Posted by News Express | 28 November 2019 | 1,918 times
The raging battle between the Police Service Commission (PSC) and the Police High Command festered wednesday with the commission accusing the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, of flouting a policy that requires each state of the federation to produce a police commissioner to head a state command.
The commission, led by a former Inspector General of Police, Musuliu Smith, and the police are already in court over the alleged violation of the powers of the commission on the recruitment of 10,000 constables ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari.
There have been mounting concerns over the lopsided deployment of commissioners of police across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), leading to a situation where some states have four commissioners of police manning four state commands while some states do not have a single commissioner of police in charge of any state command.
In an exclusive report on the front page of its November 26, 2019 edition, detailed the lopsidedness in the posting of commissioners of police to command positions, with the North-west topping the list of the geopolitical zones with the highest number of CPs in command positions.
The posting showed some states have more than three CPs heading state police commands while others have none contrary to the provision of Section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution(as amended),which forbids domination of one section of the country by the other.
It states: “The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few states or from a few ethnic of other sectional groups in that government or in any of its agencies.”
The latest redeployment of commissioners of police effected November 14 fell short of the equitable policy requirement.
The subsequent minor reshufflement that affected the CPs of Ogun and Akwa Ibom States did not follow the policy objectives either.
However, the Federal Character Commission (FCC), mandated to ensure compliance with equitable representation of all states and ethnic groups in the composition of the government or any of its agencies, said yesterday it could not do anything about the lopsidedness in police command postings because nobody has complained to the commission.
But in a letter dated October 29, 2019 with reference No: PSC/2180/1, which THISDAY sighted, the PSC had called for nominations of three persons per state on the rank of commissioner of police for the commission to choose one and appoint as commissioner but the IG allegedly ignored the letter and proceeded to approve the appointment and posting of the CPs.
The letter signed by the Permanent Secretary/Secretary to the Commission, Nnamdi Maurice Mbaeri, referred the IG to the relevant sections of the constitution empowering the commission to carry out such posting.
“Recall in its Ref No: PSC/2180/1 dated 15th May 2019, the commission, pursuant to Section 215 (1) b of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Section 6 (1)(c) of the Police Service Commission (Establishment) Act 2001, conveyed to you its approved policy on appointment of commissioner of police for each state of the federation.
“In line with that police referred to in paragraph 1 above, and sequel to the availability of vacancies as a result of the promotion of commissioners of police (CPs) who hitherto commanded the Nigeria Police contingents stationed namely, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo, Jigawa, Kano, Lagos and Ogun, the commission requests that you nominate three persons per state on the rank of commissioner of police for each of the seven states named in this paragraph, ” it said.
The letter further advised the IG that “in carrying out your nominations, the commission expects you to put into effect a holistic overview of the entire body of serving state command CPs as presently constituted and adhere strictly to the federal character principle as well as give consideration to gender equity”.
The commission then called for nominations from the following states notably, “Rivers, Delta, Bayelsa, Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu, Anambra, Kogi, Benue, Nasarawa, Bauchi, Ogun, Ekiti, Ondo, Oyo and Jigawa, which are not represented in the present body of state command CPs.”
The letter also demanded detailed bio data of the officers, including educational qualifications and dates, courses attended, if any, and the institutions and dates, career progression from entry till date, work experience in the Nigeria Police Force, outstanding performances if any, documented disciplinary cases against any officer, and the IG’s appraisal of the officer’s general conduct and his/her exemplary character if any, including reasons for recommending the officer.
“The commission expects the response from the IG earliest so that the appointments could be effected promptly to avoid leaving the affected state commands without commissioners of police for too long.”
Despite the letter, the IG on November 14, had ordered the immediate redeployment of seven commissioners of police to state commands.
They include acting CP Olusegun Odumosu who was posted to Lagos; Imohimi Edgal, Ogun State command and Nkereuwem Akpan as CP, Cross River State. Others are Kenneth Ebrimson, Akwa Ibom State; Habu Ahmadu, Kano State; Lawal Jimeta, Edo State and Philip Maku, Bauchi State Command.
He later carried out a minor reshuffle by the swapping of positions between the CPs in Ogun and Akwa Ibom State Commands.
Efforts to get the police high command to speak on the matter were fruitless.
Both the IG and the police spokesman, Frank Mba, a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), could not be reached for comments on the correspondence between the PSC and the IG.
We’ve No Complaints on Lopsided Police Command Appointments, Says FCC
Contacted on what the commission was doing to ensure compliance with the principle of federal character in command postings in the police, the FCC said it was yet to receive any complaints from the PSC or any other body on the matter.
It added it would only take action on the issue if a written complaint from the PSC or any other body is submitted to it.
A top official of FCC, who spoke off the record told THISDAY that FCC has not received any complaint against the status quo but it would act if it did.
He said: “We have not received any complaint from PSC or the police. We act on complaints or petitions sent to us by aggrieved parties as regards violation of federal character principle.
“If you don’t let us know what is happening with regards to violation of the federal character principle as it concerns you or your office, we cannot act.
“A doctor cannot go knocking on doors asking who is sick here. If you are unhealthy, you have to go and report to the hospital and see a doctor who will attend to you. That is how we work.”
According to the source, a committee set up by the commission handles issues bordering on federal character as it relates to security agencies.
“If we receive a complaint of that nature, that committee handles such cases,” he said.
The Ambassador Abdullahi H. Shinkafi-led FCC was established by Act No 34 of 1996 to implement and enforce the federal character principle of fairness and equity in the distribution of public posts and socio-economic infrastructure among the various federating units.
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