Insights and Recommendations (June 2024)

By Precious Osinaku (NOPRIN Foundation)

Insights

We cannot keep talking about Police reforms in Nigeria without dealing with the root causes of the continuous power tussle between the PSC and the NPF. On the issue of recruitment of police officers, the position of our laws is clear. The Supreme Court of Nigeria has gone ahead to reiterate the position of our laws that it is the PSC that has the power to recruit Police officers.

Also, the removal of the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Dr Solomon Arase appears to have violated the established legal procedure for the removal of the PSC Chairman, as stipulated in Section 5, subsection 1 of the  PSC Act which provides

“Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 4 of this Act, the Chairman and any other member, may at any time be removed from office by the President acting on an address supported by a two-thirds majority of the Senate praying that he be removed for inability to discharge the functions of the Office (whether arising from infirmity of mind or body or any other cause of misconduct).” The decision by the President further undermines the independence, effectiveness, and confidence of the Commission to discharge its mandate without undue interference as stipulated by the Police Service Commission Act and some of the founding rationale for the establishment of the Commission. The total disregard for the rule of law in this instance further fuels the fears of the Nigerian people about the vulnerability of the operations of the Nigeria Police by the political class.  This is not good for our democracy and standing in the comity of nations.

Recommendations

  • Need to strengthen the leadership engagement platforms between the NPF and the PSC.
  • Increased and improved empowerment of the PSC to deliver on its statutory mandate.
  • The need for the National Assembly to maximize its powers of checks and balances over actions by the Executive.

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