By Alex Enumah
A civil society organisation, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), yesterday appealed to the presidency and the National Assembly to, in the interest of peace and security of Nigerians, intervene in the current Inspector-General of Police (IG) and Police Service Commission (PSC) face-off over the recruitment of 10,000 constables for the Nigeria Police Force.
CISLAC said the intervention is necessary because the police are currently lacking adequate number of personnel to tackle the increasing security challenges in the country.
The PSC had dragged the IG before the Federal High Court in Abuja challenging the powers of the IG to recruit 10,000 constables for the force, arguing that it is the commission that is constitutionally saddled with such responsibility.
While the trial court held that the recruitment of the constables is the responsibility of the Police Management Team led by the IG, Mohammed Adamu, the Court of Appeal in Abuja in a recent judgment held that the responsibility was that of the police, and consequently nullified the recruitment of the 10,000 constables by the IG.
Not satisfied, the IG, however, approached the Supreme Court to set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal and hold that it is not the commission but the Police Management Team that has the powers to recruit constables for the police.
However, speaking with journalists over the development, CISLAC Executive Director, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, said: “Without prejudice to the ongoing legal interpretation that is before the apex court, we strongly observe that the current legal tussle will bring a lot of disadvantage to the country.”
While noting that this is not the time for fighting over who should recruit, Rafsanjani urged the warring parties to shield their swords and work hand-in-hand to tackle the myriad of security challenges bedevilling the country.
“There is already a tower of insecurity in the country which this recruitment ab initio was set out to curtail. Nigerians are regularly kidnapped and maimed by criminal elements in the country with little response from the police.
“The IG, as well as the PSC, should kindly consider the plight of Nigerians and make a U-turn on the legal tussle,” he said.
Rafsanjani further said: “An urgent reconciliatory structure should be put together by the presidency and National Assembly to resolve the lingering but dangerous trend that might be a bad template for future reference or an enemy from within.
“We urge the federal government to weigh in to have an amicable impasse between the PSC and the Police Management Team in ensuring that the recruitment of 10,000 constables is not dislodged.”
On the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a board member of CISLAC, Mr. Adesina Oke, said the police should not be discouraged in fighting crime, but should rather see it as a clarion call to reform and strategise so as to excel in their primary duty of maintaining law and order, and a peaceful and crime-free society.