The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has dragged President Muhammadu Buhari, the Police Service Commission (PSC) and the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris before the Federal High Court in Abuja seeking to stop the alleged illegal tenure elongation of the Inspector General.
In a statement issued on Thursday through its spokesperson, Ikenga Ugochinyere, CUPP said the plan to extend the IGP’s tenure would place him in a position to be used by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to rig the 2019 elections.
The coalition said they approached the court to ensure that the nation’s constitution was not violated, arguing that a partisan IGP, whose membership of the Police Force will expire on January 15, 2019 after attaining the mandatory 60 years retirement age should not be allowed to remain in office to avoid endangering the electoral process, the nation’s democracy and the lives of the citizens.
According to Ugochinyere ,“This opposition’s legal offensive, which was filed at the Federal High Court Abuja few days ago with Suit Number FHC/ABJ/CS/1570/2018 and instituted by the National chairman of Action Peoples Party (APP) and spokesperson of the opposition Coalition of United Political Parties coalition (CUPP) is seeking the court’s interpretation on whether by the combined provisions of section 215(1) of the 1999 constitution which provides that the appointment of a new IG shall be made from amongst serving officers and the provisions of Rule 020810 of the Public Service Rules, which places the cap for retirement at 60 years or 35 years of service, whichever comes first, the IG Ibrahim Idris, who was born on 15 January, 1959 and who by 15 January 2015 will turn 60, (retirement age) and consequently ceases to be a police officer can be reappointed as IG in violation of the constitutional provision, which clearly stipulates that only serving police officers are to be appointed.
“It is based on the above, that the suit is seeking a court declaration that IG Idris is not eligible to remain in office after 15 January, 2019 having attained the retirement age of 60,” the statement read.
Ugochinyere is also seeking for an order to restrain President Buhari from reappointing or extending the tenure of the IG beyond 15 January, 2019, urging the President to immediately direct Idris to proceed on terminal leave as it was less than one month to his retirement date of 15 January, 2019.
“This call is to achieve the dual purpose of allowing the President who is usually too slow in making appointments to have at least one month to make up his mind and appoint another IG and also allow the IG time to commence his mandatory one-month pre-retirement workshop/seminar and put his records straight so as to facilitate the speedy processing of his retirement benefits,” the statement added.
Ugochinyere maintained that the issue of the retirement of the IGP was yet another integrity test for Buhari as any plan for the secret extension of the IGP’s tenure will be unconstitutional, unlawful and unacceptable which will also further expose his desperation to win the elections through foul and illegal means.