By Danlami Nmodu
Justice F.O. Riman of the Federal High Court Awka has delivered judgement in favour of the Plaintiff with respect to the reliefs, among others, to declare the extension of the retirement age of IGP Alkali Baba as illegal.
Also, the judge has ruled that the appointmebt of IGP Alkali Baba was unlawful and invalid.
The Court has equally ordered Alkali Baba to stop parading himself as the Inspector-General of Police, IGP.
Even more, the ruling ordered the the President to convene a meeting of the Nigeria Police Council so as to appoint a new Inspector General of Police that will be in office for four years
Newsdiaryonline which has sighted a CTC of the verdict reports that this ruling was gleaned from the judgement delivered in the suit filed between Okechukwu Nwafor(plaintiff) and (1)President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; (2)Usman Alkali Baba; (3) Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Jutsice; as well as (4)Nigeria Police Council at the Federal Hight Court Awka.
The reliefs sought by plaintiff in the Suit No: FHC/AWK/CS/58/2023 before the court include:
“A declaration that by a community reading of the provisions of sections 215(a) and 216(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), Sections 7 (2) &(6) and 18(8) of the Nigeria Police Act 2020, the appointment of the 2nd Defendant is UNLAWFUL and INVALID, the 2nd Defendant not being a person capable of fulfilling the mandatory requirement of tenure of office of Inspector General of Police and /or the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of thecFederal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) having not be complied with”;
“A declaration that the 2nd Defendant is not qualified to hold the office of the Inspector General of Police for the sole reason that doing so will lead to absurdity which will amount to a complete breach and total disregard for the clear and unambiguous provision of section 7 (6) of the Nigeria Police Act, 2020;
“A declaration that 1st Defendant has no power whatsoever to extend the condition for retirement of a Police officer as contained in in section 18(8) of the Nigeria Police Act 2020;
“An order restraining the 2nd Defendant from further parading himself as the Inspector-General of Police of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or exercising any form of command or control over the Nigeria Police Force;
“An order mandating the 1st Defendant to immediately convene a meeting for members of the 4th Defendant for the purpose of appointing a new Inspector General of Police capable of holding the office for the fixed term of four years unhindered by section 18(8) of the Nigeria Police Act,2020 and also in line with the provisions of sections 7 of the Nigeria Police Act;
“Such further or other orders as this Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this case.”
Delivering his judgement on the originating Summons, the Judge said inter alia: “Despite the prerogative power of the President, he is limited to the provisions of the Constitution.The Inspector General of Police retirement is statutory and constitutional issue and no other law of the land can change the ground norm.
On the issue of locus, the Judge said, “It is my view that required of locus is not necessary on constitutional cases as the application of the concept could impede the administration of justice.There is liberalisation of the concept of locus standi where it involves constitutional matters.The Plaintiff is a Nigerian and tax payer as averred in his affidavit paragraph has not been controverted. I find merit in this suit.Accordingly, Judgement is entered in favour of the Plaintiff as per the reliefs”.