Following the appointment of Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim as the director-general of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), President Muhammadu Buhari has become the first president to breach the law guiding the appointment.
Imaan’s appointment came not long after the former head of the agency Julie Okah-Donli was axed by months before the end of her four-year tenure.
Section 8(1) of the NAPTIP Act 2015 mandates that the head the agency should be picked from the directorate cadre in the public service or its equivalent in any of the law enforcement agencies.
The Act further mandates the agency to have a board to which the director-general is the secretary. The board must be mafe up of representatives of government, all of whom must be within the directorate cadre in any of the ministries of justice, women affairs, labour and productivity, the police, the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), the Nigerian Immigration Service and the National Population Commission (NPC).
It is worthwhile to note that President Buhari has breached the NAPTIP law twice while appointing the head of the agency.
First in April 2017, he appointed Julie Okah-Donli who prior to her appointment was involved in private legal practice before she got a political appointment as an executive assistant to former Governor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State.
Her job profile further showed that at other times, she had only worked as a legal adviser to the Nigerian Capital Market Institute and led the Abuja branch and northern region of UBA Trustees.
Again last week, the president appointed Mrs Sulaiman-Ibrahim, who until the appointment was the special adviser on strategic communication to the minister of state for education.
She was never an employee of the Nigerian civil service or law enforcement agency as she was in private legal practice when she was hired for the top job, in clear violation of the NAPTIP Act.