President Muhammadu Buhari has named Usman Alkali as the new Acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP).
Mr Alkali replaces Mohammed Adamu who was on official assignment to Imo State when the appointment of the acting IGP was announced.
The announcement of the new police chief was made by the Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi, while briefing journalists at the State House in Abuja on Tuesday.
The appointment comes a day after the police headquarters in Owerri, Imo State, was attacked by unknown gunmen.
Coincidentally, the outgoing IGP visited Imo State for an on the spot assessment of the damages of Monday’s incident when his sack was announced.
Mr Buhari had extended the tenure of Mr Adamu as the IGP by three months.
The president said the extension was to allow him more time to choose a successor to outgoing IGP.
Mr Adamu was due to retire from the police on February 1, having spent the maximum 35 years in service.
The tenure extension by the president had caused many controversies, with lawyers slamming him for consistently violating the law.
By extending Mr Adamu’s tenure, the president contravened the amended Police Act 2020 which he personally signed into law the same year.
Section 7 (6) fixes a single term of four years without an option of extension of tenure for the holder of the office of the Inspector-General of Police.
“A person appointed to the office of the Inspector-General of Police shall hold office for four years,” it reads.
Section 18 (8) of the Act also states that “Every police officer shall, on recruitment or appointment, serve in the police force for 35 years or until he attains the age of 60 years, whichever is earlier.”
While announcing the appointment of the acting IGP, the police affairs minister said the president took his time to select the best amongst the options brought before him.
Just like it is provided in the Act, he said the president chose from within Deputy Inspector General (DIG’s) and Assistant Inspector Generals (AIG’s).
“After a thorough check of a shortlist of suitably qualified police officers from the rank of DIGs and AIGs, who are eligible police officers, eligible for appointment as IGP, in line with Section 7, subsection 2 of the Nigeria Police Act (2020), and having regards to seniority, professionalism, record of service and competence, Mr President has approved the appointment of an acting IGP, in the person of Usman Alkali Baba, PSE, FDC, with immediate effect.
“These changes are in line with the determination of Mr. President to rejig the security architecture country, to ensure that the security challenges bedevilling the nation are brought to an end.
“Mr President has therefore charged the new appointee to rise to the the challenge to ensure policing reform policy of this administration are fully prioritised and implemented to enable the police to perform most effectively for the peace and security of lives and property of all Nigerians.
“Mr President thanks the outgoing IGP, Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, for his professionalism and dedication to duty during the period of his tenure. He wished him all the best in his future endeavours,” the minister said.
On why the president did not allow the outgoing IGP to complete the three months extension, the minister said the president has the prerogative to hire and fire.
“Mr President is aware of this and you cannot take away that responsibility from him; he’s the one who is in charge of appointing or extending tenures. He has now decided to appoint a new person. So please allow him that responsibility and we cannot do anything about it.”
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