Senior Advocate of Nigeria and human rights lawyer, Mr. Mike Ozekhome has described as “nepotistic” and “unconstitutional” President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment of Mr. Usman Alkali Baba as the acting inspector general of police.
He said in a statement entitled ‘Buhari’s northernisation of the Nigeria Police Force’ that the president had defiantly refused to respect the Federal Character principle enshrined in section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution
He accused the president of not looking beyond tribe and religion in the appointment of Baba, a northern Muslim, as acting inspector-general of police, to replace Mohammed Adamu, another northern Muslim.
“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.”
“By the way, can’t President Muhammadu Buhari for once, just for once, in his opaque appointments look beyond his religion…and forsake sectionalism, cronyism, prebendalism, tribalism, favouritism, and act as a true statesman?
“Is he truly saying he cannot trust any of the other over 15 million Nigerians who voted for him, or that he cannot find any of them that is qualified to be made an IGP? I thought gleefully told Nigerians on 29th May, 2015, while taking his first oath of office, that he was for “everybody and for nobody”? So, Buhari had actually deceived Nigerians and is desecrating his solemn oath of office?
“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?” he added.
He further contended that going by “paragraph 7 to the 3rd Schedule of the 1999 Constitution, the president cannot single-handedly appoint an IGP, as he had 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,” he said.
Besides, Ozekhome said the northernisation agenda of the Buhari administration cuts across the police force.
“It is the same situation with the ministry of petroleum resources and NNPC, the entire security architecture of Nigeria, and other key sectors and commanding heights of the economy.
“The illogical and puerile argument is always that the president only appoints people he can trust and that such persons are qualified in any event. That argument is insulting and insensitive to the intelligence, sensibilities and plurality of Nigeria.”