The Police Service Commission (PSC), on Monday, inaugurated the Police Recruitment Board.
The inauguration conducted by the Chairman of the PSC, Solomon Arase took place at the Corporate Headquarters of the Commission in Abuja, amid heavy security presence.
The 11-man committee was inaugurated following the recent Supreme Court Judgement that unequivocally pronounced the commission as the lead agency statutorily mandated to recruit eligible Nigerians into the Police Force.
A document obtained by THE WHISTLER showed that the 11-man board is chaired by Onyemuche Nnamani, the commissioner representing the South East in the PSC.
Other members include Ifeoma Anyanwutaku, a permanent Secretary at the PSC; DIG Development and Training Department from the Police Force; Muhammed Magaji from the Ministry of Police Affairs and Professor Joseph Olowofela from the Federal Character Commission.
Others include CP Hassan Yabanet from the Police Training College; Yusuf Sanusi from the Department of Police Recruitment, PSC and Barrister Victoria Onyekwuluije from the Department of Legal Services, PSC.
Others also include Sani Hada, from the ICT Unit, PSC; Ahanmisi Obehi from the office of the Chairman, PSC and DCP Olabode Akinbamilowo from the Nigeria Police Force.
The Board would screen and ensure that only able and qualified members of the public are recruited into the police force, reflecting the principle of Federal Character.
The board was finally constituted after the long feud between the PSC and the Police Force over whose constitutional mandate it was to recruit Nigerians into the police constable cadre.
Recall that in September 2019, the PSC filed a motion on notice, praying for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants from “appointing, recruiting or attempting to appoint or recruit by any means whatsoever any person into any office by the NPF pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit”.
The defendants include the Nigeria Police Force (first), the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Adamu Mohammed (second), and the then Minister of Police Affairs (third), Maigari Dingyadi.
In December 2019, the Court upheld the power of the NPF and the Police Council to recruit constables into the police, on the ground that the PSC’s case lacked merit.
However, in September 2020, the Appeal Court pronounced the PSC as constitutionally responsible for the recruitment of police officers aside from the office of Inspector-General of Police.
Since then, both parties have publicly disagreed and traded words over which body should undertake recruitment for the police.
Part one of the third schedule in the 1999 constitution states: “The commission shall have power to — a. appoints persons to offices (other than the office of the Inspector-general of Police) in the Nigeria Police Force”.
While section 18(1) of the Nigeria Police Act 2020 states: “The responsibility for the recruitment of recruit constables into the Nigeria Police Force and recruit cadets into the Nigeria Police Academy shall be the duty of the Inspector-general of police”.
The acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, may have taken a commendable step by including two females among eight Commissioners of Police deployed to various commands but the lack of federal character in the overall deployment of senior officers across commands in the nation has been faulted.
The Police Service Commission (PSC), on Friday, announced the approval of the IGP’s recommendation to appoint and deploy eight commissioners of police to head some police commands.
The officers include Godwin Aghaulor, Cp Bornu Command; Adebola Hamzat, CP Oyo Command; Samuel Musa, CP Kebbi Command; Aderemi Adeoye, CP Anambra State Command; Stephen Olarewaju, CP Imo Command and Abiodun Alamatu, CP Ogun Command.
The female officers included in deployment are Adelesi Oluwarotimi, CP Kwara Command, and Augustina Ogbodo, CP Ebonyi Command.
The PSC Chairperson, Solomon Arase, commended the acting IGP for adhering to the commission’s latest policy on gender sensitivity in his recommendation.
He, however, noted that the Northeast and Southeast geo-political zones were still underrepresented in the deployment of commissioners of police to various commands.
“The Commission however expects that the Inspector General in his subsequent proposals will include more Officers of North East and South East geopolitical zones that are yet to record the benchmark of 15 percent as decided at its last Plenary Meeting,” Arase reacted.
The PSC, during its last plenary session held two weeks ago, resolved that the appointment and deployment of commissioners of police must meet a 15 per cent benchmark, where each of the six geo-political zones must be duly represented.
Speaking to THE WHISTLER on the matter, a top official at the PSC explained why the 15 per cent benchmark was set, noting that the North East and South East geo-political zones had been shortchanged in the deployment of senior officers in the past and there was the need to ensure equal representation of all regions.
The source said, “The last plenary meeting approved a policy on the appointment of senior police officers and they resolved that for the deployment of CPs, the police should try and have at least 15 per cent in all the geopolitical zones.
“So, if it is five or six officers per geo-political zone that would be deployed, let it be the baseline.
“Also, the commission is commending the IGP for gender inclusiveness, but he should try to make it up to 15 per cent for all the geopolitical zones in the 36 states, plus the FCT.
“So, the deployment of senior officers should meet the 15 per cent requirement because both the North East and South East regions have been shortchanged”.
Checks by THE WHISTLER showed that each geo-political zone requires the deployment of at least six senior officers to meet equal representation of the zones.
Arase further advised the acting IGP to consider the disadvantaged geo-political zones when forwarding subsequent proposals for the commission’s ratification.