Buhari becomes first president to breach NAPTIP law in appointing agency head

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By appointing Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim as the director-general of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), President Muhammadu Buhari becomes the first president to breach the law guiding the appointment.

Mr Buhari axed Julie Okah-Donli as NAPTIP’s director-general months before the end of her four-year tenure and appointed Mrs Sulaiman-Ibrahim last week.

However, the appointment of Mrs Sulaiman-Ibrahim breached the law establishing the anti-human trafficking agency.

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).

Mr 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.

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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.

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