Godwin Tsa, Abuja
For the second time, Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court has ordered the Inspector-General (I-G) of Police, Muhammed Adamu and others parties in the suit on the recruitment of 10, 000 officers, to maintain the status quo.
Meanwhile, there was drama in court as counsel to the police and the Attorney General of the Federation, Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN) threatened to withdraw his appearance in the matter.
The suit was brought to the court by the Police Service Commission (PSC) challenging the powers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to recruit over 10,000 constables.
A similar order was made on October 23, when the matter first came up for mention in court.
Specifically, Justice Ekwo ordered parties in the suit challenging the recruitment to stay any action in the interim.
Ekwo, held that this was necessary since parties had submitted themselves to court for the settlement of the matter.
His decision followed a complainant by counsel to the plaintiff, Barth Ogar, to the effect that the Inspector General of Police still went ahead with the recruitment in spite of the court’s order restraining him from doing so.
“My Lord, in fact, the police has gone ahead to carry out the recruitment exercise in spite of the court order.
”The recruited officers have been asked to report to various Police Training Schools in the country,’’ he said.
However, Mr Izinyon, counsel to the IG, threatened to withdraw from the suit if he was not accorded the same opportunity as the plaintiff’s counsel, to explain the decision of his client.
Izinyon informed the court that since the recruitment exercise had reached a certain stage, the court should not have maintained the status quo stand.
The court has, however, adjourned the matter to November 11 for hearing.
The plaintiff had in the motion on notice filed on September 24, urged the court for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants from “appointing, recruiting or attempting to appoint or recruit by any means whatsoever any person into any office by the NPF pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.”
The plaintiff also submitted that none of the respondents is authorised by law to play any role “in the appointment, promotion, dismissal or exercise of disciplinary measures over persons holding or aspiring to hold offices in the Nigeria Police Force.”