- A prominent Nigerian lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, has reacted to President Buhari's appointment of Baba as the acting IGP
- Ozekhome argued that the president lacks the power to single-handedly appoint a police chief
- The senior lawyer also faulted President Buhari's move to appoint a Muslim northerner, saying it is against the Federal Character principle
Chief Mike Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) has described the appointment of Usman Alkali Baba as the new acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) as illegal and unconstitutional.
The senior lawyer faulted Baba’s appointment based on two key considerations: the Federal Character principle and the constitutional process of appointing a police chief.
According to The Nation, Ozekhome argued that the appointment contradicts the provisions of Federal Character as enshrined in the 1999 constitution, as amended.
He lamented the appointment of DIG Baba, a northern Muslim, as acting IGP, to replace Adamu Mohammed, another northern Muslim.
“With Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, another northern Muslim as the minister of police affairs, the circle of policing in Nigeria is complete."
He explained that the president can only appoint an IGP in conjunction with the Nigeria Police Council comprising himself (the president) as chairman, all the state governors, the chairman of the Police Service Commission and the IGP.
Ozekhome, therefore, argued that the appointment of Baba, as the new acting IGP “is capricious, arbitrary, whimsical, unconscionable, illegal, unlawful, wrongful and unconstitutional.”
Jimoh Lateef commented on Facebook:
"What nepotic and sectional government since the emergence of democracy in Nigeria."
Prince Ken Oaikhena said:
"We hear. We have been speaking grammar for so many years. What is the way out now? We want a practical and workable solution. A desperate sickness need desperate cure ."
Chucks Ossai said sarcastically:
"Buhari would have been the best civilian president that never ruled Nigeria. Thank God Nigerians are now reaping the dividends of the change they voted for."
Amusat Teslim Babatunde said:
"But d appointment of lrabor a southerner to replace Olonisakin another southerner as chief of defense staff is constitutional, abi? SAN of looters."
Ademola Shashaeniyan Adejoye said:
"Nigerians will always complain. Where were they when OBJ replaced Musiliu Smith with Tafa Balogun? When from 1999 to 2010 Southerners were made IGPs.
"The appointment is now balanced with the emergence of Alkali. Six from the north and six from the south. No lopsidedness. 1999 to date these were the IGPs from the south. Smith, Balogun, Ehindero,Okiro, Onovo and Arase"
Meanwhile, Nigeria's vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, has said President Buhari appointed Usman Alkali as the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) because he is the most senior among those qualified to hold the position.
Osinbajo said this on Wednesday, April 7, in Abuja while decorating Alkali with his new position
He also noted that the process of appointing Alkali was a departure from the past when the selection of the new IGP often meant the immediate retirement of a cohort of senior police officers whose vast experience and training would no longer be available to the country.