In a bid to clarify controversies that had trailed the appointment of new Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba, the Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammad Dingyadi, has admitted that President Muhammadu Buhari contravened provisions of the Amended Police Act 2020 in appointing former IGP, Muhammad Adamu’s successor, Baba, just as he explained reasons for the actions.
Dingyadi added that the amended act stipulated the President consult the Police Council before appointing any Police chief for the country but that his boss did not comply with this section of the act, rather went ahead with the appointment.
The minister, who assured Nigerians that the president would approach the Police council as stated in the law, argued that his boss could not comply with the act because he was in the United Kingdom (UK) on a medical trip.
He stressed that the rush by the president to relieve Adamu of his duty and appoint a successor was not to disregard the law but to safe the country and boost morale of the law enforcement officers towards addressing the security challenges confronting the nation.
As stated by the law, The Police Council is composed of the President, Governor of each state, Chair of the Police Service Commission, and the IGP, and has the responsibility to advise the President on the appointment Police boss for the country.
Aside from the advisory role, the council also has the mandate to provide general supervision of the police and oversee its organisation as well as administration of the law enforcement agency across Nigeria.
The minister, who announce the appointment of Baba, made the admittance on Friday during an interview on a popular television programme in the country.
He said: “The President has been asked that before appointing the IGP should consult the Police Council. But he has not consulted the Police council and that is why you have seen that the appointed police boss is still on acting capacity.
“Presently, he is making efforts to consult the council on the appointment. But do not forget that he is not in the country. As soon as he returns to Nigeria, he will meet the council as stipulated by the law and present the appointed officer.
On whether the council would welcome the appointment, the minister noted that members of the council trusted the competence of the president and believed that he would have made some findings before the announcement.
He said: “This kind of thing has never happened before. I know that before this appointment, he must have made some consultations. What the council ensures is that someone who is capable and has experience assumes office.
“I want to believe that the governors that are members of the council have confidence in the President and know who he is.
“I do not look in that direction at all. I think that the president should be able to convince the council on this new appointment.
“This process has been on before now. Previous president had often appointed a police boss on acting capacity and later present it to the council. That is how it has been and there will not be any change under this administration”, the president’s aide added.