Court sets aside judgement removing Alkali Baba as IGP

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Justice Fatun Riman of the Federal High Court, Uyo, on Friday, set aside the judgement removing Usman Alkali Baba as the Inspector-General of Police.

The judge had on May 19 restrained Baba from parading himself as the country’s number police officer.

Former President Muhammadu Buhari had in January extended the tenure of the IGP who clocked 60 on March 1.

Riman, who delivered the verdict in a suit filed by a journalist, Okechukwu Nwafor, declared as unlawful and unconstitutional the continued stay of Baba in office as IGP after attaining the statutory age of retirement from public service.

The judge described the extension as a clear violation of the Police Act, 2020, and directed the former president to convene a meeting of the Nigeria Police Council to appoint a new IGP who would occupy the office for four years.

Dissatisfied with the ruling, the IGP approached the court to set it aside because he was not served with the originating processes.

Baba, who cited section 36 (1) of the 1999 Constitution, argued that he was not given a fair hearing on the matter.

In his ruling, Justice Riman said the court had discovered that the originating process was not served on the IGP.

He said: “Having resolved issue one of the second Defendant/Applicant on non-service of the originating summons, it is my view considering issue two becomes mere academic; I find merit in this application.

“Accordingly, the judgment of this court delivered on the 19th day of May 2023 is set aside for non-service of the originating processes on the second Defendant/Applicant. This is the ruling of this court.”

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