Nigeria's President Muhammad Buhari has been accused of northernizing the police with his latest appointment.
President Muhammadu Buhari has been condemned over his recent appointment of Usman Baba as the new acting Inspector-General of Police.
Human rights lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), said with Mohammad Dingyadi as Minister of Police Affairs; and Usman Baba as acting Inspector-General of Police, Buhari has again northernised the Nigeria Police Force.
Ozekhome stated this in a statement made available to The PUNCH titled, ‘Buhari’s Northernisation Of The Nigeria Police Force’.
He also described as unconstitutional and nepotistic, the appointment of Baba as acting IGP.
Buhari, through Dingyadi, had on Tuesday appointed Baba to succeed Mohammed Adamu.
Adamu, whose tenure ended in February after completion of his mandatory 35 years of service, got a three-month extension by the President but he had only spent about two months out of the three-month extension when he was replaced.
Reacting, Ozekhome, who had earlier kicked against the extension of the tenure of Adamu, said going by “paragraph 7 to the 3rd Schedule of the 1999 Constitution, the President cannot single-handedly appoint an IGP, as he has again unconstitutionally and illegally done.
“He can only do so in conjunction with the Nigeria Police Council comprising of Mr President as chairman, all the 36 state Governors, the Chairman of the Police Service Commission and the IGP.
“Such an appointment as just happened before the new Acting IGP is capricious, arbitrary, whimsical, unconscionable, illegal, unlawful, wrongful and unconstitutional. It eulogises strong men rather than strong institutions.
“Today, Buhari has again appointed DIG Usman Alkali Baba, a Northern Muslim, as Acting Inspector General of Police, to replace Adamu Mohammad, another Northern Muslim. With Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, another Northern Muslim as the Minister of Police Affairs, the circle of policing in Nigeria is complete.”
Continuing, the human rights lawyer wrote, “Is Buhari telling Nigerians that under his governance, Nigerians are indeed living in the Federal Republic of the North, or Northern Republic of Nigeria, or Republic of Northern Nigeria, or Northern Nigeria Republic, Republic of Northern Nigeria and Other Vassal States ? I can’t decode Buhari’s defiant refusal to respect the Federal Character principle enshrined in section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution. Or, can you?”
The PUNCH had also reported that apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, also condemned the appointment of Baba as IGP, saying the injustice of the Federal Government under the Buhari regime was responsible for the growing agitations and insecurity in the South-East.