Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has come under criticism for extending the service years of his Chief Personal Security Officer, Abdulkarim Dauda, by four years, a move which critics have described as illegal and a usurpation of the powers of the Police Service Commission.
Dauda, it was learnt, was promoted twice within a space of three years due to his position as the President’s aide.
The rules state that a policeman can remain in service for a maximum of 35 years or till the age of 60 or whichever comes first.
However, in a leaked memo signed by the Secretary of the Nigeria Police Force, AIG Usman Alkali, with reference number DTO:041500/10/2019, it was stated that Dauda, who is a Commissioner of Police, would be allowed to remain in service till 2023.
This implies that Dauda would have spent a total of 39 years in service when he is up for retirement, a privilege usually reserved for Inspectors-General of Police.
The memo read in part, “Extension of Service P.No 23853 COMPOL Abdulkarim Dauda (CP) X. The President X Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces X Chairman Police Council X has graciously approved the extension of service of CP Abdulkarim Dauda to May 13, 2023, X When he would have attained sixty (60) years of age X COMPOL Info-Tech only X Amended your records please.”
The letter, which surfaced on social media on Wednesday, elicited condemnation from some Nigerians who said the President has no regard for due process and service rules.
Popular government critic, Prof. Farooq Kperogi, alleged that the policeman was a relative of the President just like his aide-de-camp hence the swift promotions he was getting.
Speaking with our correspondent, the National Coordinator, Network of Police Reform in Nigeria, Okey Nwanguma, described the President’s action as illegal.
Nwanguma said only the PSC can extend the service year of a policeman who is not the IG and not the President
He said, “I am told the man comes from Daura, the same village as our President. The Police council has no powers over promotion, appointment, and recruitment but as PSC. What he did was to usurp the powers of the PSC. So, this is nepotism and the action is ultra vires because the President has no such power.
“It is also in breach of the civil service rules. There is no basis in law or morality to justify what the President did and the PSC must take action.”