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Allow recruited constables proceed on training, PSC tells police

The Police Service Commission (PSC) has broken its silence on the ongoing row with the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) over recruitment. Both sides have been…

The Police Service Commission (PSC) has broken its silence on the ongoing row with the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) over recruitment.

Both sides have been in the news since June 4, 2024, when the PSC released  the list of 10,000 successful applicants for constable and specialist cadre roles.

Six days after the list was released, President Bola Tinubu sacked Solomon Arase as PSC chairman, announcing Hashimu Argungu, a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, as his replacement.

After Arase’s sack, Muiywa Adejobi, Force Public Relations Officer, issued a statement to announce the Police’s rejection of the list which he said was marred by corruption.

Adejobi alleged the published list of successful constables by PSC contained the names of candidates who failed either the Computer-Based Test (CBT) or the Physical Screening.

He added that some persons who did not apply for the job had their names on the list.

Speaking at a press conference which held at Force Headquarters, Abuja, on Wednesday, Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, insisted that he would not accept the list of the candidates recruited by the PSC.

Egbetokun said his resolve on the issue was based on the fact that he is leading over 300,000 officers across the country, the number he described as the largest in Africa, and they are all looking up to him for clear guidance and leadership.

The IGP said he has a duty to ensure quality recruitment into the force.

But in a statement on Friday, Ikechukwu Ani, PSC spokesperson, accused the NPF of undermining the commission despite the court ruling that PSC solely has the mandate to recruit personnel for the police.

“The Police Service Commission has watched with keen interest developments since it concluded and released the list of successful candidates for recruitment as Constables into the Nigeria Police Force.

The Commission is disturbed at the flagrant abuse of ethics, the Constitution and valid judgment of the apex court of the land.

“The Commission wishes to state as follows; a. That the release of the confidential letter sent to the Chairman of the Commission by the Inspector General of Police on alleged lapses in the recruitment exercise to the Media was a gross violation of the Public Service Rules with grave Consequences.

“b. That since 2019, when a former Inspector General of Police hijacked the soft copy of an ongoing recruitment exercise and forcefully completed the exercise without the input of the Commission – the statutory body solely charged with such responsibility, the Commission has not been allowed to perform this constitutional duty.

“c. The Commission has at every turn suffered several indignities in its attempt to perform functions provided to it by the Constitution even after the Supreme Court decided the matter in its favour.
“d. That this show of brute force and intimidation by the Police and most recently inducements of hired writers to run down the Commission in the Media is a serious affront on the mandate of the Commission.

The Commission has studied the issues around this successfully concluded recruitment exercise and has come to the conclusion that even after the Supreme Court Judgment, the Police is reluctant to allow the Commission perform this constitutional assignment. The Commission demands that the Police should provide verifiable evidence to prove the allegations peddled against it as it is obvious that it is a case of giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it.”

The statement called on President Bola Tinubu to wade into the matter and ensure that the commission is allowed to do its job without undue interference.

“The Commission wishes to appeal to Mr. President to protect it and rein in the Nigeria Police Force to respect the Constitutional Mandate of the Commission to recruit. The Nigeria Police Force is created to enforce the law and not to circumvent it in whatever guise.”

“It is the considered opinion of the Commission that the successful candidates should be allowed to proceed on training without delay.”

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