Some civil society organisations in Nigeria have accused President Muhammadu Buhari of breaching federal character in his appointment of trustees to the Nigeria Police Trust Fund.
The CSO's in a joint statement on Saturday wondered why Buhari would appoint a former Inspector-General of Police to head the board when there were other competent Nigerians with financial and management experience available for such role.
It said, "The appointment of retired Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, as Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund, and the appointment of Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto as the Executive Secretary of the Board breach the Federal Character Principle and Law.
"They both come from the same geopolitical zone. The penchant by successive presidents to appoint retired IGPs to head institutions or mechanisms simply because they have to do with the police has proved to be a misguided and costly mistake. Is being a former IGP the only criteria or qualification for appointment as Chairman of the Trust Fund? How well has the Police Service Commission fared under successive retired IGPs as Chairmen?
"A Trust Fund needs to be chaired by an experienced private sector administrator with integrity and expertise in financial management. It also needs to be insulated from politics and bureaucracy.”
The CSO's therefore called on President Buhari to review the composition of the Trust Fund to ensure that it complies with the requirements of the law particularly the Federal Character Principle.
The groups include Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre, Civil Society Network Against Corruption, Social Intervention Advocacy Foundation, Public Interest Lawyers League, Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, Partners West Africa- Nigeria, International Peace and Civic Responsibility Center, International Human Rights and Equity Defense Foundation, Centre Against Injustice and Domestic Violence, ACE AND Vanguard Legal Practitioners, Koyenum Immalah Foundation, Centre for Transparency Advocacy and Independent Advocacy Project.
Others are Foundation for Justice and Rehabilitation of Prisoners, Democracy and Human Rights Network, Nde Oduko Foundation, Human Rights, Liberty Access And Peace Defenders Foundation, COMPPART Foundation for Justice and Peace-building, Akwa Ibom State, People Against Corruption and Injustice, International Peace and Civic Responsibility Center, Nana Nwachukwu, Centre for Peace Advancement in Nigeria, Jos, NOPRIN Foundation, PCRC FCT Command, Global Peace Development, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, among others.