•Files fresh 20 grounds of appeal
Alex Enumah in Abuja
The Inspector-General (IG) of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, has asked the Supreme Court to halt the execution of the judgement of the Court of Appeal that nullified his recruitment of 10,000 constables into the Nigeria Police. The request was contained in an application for stay of execution filed along with fresh 20 grounds of appeal against the judgement of the appellate court delivered on September 30.
A three-man panel of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal presided by Justice Olabisi Ige had in a unanimous decision held that the IG and the Nigeria Police lacked the power to recruit the constables. According to the appellate court, the power to recruit the constables is exclusively that of the Police Service Commission (PSC).
Ige subsequently set aside the earlier judgement of the Federal High Court, Abjua, which had validated the IG’s power of recruitment, and nullified the recruitment of the 10,000 constables made by the IG.
Unsatisfied with the decision, Adamu, along with the Nigeria Police and the Federal Ministry of Police Affairs, approached the Supreme Court on October 2 to set aside the judgement of the Court of Appeal on the grounds that the appellate court erred when it arrived at its decision that they lacked power to recruit the said 10,000 constables.
The appellants, however, in fresh 20 grounds of appeal filed along with their original notice of appeal by their lawyer, Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), submitted that the power of the Nigeria Police and the IG to enlist the constables was distinct from the power of the PSC to appoint them.
Izinyon faulted the Court of Appeal’s decision that the Nigeria Police Regulations 1968 conferring the power of “enlistment of recruit constables” on the Nigeria Police was inconsistent with the Nigerian constitution. He argued further that Section 71 of the Nigeria Police Regulation, 1968, was not synonymous with the power of “appointment” used in the Nigerian constitution or the Police Service Commission (Establishment) Act. He said, “The power to enlist recruit constables conferred on the 1st appellant (Nigeria Police) is distinct and is not the same function conferred on the 1st respondent (PSC).”
The senior lawyer stated that the procedure for enlistment of recruit constables was specifically provided in Section 76 – 106 of the Nigeria Police Regulations, adding that the PSC “is not conferred with absolute power or any power howsoever described to enlist recruit constables into the 1st appellant (Nigeria Police).” He also argued that the Court of Appeal erred in law by relying on the definition of “recruitment” contained in Public Service Rules 2008, which he contended was not applicable to the Nigeria Police.
Izinyon further claimed that the appeal court’s reliance on the definition of “recruitment” contained in the Public Service Rules in determining what constituted “appointment” led to “a grave error of law”. He submitted that the Court of Appeal caused a miscarriage of justice and a breach of fair hearing to the detriment of his clients by relying on Sections 14 and 15 of the Police Act without giving parties to the case an opportunity to air their views on them before judgement was delivered. He also contended that the appeal court did not show how the Police Act and the Police Regulations, 1968, made by the President were inconsistent with the provisions of paragraph 30, Part 1 of the Third Schedule to the Nigerian constitution.