The 3 months tenure extension of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu after he has ceased to be a police officer in the eyes of the law has raised a dust whether President Muhammadu Buhari could differentiate between constitutional democracy and military regime.
Buhari seems to have adopted the 1999 constitution, as amended, and other extant laws, as the remnants of the decrees under the military regime headed by him between 1983-1985 where laws were unilaterally promulgated, retroactively rescinded and selectively executed.
An old dog can’t easily be taught a new trick. Buhari, a former military dictator whose ethical training in the Armed Forces was “obey the last command.” He could also be helpless to get over the illusion of the unlimited powers he enjoyed during his 1983 iron fist regime due to old age. Unfortunately, his cabinet are not helping matters.
Mohammed Adamu, an educator and well trained police officer at the international level could have professionally and diplomatically prevented the current constitutional crisis behind the scenes. If Adamu had demonstrated utmost willingness to retire within the stipulated legal confine, he would have facilitated a standby successor alongside the Police Service Commission and the presidency couple of months ago.
The extension of the IGP’s tenure on the ground of proper selection of a successor has clearly indicated that Buhari doesn’t take cognizance of the rule of law. And the high – profile Adamu exploited the weakness of the latter. If Adamu’s retirementmet met Buhari suddenly, would Adamu also claim ignorance of the years spent in active service?
Adamu, who was enlisted into the Nigeria Police Force on February 1, 1986 has attained the mandatory 35 years in service which is one of the basic criteria for police retirement in accordance with the amended Police Act, 2020. Adamu is currently not a serving member of the Nigeria Police Force he presides over. A breach against the provisions in Sec 215(1)(a) of the 1999 Constitution and Sec 7(3) of the Police Act.
Power is transient. The subjugation of Nigeria’s democratic institution under any guise would create a vacuum for unimaginable tyranny to any individuals. Adamu ought to have known better with his academic and professional credentials. Muhammadu Buhari – led administration would continue to commit constitutional aberrations until the intellectuals in his cabinet begin to act selflessly, progressively and lawfully.
Binzak Azeez writes from the faculty of Law, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife