Tenure Expiration: Court declines to sack IGP, Baba - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Tenure Expiration: Court declines to sack IGP, Baba

By Editor

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday, dismissed a suit that sought to compel the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Usman Baba, to vacate his office on March 1, when he would clock the mandatory retirement age.

The court, in the judgement that was 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 Baba's four-year tenure as sacrosanct, stressing that his retirement as the IGP had nothing to do with age or years of service.

The judgement followed a suit marked: FHC/ CS/ 31/2023, which was brought before the court by an activist and social crusader, Mr. Micheal Sam Idoko.

The plaintiff had through his team of lawyers led by Chief James Ogwu Onoja, SAN, approached the court to challenge the powers of President Muhammadu Buhari to extend Baba's tenure as the IGP.

The IGP will reach the mandatory retirement age on March 1, having served in the Nigeria Police Force for a period of 35 years.

The plaintiff contended that it would amount to an act of illegality for Baba to be retained in office as the IGP, beyond his statutory retirement age as a police officer.

However, in his judgement on Tuesday, Justice Omotosho held that the plaintiff lacked the locus standi (legal right) to institute the action.

He held that the plaintiff was unable to establish the peculiar or special interest he had over and above other Nigerians that informed his decision to file the suit. 

While describing the litigant as "a busy body and a meddlesome interloper", Justice Omotosho maintained that not being a serving police officer qualified to be appointed as the IGP or who may be denied the opportunity of securing such appointment, the plaintiff, had no legal basis to seek Baba's removal from office.

The court further held that the action did not qualify as public interest litigation, consequently, it dismissed the suit for want of merit, though it declined to award cost against the plaintiff.

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