Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), on Tuesday, said the continuous stay in office by the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba is illegal as he ought to have gone into retirement when he clocked 60 earlier in March.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said Baba’s stay in office after he clocked 60 is illegal and contravenes the Police Service Commission rules and the Police Act 2020.
The Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Dingyadi had earlier in January defended Baba’s remain in office saying he can’t be removed during an election period. However, HURIWA said now that the elections are over, Baba should vacate office immediately.
HURIWA equally said President Muhammadu Buhari did a similar thing in the case of his appointment of Dauda Ali Biu as the acting Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps last year. Biu, who was born in the year 1964 in Zaria, Kaduna State but hails from Hawul Local Government Area of Borno State, joined the FRSC in 1988.
Amid overwhelming calls for Baba’s retirement at the mandatory age of 60 on March 1, 2023, according to the Federal Civil Service Rules, the Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Dingyadi, announced that the IGP would not be retiring midway into the general election, as earlier expected since his tenure had already been extended by Buhari.
The minister explained that the Police Act 2020 had changed the rules for the IGP, revealing that Baba has a four-year tenure. Dingyadi said the IG was appointed by the President on April 6, 2021 and confirmed by the Nigeria Police Council, headed by the President, in June 2021 for a single tenure of four years.
HURIWA said the current IGP should be retired in March on the attainment of 60 years, insisting it was wrong to use the excuse of the forthcoming election to mock the Force.
HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The illegal occupation of the office of IGP by Usman Alkali Baba who ought to have retired from the Nigeria Police statutorily alongside his mate earlier in March is really worrisome.
“As a retired police officer who reached 60 years of age in line with a binding PUBLIC SERVICE RULE which is not vitiated or voided by the Police Act of 2020 the man parading about as IGP is violating the law, the constitution and the public service rule and as the number one law enforcement authority.
“It is thoroughly disgraceful for Nigeria as a nation that someone who ought to have retired is still being kept around as IGP under the nebulous interpretation of the Police Act which does not invalidate the Public Service Act.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is promoting lawlessness and executjve rascality in letting the retired policeman still go about wearing uniform as the IGP.”
March 28, 2023
Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko
National Coordinator – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA.