North, or Northern Republic of Nigeria, or Republic of Northern Nigeria, or Northern Nigeria Republic, Republic of Northern Nigeria and Other Vassal States ? I can’t decode Buhari’s defiant refusal to respect the Federal Character principle enshrined in section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution. Or, can you?”
Buhari had on Tuesday appointed Baba as acting IGP to replace Adamu Muhammed whose tenure was extended by three months but had only spent about two months when he was replaced.
Adamu’s tenure was extended by three months in February after completion of his mandatory 35 years of service.
Baba assumed office officially on Wednesday after he was decorated by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo at the Aso Villa, Abuja.