Police Service Commission Decries Rampant  Cases of Garnishee Judgements

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

The Acting Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi (rtd), yesterday decried the rampant cases of the garnishee of the accounts of the commission by courts on matters directly related to the operational duties of the Nigeria Police which had nothing to do with the commission.

Justice Ogunbiyi spoke  when she received  the leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) led by its President, Yakubu Maikyau.

She lamented that lawyers erroneously sue the commission for breach of the fundamental rights of the populace “whereas the commission is not liable”.

Ogunbiyi cited the Court of Appeal decision in the case of Nuhu vs. Sale & Ors (2017) ACN Pt 1 Pg 197 paragraph E to F where the liability of the 4th Respondent (PSC) was pronounced thus: “The 4th Respondent is not in the position to dictate the duties of the respondents but rather it is either the Commissioner of Police or Inspector-General of Police as the case may be, who does.

“The control of the servant by a master is a factor to consider in a contract of service and the 4th Respondent has no such control over the respondents to render it vicariously liable for their wrong doing”.

Justice Ogunbiyi also cited Regulation 341 of the Police Act and Regulations CAP P19 LFN 2004 which stated that “in the individual exercise of his power as a police officer, every police officer shall be personally liable for any misuse of his powers or for any act done in the excess of his authority”.

She called on the NBA president to assist the commission pass these relevant information to his members to save the commission from this garnishee problems.

The chairman also spoke on the need for the senior lawyers to encourage and accommodate their younger colleagues, especially those operating at lower ranks.

In his response as it relates to proper placement of the police officers, who obtained additional legal qualification while in the service, the NBA president said in due course the matter would be addressed by the relevant stake holders.

Justice Ogunbiyi also told the visiting delegation that the Law Faculty of the Police Academy Wudil, Kano, was yet to be accredited and encouraged the bar to seek for the assistance and intervention of the Body of Benchers as the highest governing authority.

The president finally solicited for the appointment of more lawyers into the police force and wished the commission greater heights and achievements, a statement by the commission said.

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