Gbajabiamila: we must weed out bad eggs in police
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- March 27, 2021
Gbajabiamila: we must weed out bad eggs in police
•Why we went to court over recruitment, by PSC
House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila has urged Police authorities to weed out bad eggs among police officers.
He said this is the only way to build a police force that all Nigerians would be proud of.
Gbajabiamila said this while declaring open a public hearing on a Bill to repeal and re-enact the Police Service Commission (PSC) Bill as well as another to establish the National Institute of Police Studies.
The Speaker said Nigerians deserve a police force they can trust to do its constitutional duties effectively.
He assured Nigerians that the Ninth House of Representatives under his leadership would bequeath such a police force to Nigerians, adding that the House would meet these expectations as one of the key items on its Legislative Agenda.
Gbajabiamila said: “Reforming the Nigerian security architecture, with specific emphasis on our policing system and law enforcement, is one of the cardinal commitments of the Ninth House of Representatives. It is a commitment by which our tenure in office will be measured.
“When the time for assessment and judgment comes, we must not be found wanting. The Nigerian people deserve a police force they can trust. They deserve a police force that acts within the limits of the law and respects the rule of law. We will do everything in our power to meet these expectations.”
Also, Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Mr. Musliu Smith, has said the commission went to court over the recruitment of police constables to protect its mandate and the nation’s Constitution.
Smith, a retired Inspector General of Police (IGP), said the litigation was funded by commissioners of the PSC.
The ex-IGP said this yesterday at a public hearing on the proposed Bill for an Act to repeal the Police Service Commission (Establishment) Act 2001 and enact the Police Service Commission Act, 2020, organised by the House Committee on Police Affairs.
The PSC, last year, took the IGP and others to the Federal High Court in Abuja over the recruitment of 10,000 police constables into the force.
The court had ruled in the defendants’ favour, saying it was the duty of the IGP to carry out the recruitment.
The commission had headed to the Court of Appeal, which, on September 30, 2020, overturned the lower court’s decision, saying it was the commission’s responsibility.
This nullified the recruitment into the force.
The IGP had headed to the Supreme Court after that.
Smith explained that based on the Court of Appeal judgment delivered on September 30, 2020 in a suit between the Police Service Commission and the Nigeria Police Force and three others, the appellate court had held that the words “appointment” and “recruitment” mean the same thing.
He said: “The court held further at page 51 of the judgment as follows: ‘I have no doubt in my mind that the provisions of the Public Service Rules (2008 edition) are very much applicable to this case.
“’The word recruitment is inclusive in the process leading up to appointment of persons in the Public Service of the Federation to which the Nigeria Police Force belongs. The word ‘appointment’ encompasses the word ‘recruitment’.”
“In other words, by the combined provisions of Section 152 (1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, paragraph 30 (a) and (b), part 1 of the Third Schedule to the Constitution and sections 6 and 24 of the Police Service Commission (Establishment) Act 2001, all of which are very clear and unambiguous, there is no doubt that the power to appoint persons to offices (other than the office of the Inspector General of Police) in the Nigeria Police Force includes power to enlist, recruit constables into the Nigeria Police Force.”
Smith said based on this part of Section 6(1) of the Act, which reads: “…and 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” should be deleted.
He said the PSC and the Office of the Inspector General of Police should work closely to always have a smooth recruitment process.
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