Saturday, May 28, 2022

Police Constable Recruitment: IGP approaches Supreme Court

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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The Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu, has filed 20 new grounds of appeal against the September 30, judgment of the Court of Appeal, which nullified the recruitment of 10,000 constables.

Recall that the IGP and the police commission had been in a lingering legal battle over the recruitment of the police constables in the country.

The fresh notice of appeal filed at the Supreme Court on Thursday incorporates the earlier one containing only three grounds of appeal filed earlier filed by the IGP, the Nigeria Police Force and the Federal Ministry of Police Affairs, on October 2.

The appellants, had through their lawyer, Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), filed along with their original notice of appeal an application urging the Supreme Court to order the stay of execution of the judgment of the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal had declared the Police Service Commission, PSC, as the constitutionally recognised agency to appoint persons into offices in the Nigeria Police Force, describing the Police Act 2020 as unconstitutional and void.

The Appeal Court judgment, which is contained in a statement by the PSC’s Head of Press and Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani, ruled that the provision of the Police Act 2020 is in conflict with paragraph 30 Part 1 of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution which empowers the Commission to appoint persons into offices in the Nigeria Police Force except the Office of the Inspector General of Police.

According to the statement, Justice Emmanuel Akomaye Agim, one of the three Justices of the Court in his concurrent judgment ruled that Paragraph 30 of Part 1 of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution has given the power to the Commission to appoint persons into offices in the Nigeria Police “and did not exclude constables and cadets to Nigeria Police Academy from offices in the Nigeria Police into which the Appellant can appoint persons”.

He further declared that no Act of the National Assembly or Law can take away or curtail such power.

Justice Agim noted that even if the Nigeria Police carried out the disputed enlistment pursuant to a directive or approval of the President of the Federation, “the enlistment would remain contrary to the Constitution and therefore unconstitutional and void. Such a directive cannot repair its unconstitutionality and illegality.”

In the lead judgment delivered by Justice Olabisi Ige, the Court of Appeal gave a declaration that by virtue of section 1 subsection 3 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) “ any piece of legislation or instrument relied upon by the Defendants (including but not limited to the Police Act and the Police Regulations) in exercising or purporting to exercise the powers to appoint, promote, dismiss or discipline persons holding or aspiring to hold offices in the Nigeria Police Force, being inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution particularly section 153 subsection (1)(m), section 153 subsection (2) and section 215(1)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Paragraph 30 part 1 of the Third Schedule to the Constitution, is invalid, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.”

It also gave an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Police, and other defendants, jointly and severally, from interfering or further interfering in any manner howsoever with the Commission’s discharge of its constitutional and statutory functions in “respect of the appointment, promotion, dismissal, or exercise of disciplinary control over persons holding or aspiring to hold offices in the Nigeria Police Force other than the Inspector General of Police.”

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