Chief Mike Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), characterized the appointment of the new acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, as unlawful and unconstitutional on Wednesday.
Ozekhome argued that Baba’s appointment violated the Federal Character requirements of the 1999 constitution, as amended.
He stated this in a statement titled “Buhari’s Northernisation of Nigeria Police.”
The activist lawyer claimed that the President would not have the authority to appoint the IGP on his own.
According to him, the President can only nominate an IGP in collaboration with the Nigeria Police Council, which includes the President, all 36 state governors, the chairman of the Police Service Commission, and the IGP.
He said Baba’s appointment as acting IGP was “arbitrary, whimsical, unconscionable, unethical, illegitimate, wrongful, and unconstitutional.”
The senior advocate questioned whether the President wanted to disregard and disregard the Federal Character concept, which is enshrined in section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution.
DIG Usman Alkali Baba, a northern Muslim, was appointed acting Inspector-General of Police to succeed Adamu Mohammed, another northern Muslim, he said.
He said: “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’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?”