by Yusuf Alli, Abuja
Despite pressure from lobbyists, there were strong indications last night that President Muhammadu Buhari may not extend the tenure of Inspector-General of Police Ibrahim Idris.
It was learnt that the IGP might be directed to hand over to the most senior Deputy Inspector-General of Police next week.
It was, however, unclear if an Acting IGP will oversee the security arrangement for the conduct of the general elections in February and March.
Idris, who was born on January 15, 1959, will next week hit the statutory retirement age of 60.
Although, it is within the prerogative of the President to extend the tenure, there had been controversy on whether or not Idris should remain in office.
As at press time, President Buhari has kept the outgoing IGP in suspense on his fate.
It was gathered that when the President met with the IGP last week, he only took brief from him and thanked him for his service.
But he was non-committal on the extension or otherwise of his tenure.
A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “The President is not likely to extend the tenure of the IGP but he is waiting for the statutory retirement day before making a pronouncement. You know, Buhari is a due process leader.
“The outgoing IGP is most likely to hand over to the most senior Deputy Inspector-General of Police pending the appointment of a substantive holder.
“ If Idris leaves, there will be an Acting IGP and this will not affect security arrangement for the general elections.
“So far, the IGP is expected to be preparing his handover note.”
On what transpired between the President and IGP last week, another source said: “Just a routine pre-retirement interaction, including a brief from the IGP and a thank you by Mr. President.
“There was no words from the President on whether or not he may extend his tenure.”
The second source, however, confirmed that there had been pressure for and against tenure extension for Idris.
The source said: “There is intense lobbying by some groups to allow Idris to remain in office till after the general elections.
“These groups argued that it is untidy to ask Idris to leave about a month to the poll when he has put all logistics in place.
“Those for Idris also cited the case of service chiefs, some of who are due for retirement but they have had their service years extended.
“Of course, there are some sponsored associations trying to raise dust against tenure elongation for Idris.
“The President has taken notice of all sides. He is however keeping the IGP in suspense on his decision which will be in the best interest of the country.”
Section 27 of the Third Schedule (Part 1)to the 1999 Constitution says: “The Nigeria Police Council shall comprise the following members: (a) the President who shall be the chairman; (b) the Governor of each state of the Federation; (c) the Chairman of the Police Service Commission; and (d) the Inspector-General.
“The functions of the Nigeria Police Council shall include—(a) the organisation and administration of the Nigeria Police Force and all other matters relating thereto (not being matters relating to the use and operational control of the Force or the appointment, disciplinary control and dismissal of members of the Force.
(b) the general supervision of the Nigeria Police Force; and
( c) advising the President on the appointment of the Inspector-General of Police.