Police Constables Enlistment: How Malami, AGF, prepared The Ground For PSC to Lose The Suit Against The IGP in Court

By Elizabeth Chukwuma

 The Police Service Commission, PSC,  under the chairmanship of Musiliu Smith, a former Inspector Geneal of Police, IGP,  appears to have shot itself on the leg. The PSC had dragged  Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector General of Police, IGP, to Court over the alleged recruitment of Constables into the Police Force. The  Commission  was said to have approached the Court  seeking pronouncement that  the IGP went beyond his statutory powers  to delve into PSC area of responsibility.

The Smith led PSC had said that the only  body Constitutionally charged with enlistment  of the  rank and file, popular, Constables into the Nigeria Police Force, NPF.  The Commission was said to have done everything within its powers  to  rubbish  the recruitment of the Police Constable exercise handled  by the Police Authorities  under the close watch of the IGP, who believes that he had acted within the ambit of the Police Statutory powers,

The Commission  was said to have advised  all the Candidates   who had participated  in the  Adamu organised recruitment exercise   up to the aptitude test , to ignore any list  or information    on the exercise  emanating  outside the PSC.

It was said to have made it clear to those that cares to listen  that ‘’it is the Constitutional  responsibility  of the Commission  to recruit qualified Nigerians  into the Force  either as Constables, Cadet Inspectors  or Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASPs.

Note that the Commission had vowed  to resist  any attempt  to ‘’ambush   the ongoing recruitment exercise  or dilute its content. The Police Authorities may have ignored the PSC, warning over the recruitment exercise as  it quickly released the list  of the Constables for training.  

Worried that the IGP, did take its warning serious to withdraw the purported of  Constables  that had had  been released by the police Authorities for training, the Commission dragged the IGP to Court  over the alleged hijack of its powers  to recruit into the Force.

The IGP had allowed the PSC  to do  their worst  as he maintained a sealed lips  on the police Authorities recruitment of the 10,000 Constables  to avoid open confrontation with the PSC   officials.. Abubakar  Malami , a senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN. And minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation may not have seen anything bad in what the Police Authorities had done. The Attorney General , in a counter  affidavit  allegedly filed  at a Federal High Court in Abuja in response  to the PSC suit challenging  the police Authorities recruitment of  the 10,000 Constables  had said that’’ nullifying  the recruitment exercise  will amount to economic loss to the country’’.

Abubakar Malami.: Minister Of Justice And AG. Of the Federation

The minister, who was joined in the suit as a defendant, was reported to have said that ‘’ millions of naira  had been budged  and spent on the police recruitment exercise  which  had gone through significant stages  in filtering qualified  persons  for recruitment’’.   He was said to have asked the Court to disregard tit.

The minister, who is the country’s Chef Law maker, may have made matters worse for the Smith led Commission  he noted that ‘’only the Force  has the power to recruit new officers, while the Commission  can only  appoint  from officers  already in the Force.  The ministerial clarification on the PSC and the IGP , dispute, over enlistment of  fresh Constables  into the Force may have dampened the Commission’s hope of winning the Case in Court.  The fallout was that  the Commission lost the Case challenging  the powers  of the IGP ,to recruit Police Constables  at the Abuja High Court.

In delivering judgment  in the PSC ,suit against the IGP, on Monday, December, 2, 2019,  the, Justice  Inyang Ekwo, the presiding  Judge of the Court  h ruled that  that ‘’suit lack merit’’.

The Judge was said to have cited   section 71 of the Nigeria Police Service Regulations  which gave  it powers to ‘’recruit  Constables  to the Police . The Judge was said to made it clear  that  the Commission by its enabling  law  could only appoint Constables  after the  enlistment exercise  carried out by the Police Authorities.

Justice Ekwo , may have sealed the hope  of the PSC , when he  held that the  Civil Service  Rules cited  by the  PSC, in defining the meaning of ‘’appointment ;; to include  ‘’recruitment  did not apply to the  Force. He noted  that contrary to the Commission’s claim  that  the Force and the IGP  are attempting  to usurp  its powers  to recruit Constables into the  Police, ‘’it was  the PSC, that was  attempting  to usurp the powers of the NPF and the IGP’’.  The Judgment  maintained  that the Police Council  under the control of the IGP was the only Statutory  body  empowered to carry out the  enlistment of Constables into the Police.   

Mohammed Adamu: Police IGP

President Muhammadu  Buhari was said to have met with  the  Smith, Smith. the PSC ,Chairman and Adamu, , the IGP , last September to resolve the Conflict of interest between the duo but that was how , he could go. The intervention of  Malami, the  minister  of Justice on the PSC and the IGP, conflict  and throwing his weight behind the police boss to recruit

Security watchers believe that if the PSC  had not gone to Court to Challenge the IGP on the enlistment of the 10,000 Police Constables , the Police Authorities , would have carried it  along in the exercise. Security watchers, believe that  that by losing the Case in Court, the PSC, has played  into the hand  of the IGP, to take certain  decisions without  seeking approval of the Commission , hiding under the  cover of the Police Council.

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