Sunday, February 25, 2024

Police debunk IG’s ‘sack’, say four-year tenure legal

The Nigeria Police Force has said the alleged judgement ordering the removal of the incumbent Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali-Baba, from office over retirement age is false.

The Force Headquarters made the clarification on Monday while affirming the continued stay of Alkali-Baba in office as IG, in an official correspondence signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi.

The NPF further advised citizens and residents to ignore what it referred to as “false news making the rounds on social media,” while noting that maintaining the four-year period for individuals appointed as IG was institutionalised by the provisions of the law, rather than on personal grounds to favour an individual.

It was earlier widely reported that a Federal High Court in Awka, Anambra State, had in an alleged judgement on May 19, declared the incumbent IG, Alkali-Baba’s continued stay in office as illegal, adding that he was no longer a police officer since he attained the age of retirement on March 1, 2023.

Responding to the report on Monday, Adejobi said, “The Nigeria Police wishes to urge the general public to disregard the false news making the rounds on social media alleging the sack of the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, by a Federal High Court in Awka.

“The said judgement is subject to appeal and the alleged news is thus false, unfounded, and perceived to be the handiwork of mischief makers. IG Alkali-Baba was appointed in a letter-number SGF.20/S.6/83 dated November 30, 2021 for a four-year tenure and his stay in office is within the purview of his appointment.

“It is imperative to note that the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday, February 21, 2023, dismissed a suit that sought to compel the IG, Alkali-Baba, to vacate his office on March 1, 2023.

“The Federal High Court, in the judgement delivered by Justice J. K. Omotosho, held that going by the provision of Section 7 (6) of the Police Act, 2020, anyone appointed as the IGP has a statutorily recognized four-year tenure. It described the IG’s four-year tenure as sacrosanct, stressing that his retirement as the IG had nothing to do with age or years of service.

“It is pertinent to state that maintaining the four-year period for individuals appointed as IG is being institutionalised by the provisions of the law, not on personal grounds to favour an individual, but for the general betterment of the Nigeria Police Force.

“Consequently, members of the public are on this notice advised to ignore the false news making the rounds on social media. IG Alkali-Baba remains the IG and is duty-bound to execute the responsibilities of the office in accordance with extant laws.

“Meanwhile, the Nigeria police reaffirms the commitment of the IG to the improvement of policing services within the country as well as the entrenchment of professionalism and community-oriented policing.”

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