The Police Service Commission (PSC) has denied that the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Usman Akali Baba, request the Commission to stop the promotional interviews for Commissioners of Police (CPs) to Assistant Inspector-General (AIGs) and Deputy Commissioners (DCPs) to Commissioners of Police (CPs).
The PSC has, therefore, advised officers slated for promotional interviews to report to the appropriate quarters in their own interest. The commission has also cancelled the posting of CPs of Lagos and Ogun States, insisting that the IGP must submit three names each for interview before the appointments. The commission, however, advised the IGP to stop interfering in the affairs of the Commission as it is an establishment of the law and not subject to the control of the IGP.
In a letter to the PSC, signed by Force Secretary to IGP, AIG Hafiz M. Inuwa, and made available to Daily Sun, the IGP had purportedly pleaded with the PSC to stop its promotional interview, so as to enable the new PSC chairman, IGP Solomon Arase (retd) resume duty and take up the promotional interviews.
The letter dated January 30, read: “Following the appointment of IGP Solomon Arase (retd) by the President, as the substantive chairman of the PSC, and his subsequent confirmation by the Senate on 24th January, 2023; the IGP, respectfully, advised that the Commission suspends its Plenary to allow for the new chairman of the Commission to resume office.”
However, the letter of response from the PSC, signed by the acting Chairman of PSC, Hon. Justice (Mrs) Clara Bata Ogunbiyi (retd), stated that “the Commission is aware of the appointment of IGP Solomon Arase (retd), as the chairman of the PSC, and awaiting swearing-in by Mr. President. We await his resumption of office.
The Commission is, however, taken aback at the advice from the IGP that it should suspend its plenary. This advice, respectfully, is considered an interference with the running of the Commission and unprecedented. It also runs foul of the law.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Police Service Commission (Establishment) Act, 2001, Section 6, Subsection 2, states that “the Commission shall not be subject to the direction, control or supervision of any other authority or person in the performance of its functions other than prescribed in this Act. The IGP has not been stated as an exception to this provision of the law.
“The Commission, therefore, urges the IGP, who is a creation of the law, to abide by the laws of our land. Accordingly, the Commission, hereby, informs the IGP that the Plenary Meeting of 2nd – 3rd February, 2023, which is a conclusion of an on-going plenary that commenced in December 2022, will be concluded.
“In addition, officers invited for the promotion interview slated for 2nd February, 2023, are expected to appear for the interview. The Commission believes that the motivation of deserving officers through promotions, especially as the general elections draw closer, is very important, and should not be delayed under any circumstances.
“The Commission, therefore, advises the officers slated for the promotion interview to appear in their own interest.”
However, Daily Sun gathered that the PSC accused the IGP of acting like the supervisor of the Commission by handing down directives. In a letter to the IGP, signed by the Director (Police Recruitment), Mr. Ferdinard Ekpe, for Ag chairman PSC, he explained that “it is obvious that all these are because the PSC is sticking to the law as regards Baba’s retirement. PSC is not in support of elongation of his tenure as it negates all known Nigerian laws and regulations.”
Meanwhile, there is unconfirmed report that the IGP is threatening to arrest the Acting chairman of PSC and some other members should the PSC go ahead with the plenary on phantom allegations. A source at PSC insisted that the meeting, which resumed yesterday, would continue today. It was also gathered that the commission has returned the recommendation of two CPs for Lagos and Ogun states.
(Continued on www.sunnewsonline.com)
A letter to the IGP, titled “Re: Proposed Posting Commissioners of Police”, stated that:
“The PSC is in receipt of your proposal in respect of posting of State CPs to Lagos and Ogun state Commands, respectively, as conveyed to the Commission. Kindly refer to our earlier letter requesting that a minimum of three names be sent to the Commission for posting of Commissioners of Police to State Commands.
“Accordingly, for the Commission to exercise, its mandate as captured in Section 215 (1b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), we demand as follows: That a minimum of three names per state alongside their CVs, be forwarded to the Commission to enable the Commission make an informed posting of CPs, in line with the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”