Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, on Wednesday urged the Federal High Court in Abuja not to nullify the recruitment of 10,000 police constables as requested by the Police Service Commission (PSC).
The Minister’s position was contained in a counter-affidavit challenging the suit instituted by the Police PSC agianst the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) over the recruitment of 10,000 police constables.
The AGF had argued that nullifying the process which he said had gone through “significant stages” as requested by the Commission, would amount to an economic loss for the country.
The PSC had in September instituted the suit, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1124/2019, in its bid to gain the exclusive right to conduct the recruitment process which the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and IGP Mohammed Adamu have almost concluded.
The plaintiff, accordingly, asked the court to nullify the process already commenced by the NPF and the IGP and declare it as the body with the exclusive powers to carry out the recruitment process.
Malami, however, joined as the 4th defendant in the case, is on same page with the three defendants – the NPF, the IGP and the Minister of Police Affairs – urging the court to dismiss the suit.
In the written legal submissions filed on his behalf along with the counter-affidavit by the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Dayo Apata, Malami contended that the Nigerian Constitution “did not state recruitment as one of the functions of the Police Service Commission.”
He added, “The word, ‘appointment’ cannot be accorded an expansive interpretation to include the initial enlistment or engagement recruitment of constables into the NPF.
“A proper construction of the word ‘appoint’ and ‘appointed’ in section 215(1)(a) and (b), and Paragraph 30(a) of the Third Schedule, Part I of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and section 24 f the Police Service Commission Act, shows that the appointment is to be made from persons already in the system.”
He added that “while it is the powers of the Police Service Commission to appoint police officers to various offices, it is the duty of the 1st and 3rd defendants to conduct recruitment exercises for persons to be appointed by the Police Service Commission.”