Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, has barred the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence corps (NSCDC) and the Minister of Interior from meddling in the affairs of organisations or establishment that employ its own security guards. This is sequel to a suit no, FHC/ABJ/CS/1301/2019, filed by Reiz Continental Hotel against Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the minister of Interior.
In a landmark judgment on June 8, 2020, Justice Taiwo O. Taiwo, ruled that any person or corporate entity who employs more than one person to secure its private property must not necessarily engage the services of a private guard company, as canvassed by the NSCDC and Interior minister.
The suit is challenging the propriety of the NSCDC applying the provisions of the Private Guards Companies Regulations 2018 issued by the Minister of Interior, particularly Section 23 of the regulations to individuals, who are not Private Security Guard Companies contrary to Sections 1(1), 35 and 36(3) of the Private Guard Companies Act and Section 4 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
The court held that, “the fact that any person or corporate entity employs two or more staff and clothes them to secure its private property without breaking any law, does not mean it is a private security guard company liable to the provisions of the Private Security Guard Companies Act.
“Thus, the Minister of Interior or officers acting on his behalf, including the NSCDC, do not have the power to enforce the said Section 23 of the Regulation by any means whatsoever against any person or corporate organisation which does not operate as a Private Security Guard Company,” the court emphasised. Consequently, it struck down the said sections, thereby rendering the actions of the Minister of Interior and officers acting on his behalf, in this case the NSCDC, in threatening to seal the premises of Reiz Continental Hotel and the arrest of the hotel’s security staff, illegal.