The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has dismissed a suit seeking the removal of the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba.
Delivering judgment on Tuesday, Justice James Omotosho dismissed the suit instituted against President Muhammadu Buhari and four others by Michael Idoko because the plaintiff lacked the legal capacity to file the case.
Mr Omotoso invoked section 7 (6) of the Police Act 2020, which put the tenure of office of any IGP of police at four years.
The judge held that the retirement of Mr Baba from the Nigeria Police Force had nothing to do with his appointment because the four-year tenure was sacrosanct regardless of his age.
The judge said the IGP was entitled to enjoy his four-year tenure because he was appointed as a serving police officer and had yet to attain retirement age.
The judge opined that the plaintiff’s suit was speculative, academic and hypothetical.
“The plaintiff is not the attorney general of the federation or the attorney general of a state to file fundamental rights suits on behalf of the public,” Mr Omotosho said.
The court held that the plaintiff, who claimed to be a social crusader, had no locus standi in instituting the case under the guise of public interest, and as such, the court had no jurisdiction to entertain it.
The judge said the suit was bound to be dismissed for lack of locus.
The suit marked FHC/ CS/ 31/2023 was subsequently dismissed without any cost against the plaintiff.
Mr Idoko, through his counsel, James Onoja, had filed the suit challenging the legality of the continuous stay of the IGP in the office, having served out his tenure on the grounds of his age.
The plaintiff asked the court to declare the appointment of Mr Baba null and void as he was required to retire after attaining 35 years in service or 60 years of age, whichever came first.
He also wanted the court to declare the appointment null and void because the president ought not to have appointed him, knowing that he would attain the age of 60 before the expiration of his four-year tenure.
Speaking to reporters, George Ibrahim, Mr Idoko’s counsel, said he would consult his client to know the next step.
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