President Muhammadu Buhari has been called upon to avoid the embarrassment of being documented as a lawbreaker in the court records with the appointment of Mr Usman Alkali Baba, as acting Inspector-General of Police.
Barrister Maxwell Opara, a legal practitioner based in Abuja, appealed to the President to act in accordance with the law he assented to in appointing a substantive IGP.
Barrister Opara also urged the President to avoid being misled into the destruction of State Institutions with unnecessary politics and influence peddling.
The legal practitioner, in an open letter he wrote to President Buhari in respect of the appointment of Usman Alkali Baba as the acting IGP reminded the President of the implication of appointing a legally unqualified person to such position.
Barrister Opara encouraged the
President to heed his admonition in the “overall interest of our nation, especially at this precarious time that legitimacy will go a long way in covering the gap created by obvious acts of nepotism at the expense of our law and national unity.”
Barrister Opara in his open letter dated May 10, this year to the President, pointed out that Nigeria is currently going back to the same scenario of unnecessary distractions of lobbying and attempts to subvert the clear provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Nigeria Police Act, 2020 by desperate politicians who are only interested in 2023 elections and are out to impose an unqualified IGP who they believe will do their bidding.
The legal practitioner, in his open letter, asked, “Why do we enjoy the destruction of State Institutions with unnecessary politics and influence peddling?
He added, “It is widely rumoured that so much money has and is being spent in the bid to retain the appointment of anyone as Inspector-General of Police, irrespective of the obvious lack of qualification – whether this is true or not, it should not be allowed to degenerate to this level before Mr President does the right thing and act by the law.
“I am hopeful that Mr President will heed to this kind admonition in the overall interest of our nation, especially at this precarious time that legitimacy will go a long way in covering the gap created by obvious acts of nepotism at the expense of our law and national unity.
“If Mr President knew that he was not willing to abide by this law, why did he assent to it?
“Is the application of law now subjected to political, ethnic and religious considerations?
Continuing, Barrister Opara said, The subject matter of appointing a new Inspector-General for the Nigeria Police Force has been one that I saw as an opportunity for this great nation to rise above primordial cleavages and, for once, abide by the letters and spirit of our laws devoid of politics, nepotism and or religious and tribal sentiment. “That was my driving force when I challenged the tenure extension granted to the former Inspector-General, Adamu Muhammed upon his statutory retirement.
“That case was due for judgment before Mr President realized the error and effectively removed him from office.
“My action was not borne out of hatred for the former Inspector-General of Police, neither is my present resistance for the appointment of Usman Alkali Baba as the Acting Inspector-General borne out of tribalism or religious consideration.
“My action is solely a passionate pursuit of justice for Nigerians and the need to uphold our laws as they are presently in effect.
“My action is patriotic public interest activism aimed at ensuring that our foremost internal security institution is insulated from politics and unnecessary favouritism in the appointment of its leadership.
“Mr President will agree with me that the wrongful extension of the tenure of the former IGP led to an unnecessary distraction in the core responsibility of the police as the then IGP became preoccupied with lobbying to secure his office rather than securing the lives and properties of Nigerians.
“He hired lawyers to present bizarre argument on his behalf with the intention of turning the law on its head in order for him to remain in office beyond his mandatory statutory retirement age.
“Your Excellency, we are currently back to the same scenario of unnecessary distractions of lobbying and attempts to subvert the clear provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Nigeria Police Act, 2020 by desperate politicians who are only interested in 2023 elections and are out to impose an unqualified IGP who they believe will do their bidding.
“One wonders why the President of the Nigerian Senate whose chamber was involved in the enactment of the Police Act, 2020 will be silent when a clearly unqualified person is appointed as the IGP of Police at a time that our nation is in need of 100% lawful actions required for legitimacy in the security sector of our nation.
“At least, the Nigeria Senate should be seen and heard insisting that the law they passed to reform and professionalize the Nigerian Police Force is strictly adhered to in implementation.
“However, it seems the Senate is even in support of totally breaching that law for their political convenience.
“Also, it is greatly depressing to imagine that the Attorney-General of the federation might have advised in support of such an unlawful appointment as he has remained silent after openly defending the most illegal tenure extension of the former IGP.
“The Attorney-General of the federation seems to be more interested in politics than upholding our laws.
“There is no other reason for the Attorney-General to turn a blind eye over such an illegal appointment except politics or genuine lack of understanding of our laws – that is most unfortunate. In both circumstances”, he said in the letter.