The Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu, has approached the Supreme Court urging it to overturn last Wednesday’s judgment of the Court of Appeal, which nullified the recruitment of 10,000 constables by the Nigeria Police Force in 2019.
Recall that the Court of Appeal, last week, led by Justice Olabisi Ige had unanimously held that the IGP and the Police lack the power to recruit the constables, saying it is the job of the Police Service Commission (PSC) to carry out the recruitment since it’s the commission that had exclusive power to do so.
However, the IGP and the Police, through their lawyer, Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), had written a letter dated October 2, 2020, to the Chairman of the PSC contending that no step could be taken to enforce the judgment after an appeal and the motion for injunction they had filed against the contested verdict of the Court of Appeal.
The letter, which was copied the PSC’s lead counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), read in part: “In view of the above, and the settled position of the law having regards to these two notices, nothing should be done by whatsoever means enforcing the judgment in the circumstances, especially having regards to national security and implication under any guise of such enforcement.”
The IGP, Mohammed Abubakar and the Police contended that the court “erred in law when they held that the provision of Section 71 of the Nigeria Police Regulations 1968 made pursuant to Section 46 of the Police Act is inconsistent with the provision of paragraph 30 Part I of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution.”
They argued that Section 71 of the Nigeria Police Regulations 1968 specifically conferred on the IGP “the power and responsibility of enlisting recruit constables”, while by the provision of “Paragraph 30 Part I of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution and section 6 of the Police Service Commission (Establishment) Act, 2001, the 1st respondent is empowered to appoint persons to offices in the 1st appellant.”
He also argued that the Court of Appeal erred in law when it held that the PSC was conferred with powers to enlist recruit constables into the NPF by virtue of the provision of Paragraph 30, Part I of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution.
As a result of the battle for control of the recruitment process and who should be responsible for creation of new zones and departments in the force, the PSC on Friday had stepped down the promotion of 112 newly-promoted and deserving officers after they had submitted their APA forms and it had been duly certified.
Investigations showed that many of the officers were last promoted in 2015 and 2016, while some of their juniors in ranks or courses are already enjoying higher ranks.