The Network on Police Reforms in Nigeria (NOPRIN) has called on the Federal Government to relieve Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, of his duty for allegedly acting illegally for 12 days after attaining 35 years in service on Jan. 3.
The National Coordinator of NOPRIN, Mr Ikechukwu Nwanguma, told newsmen on Monday in Lagos that every action Idris carried out from Jan. 3 to date were done illegally and unconstitutional.
Nwanguma noted that the Nigerian Constitution permits individuals to serve in the force for 35 years or leave when such person attained the age of 60, except if there was official pronouncement by the President for extension of time.
“I-G ceases to be a police officer the moment he attained 35 years in service and 60 years of age. And by age and year in service, Mr Ibrahim Idris is no longer the head of Nigerian Police, officially.
“We expected that if the President wanted to extend his tenure, there should be official pronouncement to that effect, which had not been done.
“Before the President’s approval for extension, he ought to inform the Police Council, who will advise him.
“Since that didn’t happen in the last 12 days, it shows that he is no longer a police officer and cannot continue to parade as I-G. All his decisions in the last 12 days, including redeployment of CP Imohimin Edgal from Lagos are illegal.
“Now that I-G’s tenure has lapsed this January, President Buhari should immediately convene the police council to select and nominate new I-G for Senate approval as required by the Constitution,” he said.
Nwanguma said that at the civil society level, consultations were being carried out with a view to seeking legal action against Mr Idris for all alleged illegal activities.
The coordinator said that one of the reasons NOPRIN had been calling for police reform was to ensure effectiveness, transparency, responsiveness and accountable policing that produces professionalism.
He urged the National Assembly to push through with the Police Reform Bill, while calling on the President to make commitment by assenting to the Bill when passed by the Senate.
“The Police should be accountable to the law and not a law unto itself. The police should serve the interest of the larger population, not the ruling party or government,” he said.