Impasse between Police Commission, Police stalls recruitment

Posted by Ronald Mutum | 24 September 2019 | 1,265 times

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The recruitment of 10,000 policemen directed by President Muhammadu Buhari in December 2018 is stalled over a disagreement between the Police Service Commission (PSC) and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) on which organization should handle the recruitment, Daily Trust gathered.

This is even as the Joint Union Congress (JUC) of the Police Service Commission (PSC) has scheduled a congress meeting today (Tuesday) 24th September to deliberate specifically over the impasse.

It was gathered that the Congress is to consider the option of embarking on indefinite strike action in protest of the purported infringement on the mandate of the Commission by the Police.

The President had ordered the ongoing recruitment in order to address the manpower challenges of the police and also tackle insecurity in the country.

In a statement on Friday 30th August 2019, the spokesman of the PSC, Ikechukwu Ani, announced that the Commission, which has been conducting the recruitment, was putting it on hold.

Ani told Daily Trust that, at the end of submission of application, 315,032 applications were received. He said 210,150 were shortlisted for screening, using the criteria and qualifications set out.

He added that out of this number 80, 724 were successful at the screening, which also had physical and documents examination. He said about 80,7 24 were expected to have sat for the aptitude test which is now being put on hold.

He said the commission was mandated by President Muhammadu Buhari to recruit 10,000 Nigerians into the Nigeria Police Force for the year 2019.

Ani said the PSC enjoined applicants for recruitment into the Constable Cadre of the Nigeria Police Force to be patience as it finalizes the remaining stage of the recruitment exercise. Ani advised all the candidates who participated in the recruitment exercise up to the aptitude test stage, to ignore any list or information on the exercise emanating from outside the Commission.

He said it was the constitutional responsibility of the Commission to recruit Nigerians into the Police Force whether as Constables, Cadet Inspectors or Cadet ASPs and the Commission was not ready to abdicate this very important mandate.

Ani said the Commission will resist any attempt to ambush the on-going recruitment exercise or dilute its content. It noted that such an attempt will be an affront on the Constitution and a waste of national resources.

In another statement on the 4th of September, Ani claimed there was a list originating from Nigeria Police Force website containing some names of candidates who applied for recruitment into the Nigeria Police Force for the position of Constables.

He said the candidates, according to the information, were invited for medical screening scheduled for 9th to 14th of September 2019. Ani said: “It has been observed that as at the afternoon of today, Wednesday, September 4th, 2019, the list has been withdrawn from their Website.”

“The Commission will like to report that the list was compiled solely by the Nigeria Police Force without the involvement of the Police Service Commission, the body that has the constitutional mandate for appointment,” he added.

He explained that “all candidates who took part in the aptitude test held on Saturday, August 3rd, 2019 are hereby to watch out for the authentic list that will emerge after the meeting of the bodies.

Daily Trust reports that the Headquarters of Nigeria Police Force and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu has remained mute on the controversy surrounding the Police recruitment.

Subsequently, spokesmen of Kaduna and Lagos state police commands published invitations for candidates to resume training as part of the ongoing recruitment.

Attempts to contact the spokesman of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Frank Mba was unsuccessful. His phone number was unreachable and text messages sent to his phone on the recruitment issue was not replied at the time of filing this report.

However, a top source in the PSC told Daily Trust yesterday that, “Well, for now, it’s not clear what the board wants to do, but the union has issued a notice of a meeting, preparatory to indefinite strike action.”

The source said: “There is also a rumor that the Attorney General has issued legal advice in favor of the police to finish the exercise, despite Buhari’s directive to the PSC to conclude the exercise. I can’t confirm that order because I have not seen a copy.”

The source noted that the problem may be with the current chairman of the Commission, who is said to be unable to handle this situation. It was also learned that the Commission will release its own list soon.

It was further learned that, going by the mandate of the Police Service Commission, only an alteration of the Constitution of the Federal Republic may take away its responsibility of recruitment of policemen.

A retired Commissioner of Police (CP) Lawrence Alobi also decried the delay in the recruitment of 10,000 police constables authorized by President Muhammdu Buhari since December 2018. Alobi told Daily Trust that it was necessary that the commission and the police work together to ensure the recruitment process is not further delayed.

He bemoaned that the police are understaffed and 10,000 more is insignificant given the insecurity in the country. He said it should be up to one million, adding that, “I’m surprised that there is fracas between the commission and the police.”

“It is necessary that the police and the commission work together in a collaborative manner, ” he added. (DAILY TRUST)

Source: News Express

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