Police recruitment allegations: PSC denies, gives details of alleged conspiracy

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The Joint Union Congress of the Police Service Commission has responded to recent allegations by the Inspector General of Police alleging that the recent recruitment was fraudulent.

In a statement signed by the union, it was stated that the commission will not be swayed by any form of blackmail or threat.

“The attention of the Joint Union of the Staff of the Police Service Commission has been drawn to a Press Release with reference number CZ.5300/FPRD/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.6/178, dated June 15, 2024 and signed by the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), on behalf of the Inspector General of Police.

The said Press Statement is not only in bad state but diversionary. It is sad to note that despite the unambiguity in the powers of the Police Service Commission (PSC) as clearly spelt out by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the subsequent interpretation of such powers by the Supreme Court, the Nigeria Police Force will still not allow the Commission exercise its Constitutional powers to appoint persons into the Nigeria Police Force. This clandestine scheming by the Inspector General of Police to usurp such powers is obviously an affront on both the Nigerian Constitution and judgment of the Supreme Court.

The Commission is at a loss why it is only during recruitment exercises that Police confrontation manifests suggesting obvious hidden interests and corrupt tendencies.

To address the issues raised by the FPRO in the above release, it is worthy of note that after the Commission got judgement from the Supreme Court on the 11th of July, 2023 re-affirming it’s powers to amongst other things, appoint qualified Nigerians into the Police Force as stipulated in the paragraph 30 Part 1 of the Third Schedule of the Nigerian Constitution thus: The Commission shall have power to (a) appoint persons to offices (other than the office of the Inspector-General of Police) in the Nigeria Police Force; the Commission to ensure inclusiveness constituted a Recruitment Board comprising of a Commissioner from the Police Service (PSC) as Chairman, Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Development and Training Department as Co-Chairman/Deputy Chairman, CP Hassan Yabanet representing Police Training Colleges (NPF), Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Olabode Akinbamilowo as Secretary to the Board amongst others .
The Board had representatives from virtually all the stakeholders in the Police Sector such as The Commission, the Police, Ministry of Police Affairs, Federal Character Commission, the Police Colleges and the Police Trust Fund.

The claim that the Recruitment Board was crippled and was not allowed to function, was no doubt a fallacy as the Board severally met before the release of the list of successful candidates. The same Board met and endorsed the list that was released on the 4th of June, 2024 at their usual meeting point, PSC Corporate Headquarters, with the DIG Training, Mr Frank Mba and other Police representatives in attendance.

Meanwhile, it is also worthy of note that the Police had shortlisted and concluded the exercise without the knowledge of the Board and PSC. They had the effrontery to submit the list to the Commission. They wanted a meeting of the Board where they had planned to force the list on the Board but unfortunately their plans collapsed. For example, this takes us back to 2019 when the then IGP hijacked the list of candidates of the smooth on-going recruitment exercise from the Commission in the guise of having the list to prepare the training colleges for the training purposes and ended up smuggling hundreds of names of persons who neither applied nor participated in the screening process. A case in study is Nasarawa State with 13 Local Government Areas that is supposed to have had 253 successful candidates but ended up having 528 after the NPF had sneacked 275 candidates in excess. That culminated into the Commission instituting a legal action against the NPF over our mandate.

Our position, however, is as follows:
1. The Commission demands a forensic audit of the Joint And Martriculation Board Computer Based Test results and compare it with the list released by the Commission. We insist that the list of the successful candidates as released by the Commission is open to any Body or Organization for forensic examination to establish it’s authenticity.

The Commission will not at any time involve itself in any untoward activities in the process of recruiting qualified Nigerians into the Nigeria Police Force.
2. The Police and any other interested bodies are very free to investigate any act of financial dealings and corrupt practices as alleged by the Force Public Relations Officer.

Finally, considering the power and mandate of the Commission as derived from the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (and eventually reiterated, interpreted and established by the Supreme Court judgement of the 11th of July, 2023) and the 2001 Establishment Act of the Police Service Commission, the Commission is the only Executive Body charged with the responsibility, amongst others, of appointing qualified Nigerians into the Nigeria Police Force. However, as we mentioned earlier, based on the democratic nature, sense of responsibility, inclusiveness and transparency of the Commission, it has always involved other relevant Bodies, including the NPF, in the recruitment process. However, we would not succumb to any form of blackmail and threat as demonstrated by the Inspector-General of Police in the Press Release with reference number CZ.5300/FPRD/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.6/178, dated June 15, 2024 by the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), signed on behalf of the Inspector General of Police.

Signed
Joint Union Congress of the Police Service Commission

 

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