Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
The federal government and Senate have resolved to prosecute the current recruitment of 10,000 policemen on the basis of local government structure and principle of equality that will witness the recruitment of nine candidates from each local government area as against the earlier plan of equality per state.
Making this disclosure yesterday in Abuja, Chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Senator Abu Ibrahim, also said the Senate, the Police Service Commission (PSC) and the Inspector-General of Police (IG), Ibrahim Idris, had resolved the dispute which arose among them on the formula to adopt in the recruitment process.
He said with the amicable resolution of the dispute, the recruitment process which had hitherto been stalled by the dispute would now resume.
He also said the resolution followed the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari after a letter was sent to him by the Senate Committee on Police Affairs, calling for his intervention on the dispute.
The Senate had prior to the suspension of the process insisted that the recruitment be done on local government basis whereas the PSC said it muast be done on state basis adding that the Police Force must be carried along in the recruitment process.
“We have resolved the issue and the recruitment would be done on local government basis. Very soon, the exercise will resume. Nine personnel would be recruited per local government area. The policemen would be used to form a unit for community policing in all the 774 local government areas of the country,” Ibrahim said.
He also revealed that in the next three years, 30 personnel would be recruited per local government for the community policing exercise to enhance effective policing in the country.
In another development, some lawyers on the aegis of Lawyers in Defence of Democracy in collaboration with Citizens for Good Governance, yesterday staged a protest at the National Assembly, rejecting calls that judges recently arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) should step aside.
The group also moved in procession from National Assembly to the Federal High Court, Abuja and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), carrying banners and placards with inscriptions such as ‘Nobody is above the law,’ ‘Rule of law must be respected,’ ‘Attack on judges who granted bail on bailable offences against government wish is an attempt to silence judiciary’ and ‘No to call on judges to step down.’
Leading the protesters, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, in an address entitled: ‘The Plot to Overthrow the Judiciary, an Abuse of Human Rights and Subversion of Rule of Law,’ said compelling the judges to step down would be a victory for tyranny and gradual return of the country to ‘Kokomo’ democracy.
He also condemned the continuous detention by DSS of Nigerians who had been granted bail by the courts, describing it as an affront on independence of the judiciary.
The lawyers described the continuous detention of the accused persons who had not been found guilty of any crime as dictatorial and a desecration of the principle of separation of powers, arguing that the executive could not be a prosecutor and judge at the same time.