Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Minister of Police Affairs, Mr. Muhammad Dingyadi, has kicked against the whittling down the power of the President in the Police Service Commission (PSC) amendment bill.
Dingyadi stated this yesterday at the public hearing on the “Bill for an Act to Repeal the Police Service Commission Act and enact the Police Service Commission Bill, 2020” and a “Bill for an Act to Provide for Establishment of the National Institute for Police Studies” at the National Assembly complex in Abuja.
The two bills were sponsored by Hon. Yusuf Gagdi (APC Plateau), to address issues of gender bias in the former Police Act where a woman can’t rise to the position of Commissioner of Police or the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and to ensure that anyone appointed would spends four years as provided in the constitution in order to have enough time to effect reform in the force.
Dingyadi said: “The ministry has about four or five observations to make. First one has to do with what is contained in Section 5 of the draft bill where the power of Mr. President to remove the Chairman and members has to some extent been deleted, leaving only the power of members to resign at their own time. We cannot see Mr. Chairman, if it is for the removal of this provision, especially since the Chairman and members of this commission are appointed by Mr. President, whoever has the power to appoint should naturally have the power to remove.”
He also frowned at Section 6 of the bill, which conferred the power to recruit constable and cadet into the police force on the Inspector General of Police (IGP).
He added: “However, it specifically states that the responsibility for recruitment of constables into the police force and recruitment of cadets into the Police Academy shall be that of the Inspector General of Police (IGP). I believe that Mr. Chairman and the honourable members are aware of the controversial nature of this issue and I will like to suggest that since the matter is currently pending at the Supreme Court of Nigeria, it may not be wise to make into law at this stage. It will appear to be preempting the decision of the Supreme Court on the matter. I’m, therefore, suggesting that we should leave the matter for now as it is while we await the decision of the Supreme Court.”
The minister noted that Section 4 and Section 6 (1)(b) of the bill, which creates the powers of the commission to employ, train, discipline and deploy persons to serve as investigation officers in all the states of the federation and it also empowers the commission to establish investigation units in the states and the FCT to investigate allegations of misconduct made against police officers was in order.
Dingyadi stressed that he was in support of the provision so that the PSC would be in a better position to monitor, investigate officers who are found to be erring in the discharge of their duties.