Supremacy tussle between the Police Service Commission (PSC) headed by retired Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Alhaji Musiliu Smith and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu has taken a retrogressive dimension. The ugly development stemmed from several unpleasant correspondences between the duo, culminating into an emergency Plenary Session of PSC on Thursday, where drastic action was resolved and taken.
Undercover investigations by Saturday INDEPENDENT revealed that, the plenary session was presided over by the PSC Chairman, Musiliu Smith.
Our undercover investigations also revealed that during the meeting, it was resolved that the Commission suspends the controversial recruitment of 10,000 Constables, suspends promotion of officers who are due for promotion and to fill vacant positions in some ranks as well as retirement of officers and suspension of processing of retirement benefits of retiring officers.
The decision of the PSC will no doubt impede operational activities of the police and frustrate those retiring in processing their benefits..
For instance, four Deputy Inspector-Generals of Police (DIGs) are supposed to proceed on retirement before the end of the year 2019 and about five AIGs also said to be due for retirement before end of the year. Already, one DIG retired three weeks ago, while another one representing the South West is due for retirement next month.
Our further investigation also revealed that three Commissioners of Police (CPs) in charge of Lagos, Edo and Kano police commands and two other CPs are due for promotion to the rank of AIGs.
In order to give the Commission legal teeth on its decision, it filed a suit at the Federal High Court Abuja on Friday dragging the IGP Adamu; the Attorney-General of the Federation, Justice Abubakar Malami; the new Minister of Police Affairs and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) before the Acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho.
We learnt the case was yet to be assigned as at press time.
PSC in the motion filed by its legal head is seeking constitutional interpretation of its powers to back its decision.
In the motion, PSC wants interpretation of sections 153(1) (M) paragraph 30 (a) – (g) of the third schedule of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended) as relates to the powers of parties in relation to recruitments of constables /officers into the Nigeria Police Force other than the Inspector General of Police.
Whether the provision of section 153 (1) (M) paragraph 29 and 30 sub (a) and (b) of the third schedule of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended) either have regards to the provisions of the constitution; the defendant has any role, right or power in recruitment of the officers into the Nigerian Police Force apart from the office of the Inspector General of Police.
Upon the determination of the questions, the plaintiff (PSC) is seeking the followings:
a. Declaration that the defendant has no rights and powers as regards the appointment of officers into offices in Nigerian Police Force (other than the office of the Inspector General of Police)
b. A declaration that any act or acts taken by the defendants in relation to 2019 recruitment exercise of Constables or any recruitment exercise. Whatsoever that is null, void and of no effect.
c. An order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from taking any action or actions as regards to 2019 recruitment exercise of Constables or any recruitment exercise other than office in the Nigeria Police Force (other than the office of the Inspector General of Police) in line with the provision of paragraph 30 of the third schedule of 1999 constitution (as amended) and section 6 of Police Service Commission (establishment acts) 2001.
The Director of Recruitment of PSC also deposed to an affidavit supporting the plaintiff.
The Director referred to paragraph 30 of 1999 constitution (as amended) and section 6 of Police service commission (establishment acts) 2001.
Director’s Statement of Fact
“The plaintiff is the police service commission, an establishment of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended) and a body responsible for appointment, promotion and discipline of the police officers other than the office of the Inspector General of Police (IGP)
The first and second defendants are both the Nigerian Police Force and the IGP, a body responsible for protection of lives and properties of each and every citizen of Nigeria. The IGP is also responsible for operational functions of all the men and officers of the police force.
The third defendant is the minister for police force affairs, who is a creation of the president pursuant to his powers.