MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Frank Oshanugor
There is an indication that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Alkali Usman Baba may be heading for collision with the Police Service Commission (PSC) headed by a former IGP Musiliu Smith over who has the statutory right to conduct recruitment exercises for new entrants into the Nigeria Police Force.
A portion of statement issued on Saturday by the Commission’s spokesman; Ikechukwu Ani suggested that the Nigeria Police Force currently led by Baba may be usurping the function or taking the responsibility of recruiting constables and other cadres into the Police Force.
The statement which essentially has to do with the on going protest by workers of the PSC in passing said, “it is necessary to state unequivocally that the recruitment of police officers from the rank of Constables to Cadet Inspectors are and remains the Constitutional responsibility of the Commission and this was also affirmed not long ago by a judgement of the Federal Court of Appeal.” The statement added that management of the Commission has no intention to abdicate this constitutional responsibility.
The statement further stated that management of PSC had few weeks ago addressed its staff on the matter and had also followed up contact with the Inspector General of Police to explain issues arising from the preparation for the conduct of the 2021 Recruitment exercise.
“Earlier favourable judgement to the Inspector General of Police by the Federal High Court, Abuja was used for the take over of all police recruitments including that of Police Academy.
“At no time did management willingly surrender the Commission’s mandate to the Nigeria Police Force. This, it will never contemplate.
“The Management is currently taking up the recent announcement by the Police, of Screening dates for the 2021 Constable Recruitment and will ensure that the constitutional responsibilities of the Commission are not hijacked.”
The statement further stated that “Management will insist on keeping to existing clearly defined times for all parties including the Police Service Commission, Nigeria Police Force, Federal Character Commission and State Governments.
The Commission’s spokesman had earlier said in the press statement that the attention of the management of the Police Service Commission had been drawn to several news publications on the subject matter of police recruitment.
“The Commission regrets that the issues raised in the publications by its Staff which were already receiving management attention had to degenerate to a level where Staff forcefully locked up government offices and chased away Staff on legitimate duties.
“The Staff raised several issues but primarily the alleged hand over of the Constitutional responsibility of the Commission to recruit Police Officers to the Inspector General of Police; the delay in the conclusion of the 2021 staff promotion and training of staff were the major highlights.”
Consequently, the Management has “appealed to Staff to reconsider their combative approach and join hands with the management of the Commission to realize earliest resolutions of the matter according to the constitution and current judgement of the Court of Appeal.”