A’Court Judgment: PSC to Meet on Fate of 10,000 Constables

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By Kingsley Nwezeh

The Police Service Commission (PSC) said yesterday that it would meet to take a decision on the controversial 2019 recruitment of 10,000 constables by the Nigerian Police Force and the on-going 2020 recruitment into the constable cadre of the force.

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja had on Wednesday, September 30, 2020, affirmed the constitutional powers of the PSC to appoint persons into the Nigeria Police Force.

This is coming as the new Permanent Secretary/Secretary to the commission, Mr. Abubakar Ismaila, yesterday assumed duties with a promise to change the narrative in the public service and run an all-inclusive administration where staff welfare would be paramount.

A statement signed by the spokesman of the commission, Mr. Ikechukwu Ani, said: “The commission will soon meet to take a decision on the implications of the judgment and the way forward. It will continue to ensure that its operations are guided by established laws.

“The commission has continued to receive several calls on the fate of the 2019 and the ongoing 2020 recruitment into the constable cadre of the Nigeria Police Force already declared null and void by the judgment.

“The commission expressed satisfaction with the judgment stating that it was a victory for the rule of law.

“The commission sees the judgment as victory for the rule of law and has always believed in the supremacy of the law.

“The commission is happy with the judgment and will continue to work with the Nigeria Police Force for the collective good of the nation.”

The Inspector General of Police had on Friday approached the Supreme Court urging it to upturn Wednesday’s judgment of the Court of Appeal, which nullified the recruitment of 10,000 constables conducted by the Nigeria Police Force last year.

The appellants filed the notice of appeal on three grounds with an application for stay of execution of the Court of Appeal’s judgment.

The judgment delivered by Justice Olabisi Ige had unanimously held that the IG and the NPF lacked the power to recruit the constables.

The three-man panel ruled that the Police Service Commission had the exclusive power to conduct the recruitment exercise and nullified the one carried out by the police.

Meanwhile, a new Permanent Secretary/Secretary to the Police Service Commission, Ismaila, assumed duties at the commission with a promise to change the narrative in the public service and run an all-inclusive administration where staff welfare would be taking seriously.

Speaking at the hand over ceremony, Ismaila said he would work to change the narrative that the public service is an institution where anything happens, stressing that he would insist that things would be done within the boundaries of the extant laws.

He noted that public servants must be above board.

Ismaila said he was aware of the enormity of the challenges in the commission but promised to do his best to take it to the next level.

“We have to come together as a team to discharge this onerous assignment,” he said.
The new permanent secretary also called for support and cooperation from the staff of the commission promising to carry every staff along and make every staff count.

“My plan is that everyone that matter is carried along, but I need your maximum support”, he noted.

Earlier, the Director, Department of Police Discipline, Mr. Emmanuel Ibe, who held brief in the commission narrated the state of affairs in the commission and briefed the new chief accounting officer of the judgment of the Court of Appeal that affirmed the commission’s constitutional mandate to appoint persons into offices in the Nigeria Police Force.

Ibe pledged the support and cooperation of the staff and prayed for him in his new and challenging office.