A legal practitioner, Festus Ogun, has dragged the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, to the Federal High Court.
The human rights activist filed the lawsuit to challenge the police chief’s “continuous stay in office after his retirement.”
“I firmly believe that his continuous stay in office is illegal and unconstitutional. Rule of law must reign supreme,” the Principal Partner of Festus Ogun Legal said on Friday.
In the suit marked FHC/AB/CS/24/23 and filed on Thursday at the Federal High Court, Abeokuta Judicial Division, the defendants are the IGP, the President, and the Police Service Commission (PSC).
In his argument, the plaintiff insisted Baba has reached his retirement age, but is “not willing to step out of the Police Force, claiming he has four years tenure like the President.”
“Why should a retired Police IG continue in office as Inspector General of Police? Rule of Law is now a joke in Nigeria,” the lawyer fumed.
Ogun said the position of the Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Dingyadi that Baba could stay in office for four years despite clocking the retirement age “is rooted in [a] grave misconception of our extant laws.”
He said: “The IGP cannot stay beyond 60 years of age in office. Upon attainment of age 60 in March, he ceases to be a police officer, let alone an IGP.
“Staying in office a day after clocking 60 years of age will, therefore, be illegal and unconstitutional. It will be likened to a civilian holding the highest police rank in the country.”
He informed the authorities that Section 7 (6) and Section 18 (8) cannot be read in isolation of each other, and thus must be read together for full effect.
Dingyadi, he continued, cannot rely only on Section 7(6) of the Police Act and completely shy away from Section 18 (8) of the same law.
“That will be dishonest and a misinterpretation of law. This dangerous precedent must be averted. Rule of law must be respected by all persons,” Ogun stressed.