IG’s Letter Seeking to Shelve Plenary Meeting Rankles PSC

*Commission: IG lacks such powers, says it’s an interference, unprecedented 

*Insists recommendations by police chief to post new CPs to Lagos, Ogun must follow due process

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

The crisis of confidence between the Police Service Commisson (PSC) and the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, went up one notch following a letter written by the IG asking the commission to shelve its plenary meeting pending the resumption of the newly appointed Chairman of the commission and former IG of Police, Solomon Arase.
Arase would not resume duties until he is sworn in by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In the letter seen by THISDAY,

the IG asked the board of the commission to suspend its plenary session to allow the new chairman assume his position.
But the PSC fired back, saying the commission was taken aback by the IG’s letter  that it should suspend its plenary, stating that the IG’s position amounted to interference.

The IG’s letter signed by AIG Hafiz M. Inuwa, AIG Force Secretary, was in reference to the promotion interview for officers from the rank of Commissioner of Police (CP) to Assistant Inspectors-General of Police (AIG) and from Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) to CP.

The letter titled, “Re: Promotion Interview for officers from the rank of CP AIG and DCP to CP,” read: “Following the appointment of IGP Solomon Arase (rtd), by the president as the substantive Chairman of the PSC and  his  subsequent confirmation by the Senate on 24th January, 2023; the IGP respectfully advise that the commission suspend its plenary to allow for the new chairman of the commission to resume office.”
In its response however, the commission, in a letter signed by the Acting Chairman of the commission, Justice Clara Ogunbiyi (rtd), stated that such advice was not within the purview of the IG.

“The commission is aware of the appointment of IGP Solomon Arase rtd, as the Cha

irman of the PSC and awaiting swearing-in by Mr. President. We await his resumption of office.
The commission, is, however, taken aback at the advice from the IGP that it should suspend its plenary. This advice, respectfully, is considered an interference with the running of the commission and unprecedented. It also runs foul of the law”, it said.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Police Service Commission (Establishment) Act, 2001, Section 6, Subsection 2, states that ‘the commission shall not be subject to the direction, control or supervision of any other be authority or person in the performance of its functions other than is prescribed in this Act; The Inspector General of Police has not been stated as an exception to this provision of the law.

“The commission, therefore, urges the IGP, who is a creation of the law, to abide by the laws of our land. Accordingly, the commission hereby informs the IGP that the plenary meeting of 2nd – 3rd February 2023, which is a conclusion of an on-going plenary that commenced in December 2022, will be concluded”, it said.
“In addition, officers invited for the promotion interview slated for 2nd February, 2023 are expected to appear for interview.
The commission believes that the motivation of deserving officers through promotions especially as the general elections draw closer, is very important and should not be delayed under my any circumstances.

“The commission, therefore, advises the officers slated for the promotion interview should so appear and in their own interest”, it further stated.
THISDAY also learnt that the IG allegedly threatened to arrest the chairman and some members should they proceed with the meeting.
“The IG is now acting like the supervisor of the commission and handing down directives. It is obvious that all these is because the PSC is sticking to the law as regards his retirement. PSC not in support of enlogation of his tenure as it negates all known Nigerian laws and regulations.
“There are unconfirmed information that he is threatening to arrest the acting chairman and some members if PSC goes ahead with the plenary on phantom allegations”, a source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said.

Also, the commission said it returned the recommendation of two CPs for Lagos and Ogun.
A letter to the IGP, titled “Re: Proposed Posting of
Commissioners of Police,” also stated that, “the PSC is in receipt of your proposal in respect of posting of State CPs to Lagos and Ogun state Commands respectively as conveyed to the Commission.
“Kindly refer to our earlier letter requesting that a minimum of three names be sent to the commission for posting of commissioners of police to state commands.

“Accordingly, for the commission to exercise, its mandate as captured in Section 215 (1b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), we demand as follows: That a minimum of three names per state alongside their CVs be forwarded to the commission to enable the commission make an informed posting of CPs in line with the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

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