Inspector General Of Police And The Police Service Commission Tussle Threatens Internal Security, Says Ex-Police Chiefs
The tussle between the Inspector General of Police and the Police Service Commission (PSC) over the right to conduct recruitment exercise for constables has continued to elicit reactions, with several top security experts warning of its negative effects on internal security and public safety in the country.
Saturday Telegraph reports that the IGP’s insistence on carrying out the 2020 recruitment of police constables had drawn the ire of the police commission, which proceeded to the Federal High Court in Abuja, to upturn the former’s action.
Dissatisfied with the refusal of the court to recognise it as the body empowered to recruit constables for the Nigeria Police, the PSC proceeded to the Abuja division of the Court of Appeal, which eventually set aside the judgement of the lower court. Reacting to the crisis that triggered the court action, two former Commissioners of Police (CPs) in charge of the FCT and Borno State commands, Messrs Lawrence Alobi, and Damian Chukwu respectively, said the development constituted a threat to internal security.
The position was corroborated by a former State Director, Department of State Services (DSS), Mr. Mike Ejiofor, who said the society will bear the brunt of the crisis, if not quickly resolved. According to Alobi, the implication of the judgement of the appellate court is that the 10,000 constables already recruited, will be disengaged, thereby further depleting the strength of the police.
“Though the Police Service Commission has gone to the Appeal Court, and the court ruled that those 10,000 recruited by the Inspector General is null and void but the IG too has filed a stay of execution.
“That means those 10,000 applicants that were trained will have to be driven away but that is not good because of the resources used in training them. Secondly, they have already been trained and returning them to the streets will be a threat. “And again, this fight between the police and the Police Service Commission is not a healthy development because in other services even the federal civil service level one to six is being recruited by the various agencies not the Federal Civil Service Commission.
“The military and even the SSS recruit their junior officers. Recruitment is different from appointment. Appointment is from the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police and above and it’s stated in the Police Act 2020.
“The policy is that the police are the ones who will screen them, because the police have the capacity to screen them to know whether some have fake certificates or are okay in terms of physical fitness etc. And it’s the police that will train them and it’s the police that will use them too.
“In other institutions, like the military, SSS and other agencies, recruitment from level six down it’s the agency not the commission that’s responsible. In the army now, it’s not the army council that recruits for the army for the rank of private. “The contest between the police and the PSC should be put to rest. Let the PSC concentrate its efforts on appointment of officers and the recruitment of constables should be left for the IG.
For me, this contest is embarrassing to the whole nation. What is the interest? The police should not be an exception. I advise the PSC to allow the matter to rest; let the IG concentrate because the IG has a lot to do. Let this court case not distract the IG from doing his statutory function that is more important to the society,” Alobi said.
He added: “It is a threat to internal security because if that Court of Appeal judgement is enforced that means those 10,000 men will go. Already the police have a deficit in manpower. The police need manpower to meet the security needs of the country. “The issue of saying those 10,000 should be sent away is a threat.
We need more manpower. They should recruit more police constables to reduce the challenge of internal security.” Speaking in a similar vein, the former CP of Borno State Command, Chukwu, said the power tussle between the PSC and IGP was unnecessary, noting that it will have adverse effects on the fight against crime and criminality in the country. He stated: “I think the rift is uncalled for.
The Police Service Commission is a regulating body for the police and it is responsible for appointments, discipline, promotion, formulation of policies to be used for the working of the police. “From my years of experience, I have always known the recruitment of constables to be the responsibility of the training departments of the Nigerian police. “Then for appointments of cadet ASPs, that is the responsibility of the PSC. The recruitment of constables in my opinion should be the responsibility of the IGP via the office of the DIG training.”
On the implications of the rift on security, Chukwu said: “Definitely it will affect crime fighting adversely because we need well trained personnel to be able to fight crime effectively and it’s common knowledge that Nigerian police have the problem of under personnel and even those of them who are in the system are not properly trained.
“I don’t know if that should take me into funding and all that. Government is not giving the police in particular the attention they really deserve to be able to perform their role effectively but specifically based on your question, this rift between the police and the commission is not in the best interest of crime fighting in the country.” On his part, Ejiofor argued that no recruitment would be conducted until the case was conclusively decided. He, therefore, called on the presidency to intervene in the interest of internal security and public safety. He said: “Naturally, the commission is to recruit, discipline and promote senior officers.
The implication is that they are in court, and until the matter is determined the recruitment will not take place and who is suffering for it? “The masses, because the police do not have sufficient manpower and in fact I think the president should take responsibility. “Call them to order so that they will be able to move on with the recruitment and you know it takes time for training. It’s not that when you recruit them now that will start working.
“I think the President should intervene, sort this thing out because if the struggle continues between the IG and the commission, the crime fighting power of the police will be depleted, crime will be on the increase and you know that police morale is now low after the #ENDSARS protest and I think it’s time to take action. Get people recruited and trained.”