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Okiro: Group petitions SGF, cautions against dissolution of Police Service Commission

By Aruga Joe Omokaro on 03/02/2018

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•PSC Chairman, Sir Mike Okiro
•PSC Chairman, Sir Mike Okiro

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari not to be stampeded or hoodwinked by political forces to commit the illegality of dissolving the governing board of Police Service Commission (PSC).

HURIWA in a petition to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha by Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, ruled out the legal validity of the so-called dissolution of the PSC board. It insists that, “constitutionally the presidency has no power to dissolve a board recognised in the constitution and whose statutory tenure will run till June 2018.”

HURIWA’s caution came against the backdrop of a purported petition to the SGF by a Lagos based civil society group – Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC). The Civil Network was asking that the Chairman of Police Service Commission (PSC), Sir Mike Mbama Okiro, a retired Inspector-General of Police (IGP) be stopped from parading himself as head of the Police Commission.

Asking President Buhari not to be dragged into another unnecessary constitutional crisis by the misguided and disgruntled people behind the petition against the Mike Okiro-led Police Commission, the rights group cited several sections of the Nigerian Constitution, to unambiguously establish that political dissolution of boards of certain Federal Executive Commissions listed in chapter six of the Constitution including PSC, is legally null and void and of no consequence.

CSNAC had in its petition stated thus: “It is with grave concern that the Civil Society Network Against Corruption view the contemptuous disregard of the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari as conveyed by your office on the 29th December 2017, dissolving the board of Police Service Commission (PSC) among others, headed by retired Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro, by his continued stay in office and performing functions of the office despite the composition of a new board.”

HURIWA further argues that, contrary to the position of CSNAC, Mr. Okiro-led board, PSC can’t be arbitrarily dissolved, until the constitutional tenure of five years elapses in June 2018.

“It has come to our attention that a Lagos based group, CSNAC purportedly petitioned your office, demanding the immediate cessation of functions by the IGP Mike Okiro’s (rtd) – led governing board of the Nigeria’s Police Service Commission (PSC)”.

“So this shocking petition from the group, which is absolutely bereft of logic and lacking substantially in ethical and law-based foundations, has made our group to rise to the occasion and to quickly remind you that as a lawyer of many years standing, that it is incumbent and indeed imperative upon your good offices to adhere strictly to the spirit, letter and operational import of statutory legislations as it concerns the independence of the governing board of the constitutionally covered Police Service Commission. We are still in trepidation and considerable shock on why this group coordinated by a well-known civil society actor resorted to hatching this self-serving petition.”

Buttressing their points, the Rights Group quoted, section 153 (1) and (2): (1) which establishes Federation bodies, namely:- Code of Conduct Bureau; Council of State; Federal Character Commission; Federal Judicial Service Commission; Independent National Electoral Commission; National Defence Council; National Economic Council; National Judicial Council; National Population Commission; National Security Council; Nigeria Police Council; Police Service Commission; and Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission; (2) The composition  and powers of each body established by subsection (1) of this section are as contained in part 1 of the Third Schedule to this Constitution”.

It added that, “specifically, section 157 (1) makes the Police Service Commission amongst a few other bodies constitutionally and operationally independent.

Section 157 (1): Subject to the provisions of subsection (3) of this section, a person holding any of the offices to which this section applies may only be removed from that office by the President acting on an address supported by two-thirds majority of the Senate praying that he be so removed for inability to discharge the functions of the office (whether arising from infirmity of mind or body or any other cause) or for misconduct”.

“Besides, section 155 (1) (c) states the tenure thus: “(1) A person who is a member of any of the bodies established as aforesaid shall, subject to the provisions of this part, remain a member thereof, (c) in the case of a person who is a member otherwise than as ex officio member or otherwise than by virtue of his having previously held an office, for a period of five years from the date of his appointment”.

“Section 157 (1) of the constitution goes to the issue of the critical independence granted these bodies and to guide against undue interference just as this provision specifically rules out the possibility of the board of police service commission being politically dissolved by the President as being insinuated by CSNAC”.

“The current board constitutionally can only vacate offices in June 2018”.

“Sir, we humbly write to urge you not to capitulate to the politically motivated temptation of using your good offices to misdirect the President and to coerce him not to abide by the clear provisions of both the Constitution and the enabling Act specifying functions and tenure of the PSC.”

“After a thorough reflection of the CSNAC petition, we hereby pray your good offices to throw the petition written out of political half- truths and possible case of ‘vendetta’ to the dustbin of history”. (INDEPENDENT)

Source News Express

Posted 03/02/2018 6:46:28 PM





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