The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, has waded into the ongoing legal battle between the Police Service Commission and the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu’s face-off over the recruitment of police constables, demanding an amicable resolution of the impasse.
The CISLAC Executive Director, Auwal Rafsanjani, who made the disclosure in a statement on Monday, said the legal tussle would only bring a lot of disadvantages to the country.
According to him, the two bodies have constitutional roles in the recruitment of the 10,000 police constables, adding that the grey areas therein should have been ironed out of court.
Mr Rafsanjani said: “Without prejudice to the ongoing legal interpretation that is before the apex court, we strongly observe that the current legal tussle will bring a lot of disadvantages to the country.
“Recognizing the fact that we are not in a position or the best authority to interpret the laws, but as a civil society organisation who feels concerned about the security and well-being of Nigerians, we decided to intervene in this matter.
“While the position of the PSC is that they hold the exclusive right to appoint persons to all offices in the Nigeria Police Force (except the office of the IG) by virtue of the constitution; thereby ousting the IG from exercising such powers.
“We also note that the recruitment of constables is well within the powers of the IG by virtue of the Police Act 1967 and the Nigeria Police Service Regulations, 1968, which he acted under.
“Knowing fully well that it is an established position of law that any piece of law that conflicts with the constitution is null and void (as the Court of Appeal relied on), the question we have to consider here is if there is truly a conflict in the provisions of the laws in question as regards the recruitment of constables; does ‘appointment’ of persons into offices in the Nigeria Police Force as vested on the PSC by the constitution include ‘recruitment’ of constables as conferred on the IG by the Police Act 1967?”
The CISLAC, therefore, appealed to all parties to reconsider their grandstanding in the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians.
Mr Rafsanjani further advised that an urgent reconciliatory structure be put together by the Presidency and National Assembly to resolve the crisis.
“We urge the federal government to weigh in to have an amicable impasse between the PSC and the police management team in ensuring that the recruitment of 10,000 constables are not dislodged.
“That an infrastructure for effective coordination and communication should be put in place between the PSC and the IG which must serve as an internal grievance mechanism which reduces a situation of seeking redress in court.
“That the face-off between the PSC and the Police Management Team should not be personal, thereby leading to the loss of revenue, disenfranchising Nigerians from the first order of the state which is the security of lives and property because of our inability to manage internally perceived conflict.
“That the police, policy and politics are children of the same parent. We request that both parties should not allow politics to be prioritized over the integrity of the policy of internal policing,” he added.