The Police Service Commission (PSC) has floored the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) as the Supreme Court pronounced that only the PSC is statutorily mandated to recruit eligible Nigerians into the NPF Constable cadre.
According to the commission, the Supreme Court decided to lay to rest the “contentious issue and controversy” between the PSC and the NPF on July 11.
“In the judgment; the Supreme Court unequivocally pronounced the Police Service Commission as the agency statutorily mandated to do so,” the PSC said.
The Commission said before the judgement, all concerned parties had commenced a conversation towards resolving the long tussle concerning whose constitutional duty it is to recruit constables for the Police.
The statement, while describing the situation as “highly embarrassing to Government, and indeed other stakeholders”, stressed the need for the partnership to avoid legal dispute over “an issue that sought understanding, respect and compromise.”
Reacting to the judgement, the Chairman of PSC, Solomon Arase said the “judgment simply and legally cements the resolution of the issue in a win-win situation for the two institutions”, as the feud had the capacity to restrict both parties from effectively executing their constitutional mandate.
He noted, “It must be said and seen, therefore, that the judgment is delivered for the overall best interest of our national security, and goes to underscore the imperative need for harmonious working relationship and mutual trust amongst agencies of Government.
“Consequently, it is important that all concerned de-escalate and eschew all forms of hostilities, misconceptions, preconceptions and prejudices against each other which were at the base of the hitherto characterising of a no love lost relationship between the Commission and the NPF”.
He noted that the unnecessary imbroglio had impacted negatively on the Staff of the police and PSC.
He added, the imperativeness of peace, harmony and cordiality between the two institutions, according to him cannot be over-emphasized, as contemporary security provisioning has become more tasking than ever, and demands a robust policy guideline from the Commission if the Nigeria Police Force must be repositioned for greater efficiency and effectiveness in not only meeting up with the myriad of security challenges confronting our dear country, Nigeria, but also birthing a responsive, responsible and accountable police to our people.
“Peace is essential for growth and success of any institution in delivering on its mandate, and it is hoped that the Commission and NPF will continue to build and consolidate on the emerging trust, confidence, and mutual respect which will aggregate to foster and entrench a culture of love and symbiotic relationship between the two agencies, towards the attainment of our statutory mandates, for a greater, safer, prosperous and more secure Nigeria”.
reports that in September 2019, the PSC filed a motion on notice, praying 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 defendants include the Nigeria Police Force (first), the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Adamu Mohammed (second), and the then Minister of Police Affairs (third), Maigari Dingyadi.
In December 2019, the Court upheld the power of the NPF and the Police Council to recruit constables into the police, on the ground that the PSC’s case lacked merit.
However, In September 2020, the Appeal Court pronounced the PSC as constitutionally responsible for the recruitment of police officers aside from the office of Inspector-General of Police.
Since then, both parties have publicly disagreed and traded words on national broadcast based on the part of the constitution that articulated their mandates.
Part one of the third schedule in the 1999 constitution states: “The commission shall have power to — a. appoints persons to offices (other than the office of the Inspector-general of Police) in the Nigeria Police Force”.
While section 18(1) of the Nigeria Police Act 2020 states: “The responsibility for the recruitment of recruit constables into the Nigeria Police Force and recruit cadets into the Nigeria Police Academy shall be the duty of the Inspector-general of police”.