From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Musliu Smith, has said the commission went to court over the recruitment of constables, last year, by the Nigerian Police, to protect the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Smith, a former Inspector General of Police (IGP), stated this, on Thursday, in Abuja, at a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Police Affairs, on a bill
to repeal the Police Service Commission (Establishment) Act 2001 and enact the Police Service Commission Act, 2020.
The PSC chairman, explained that the commissioners taxed themselves to raise fund for the litigation, because they believed that the mandate of the commission, as stipulated by extant, laws must be protected.
PSC had in 2019 dragged the Inspector General of Police(IGP), before a Federal High Court, in Abuja, over the recruitment of 10,000 police constables into the Force.
The court ruled in favour of the IGP, prompting the PSC to take its case to the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal, last September, nullified the judgment of the Federal High Court and affirmed the powers of the PSC to conduct recruitment of constables into the Police Force. The matte is currently before the Supreme Court.
The Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Digyaddi, in his presentation, urged the House to put on hold legislation, relating to who is saddled with responsibility of recruiting constables, as it is currently a subject of litigation.
According to him, “it may not be wise to make into law at this stage.
“It will appear to be preempting the decision of the Supreme Court on the matter. I’m therefore suggesting that we should leave the matter for now as it is while we await the decision of the Supreme Court.”
On his part, the Knspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, kicked against a provision in the proposed legislation, which seeks to exclude retired police officers from the chairmanship of the PSC.
“Putting a clause to say that a retired police officer or retired Inspector General of Police should not head the place, it would be discriminatory and would set a bad precedent. Other organizations would take to that.
” But maybe a phrase they could put there so a technocrat, someone that has experience and the rest of it. I know for sure that PSC is not an ordinary place. It is a technical place that one needs to understand the workings of the police for you to be able to have oversight functions for the police,” Adamu stated.