IGP,Police Constables Recruitment: Why The PSC Bent Backwards To Absorb the New Recruits Into The Force

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 By Suleiman Umaru

More facts have emerged why Musiliu Smith, a former Inspector General of Police, IGP, led Police Service Commission, PSC, bent backwards, to approve the list of the 10,000 police Constables recruited by the Mohammed Adamu led Nigerian Police Force, NPF, in 2019.

This is because of the enormous resource that had been spent  by the Force in training   the police Constables  who had been exposed to weapons and weaponry handling. More so, the  PSC  members may have felt that disapproving the list may not be in the interest of the nation now because of the high level of insecurity in the country.

 The activities of the Islamic Fundamentalist  Group, BkoHaram ,in the north eastern states of Adamawa, Borno, Yobe  and banditry in north western states of Kaduna, Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, President Muhammadu home state as well as  the activities of kidnappers in different parts of the country, particular, in the north, speak volume.

Note that there had been a conflict of interest between the Police Commission and the office of the IGP, over the 2019 recruit exercise. The Smith led PSC had refused to take it from Adamu, the IGP, for delving into a matter that was purely  the Constitutional responsibility of the Commission.

Smith: PSC, Chairman

‘’It is  not   the business of the Police to recruit. It is a Constitutional issue’’, a former member of the Commission told The Value News. Security experts believe that  the  Adamu led Force , may have cashed  on the Police Regulations  of 1945, which had not been repealed by the National Assembly , both past and present  to do so.

  Many believe that the IGP, may have usurped the powers of the PSC, to recruit the Police Constables into the Force, because he has the ears of the President, who he believes would always support his actions. He was said to have applied to the Presidency  for a certain  number of policemen  to be recruited and got the approval. This may have given the audacity to go ahead with the recruit exercise without sending the approval letter to the Commission who would then with  him ‘’ to plan on how the recruitment would be carried out. It was not done.   

It is instructive to note that the PSC, initially  derives its powers  from the Nigerian Police Council, PSC, under the office of the President. At Present, Buhari, the Katsina state born Nigerian President is the Chairman., with the governors of the 36 states of the Federation and the minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, as members.

Until the bill setting up the Commission was approved  by the National Assembly and signed into Law by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2001, the Commission derives its powers from the  Council ‘’to recruit  and promote Police personnel to their various ranks and also to superintend  over the Police. All such powers were said to have been transferred to itwith the promulgation of the Police  PSCAct into Law in 2001 by Obasanjo.

Perhaps, to avoid a repeat of a future IGP, doing what Adamu , the current IGP , had done, to recruit Police Constables withot the consent the consent of the Commission, the  PSC, had dragged him and the Force to Court for proper interpretation of the Police Act and for the parties to know  where their powers stopped. Between 2019 and much of 2020, the  PSC and the office of the IGP and  the Force had been in and out of Court  over the matter.

 Ikechukwu Ani, the PSC spokesperson  noted that’’ even after the Court  of Appeal  had given Judgment in favour of the Commission  nullifying  the hijack of the recruitment exercise  by the Adamu led NPF, it still went ahead to approve and screen the list  of the 10,000  supposedly successful Candidates sent to  it  by the office of the IGP’’. He explained  that the Commission has the powers to reject the list and call for a fresh recruitment  because the Apeal  Court Judgment  which is  ‘’still subsisting and  had  declared the Adamu recruitment  exercise’’ null and void  and  returned the Constitutional Powers of recruit  persons  into the Force  to the Commission’’.

Mohammed Adamu: IGP

Given an insider information of the screening exercise that was conducted for the 10,000  persons that scaled  through the Force recruitment exercise, Ani disclosed that the Commission  discovered  that 925 of them  never applied for recruitment , and thus ’’did not go through the stages and processes of recruitment which included screening, aptitude test and medical examinations’’.

This may have fueled the speculations making the rounds that the 925 additional  names found on the list of the successful Candidates   may have been smuggled into it  by some power brokers in the Force who has the ears of the IGP.

The PSC spokesperson may have gladdened the heart of Nigerians when he said that  the Force recruited Constables had been’’ screened  but those  found  to be Criminally minded  with mutilated Certificates  were not lucky as they were not absorbed into the Force but sent back home’’.

He stressed that  the Commission at its plenary holding next week will finally’’ approve the list of the successful Police Constables recruited by the Force  and then, issue them their  letters of appointment and subsequently captured  into the Integrated  Pay-Roll and Information System, IPPIS, of the Police for the Payment of their monthly  salaries and allowances’’.

There had been news making  the rounds  that the Commission  is withholding the payment of  the newly recruited  Police Constable  salaries and allowances. The news which was said to have emanated from the Force, may have forced the Commission to speak out.

 ‘’The Commission is  not withholding the Payment  of the salaries and allowances  of any  Police Constable  properly  recruited in 2019’’, Ani had said. This is a good news for the Police  Constables  who had been waiting anxiously since 2019 to be paid.

 The PSC revelation, according to insiders would also  end the squabbles between the Commission and the office of the IGP , on the matter.       

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