Mike Ozekhome, SAN, has on Wednesday, described the appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari of the new Acting Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Usman Alkali Baba, as illegal, wrongful, arbitrary, and unconstitutional, Page 36 learnt.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria contended that Baba’s appointment negated the provisions of Federal Character, as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
He said this in a statement titled: “Buhari’s Northernisation of Nigeria Police”.
Also, Mike Ozekhome argued that the President lacks the power to single handedly appoint the IGP.
He said that the President can only appoint an IGP, in conjunction with the Nigeria Police Council, comprising of the President as Chairman, all the 36 State Governors, the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, and the outgoing IGP.
He argued that the appointment of Baba as the new Acting IGP “is capricious, arbitrary, whimsical, unconscionable, illegal, unlawful, wrongful, and unconstitutional”.
The SAN wondered why the President chose to ignore and disrespect the Federal Character principle enshrined in section 14 (3) of the 1999 Constitution.
He lamented on the appointment DIG Usman Alkali Baba, a Northern Muslim, as Acting Inspector-General of Police, to replace Mohammed Adamu, another Northern Muslim.
His exact words: “With Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, another Northern Muslim, as the Minister of Police Affairs, the circle of policing in Nigeria is complete.
“Of course, Buhari controls the Police by virtues of sections 214, 215 and 216 of the 1999 Constitution. It is the same situation with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, and NNPC, the entire Security Architecture of Nigeria, and other key sectors, and commanding heights of the economy.
“The illogical and puerile argument is always that the President only appoints people he can trust, and that such persons are qualified in any event. That argument is insulting and insensitive to the intelligence, sensibilities, and plurality of Nigeria.
“Can President Muhammadu Buhari not 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?”