PSC: Arase Vows To Build A New Police Force

By Lateef Adegbite

The era of internal rivalry between the Police Service Commission, PSC and the Leadership of the Nigerian Police Force, NPF, appears to be over. Solomon Arase, a former Inspector General  of Police, IGP, who incidentally is a Lawyer,  and now Chairman, of the PSC, may  have given Usman Alkali Baba, the incumbent IGP,  the confidence of ‘’building  a new  police force  that will  once again  be attractive to Nigerian youth’’.

Unlike what obtains in the past where there was suspicions between the two Institutions,  Arase, the PSC, Chairman,  in the last two months  was said  to have tackled the sources of the friction and nipped then on the bud.  He was said to have succeeded in creating’’ a cordial working   relationship between the PSC and NPF management that they  are now  happy  working together to achieve their respective mandates.

 A police source told The Value News that  this is  the first time  the two parties  have  agreed   to work  together  to complement each other’s effort since the establishment of the PSC, in 2001, by former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Administration  in 2001,  instead of  competing with each other to get the Nigeria’s President’s ear on police matters.

An elated Arase who could not hide his feelings had said that ‘’there is now respect  on the clearly defined responsibilities  of the two  institutions’’, noting that  they now operate  with mutual respect  and shared vision’’.The Act  that had established  the  Commission   was said to have made it clear from the onset that ‘’it shall be responsible for the appointment and promotion of police personnel to offices other than the office of the IGP’’, which falls within the exclusive powers of the President.

The Act  was said to have  also mandated it   ‘’to dismiss  and exercise disciplinary  control  over officers excluding the IGP, which  can only be hired and fired by the President.This is in addition ‘’to formulating  the policies and guidelines for the appointment, promotion , discipline and dismissal of officers’’ as well as ‘’identify the factors  inhibiting  or undermining  discipline in the Force.

 . The Commission ‘s Constitutional responsibility was said to have equally  covered   the implementation of policies  aimed  at promoting  ‘’the  efficiency  and discipline of officers and other functions  that the President  may from time to time direct’’.

Note that   past and the present IGP, have at different times had eroded the functions of the Commission in the area of recruitment of prsonnel, forcing the Commission to speak out   unequivocally that ‘’the recruitment of officers from  the rank of Constables, Inspectors to Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police  remains one of its Constitutional responsibilities and not that of the NPF.

Al kaliBaba: IGP, Working Harmoniously With The PSC, Under The Leadership Of Arase

Recall that in 2021, Usman, the present IGP,  had  made preparations   for the conduct and screening  of Constables recruitment process which the Commission did not find funny as it  was said to have cried out  that  ‘’it has never surrendered its mandate to the NPF, let alone contemplate it’’.  It was not surmising why he has sent  the Commission’s personnel  to observe the   Inspector’s  recent  promotion interviews., to prove that it is still in charge of Police promotions.  

 As a prelude to making the junior officers with Professional qualification happy, in the Force, the former IGP,  was said to have vowed  ‘’to look  into  the status of qualified Lawyers  serving in the Force  and appearing in the Courts  with ‘’the ranks of Corporals, Sergeants and Inspectors’’.   He did not stop there.

 He was said to have also given his words to look at the cases of other junior Police officers who have acquired additional Certificates in other disciplines while in the service. He was emphatic that the officers will also receive ‘’the attention of the Commission’’ under his Leadership. 

The PSC, Chairman, may have gladdened the heart of the ranks and file of the Force  when he declared that with the attention that would  be given to   the junior officers  with Professional qualifications or holding Certificates in other fields of study, noting that ‘’it  will give them the required Confidence to perform better  in the discharge of their duties’’.

Arase may have used the opportunity of the Leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Abuja, Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Branch, , led by Afam Okeke, and who also doubles as the  Chairman, Unity Bar,  paid  him a courtesy visit  to speak out.  

The NBA, Abuja Branch Chairman, who had led the delegation of Lawyers to the PSC, Chairman’s office was said to have raised alarm   that officers who came into the Force on junior ranks   but have improved their qualifications are currently appearing and NPF, cases in Court and still wearing the junior ranks’’, which was not too good enough  for the image of the service.

The PSC, helmsman, may have been touched by  the NBA, Chairman, Abuja branch , Complaint   that he  had given his words that  the Commission may decide ‘’to send  these categories  of Police Lawyers  and other junior officers with additional qualifications  on a short service  training  after which they  would be properly  placed as officers’’.

Arase was said to have informed   Okeke,  the NBA,  Abuja branch Chairman , that  ‘’the Police needs  the services of more Lawyers and therefore cannot  discourage the few in the Force  ‘’, stressing  that ‘’the Commission  will come out  with a decision  that will  leave all  the parties in a no win-win situation’’.

A no nonsense Arase may have won the heart of the NBA, Abuja Branch Leadeship, when he disclosed that the Commission is setting up   a Compliant Monitoring Unit, CMU, to ensure that Police Complaints Response Units,  promptly attends  to public complaints.

He had said that the new Unit will be placed under his supervision ‘’ for effectiveness and efficiency’’.  Ikechukwu Ani, the Commission’s spokesperson, may have spoken the mind of the PSC, Chairman, when he issued a statement    that  the Commission     will henceforth ensure that ‘’it prevents  a system  that does not  attend to public complaints’’.

Ani , the PSC, spokesperson, who  had said   that  the PSC, Chairman, had assured the Abuja Branch  of the NBA, that the Commission’s desire  is ‘’to collaborate  with them  and organise some  programmes  on  human rights that will expose its Lawyers  to a better appreciation of their duties.

 The NBA, Abuja Branch  Chairman,  and His delegations may have left Arase’s office filled with joy as he was said to have assured them of the participation of the Commission’s and its Lawyers in the Law Week of the Branch and its upcoming National Convention at the FCT. 

 Arase, on his own part, was  said to have  extracted a promise of support for his Administration from the   NBA, Abuja branch.  Vintage Arase. 

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