It Is Not The IGP’s Duty To Appoint, Promote Police Officers – PSC

The Police Service Commission, led by Chairman, Mr Musiliu Smith has in a statement clarified and reminded the Inspector General of Police of its roles.

The PSC is planning to demote officers wrongly promoted by the Police IG and the Okiro-led PSC.

In a statement by the Commission, it listed out its many functions to the IGP, which include, but not limited to the appointment and promotion of Police officers.

While Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris promoted some Police officers, with many complaining about what they’ve been made to go through, the PSC deemed it necessary to put the records straight.

ALEDEH in several reports has revealed the practise going on within the Police where the many officers and men have alleged that monies were paid by some to get promotion especially over and above their superiors who have “clean records”.  Many others who are due aren’t promoted as a result of their inability to provide the said amount of money.

Read the full PSC statement below;

For purpose of recapitulation, the letter expressed concerns over a number of issues inclusive in particular that:
(a) It is based on social and online newspaper reports as well as unconfirmed utterances of Personal Assistant to the Hon, Chairman PSC received via the rumour mills;
(b) The proposed demotion being discriminatory on account of the arbitrary selection of officers to be affected and the lack of power by the Commission to carry out a review except in the exercise of its disciplinary powers;
(c) Potential multiple litigations, and
(d) Your assertion that the Commission’s power of promotion is exercisable only on your recommendation.
The Commission wishes to put some records straight without unduly engaging in any avoidable dialogue with your office. It is strange as indicated in your letter under reference that the proposed exercise came to you as a rumour.
Before addressing the issues raised, it is necessary to re-state that the
The commission is one of the fourteen Federal Executive Bodies created pursuant to Section 153 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
It is, therefore, a creation of the Constitution vide Section 153 of same with its powers and functions as prescribed in sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) of paragraph 30 of Part
1 of the Third Schedule to the Constitution and provides 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; and
(b)Dismiss and exercise disciplinary control over persons holding any office referred to in sub-paragraph (a) of this paragraph.”
To further buttress the foregoing provision, the core and primary responsibility of the Commission is also captured in Section 6 of the Police Service
Commission (Establishment) Act No 1 of 2001 which states as follows:
“6 (1) The Commission shall —
(a)be responsible for the appointment and promotion of persons to offices (other than the office of the Inspector-General of Police) in Nigeria
Police Force;
(b)dismiss and exercise disciplinary control over persons (other than the
Inspector-General of Police) in the Nigeria Police Force;
(c) formulate policies and guidelines for the appointment, promotion, discipline and dismissal of officers of the Nigeria Police Force;
(d)identify factors inhibiting or undermining discipline in the Nigeria Police
Force;
(e) formulate and implement policies aimed at the efficiency and discipline of the Nigeria Police Force;
(f) perform such other functions which in the opinion of the Commission are required to ensure the optimal efficiency of the Nigeria Police Force; and (g)carry out such other functions as the President may, from time to time direct.
(2) The Commission shall not be subject to the direction, control or supervision of any other authority or person in the performance of its functions other than as is prescribed in this Act.”
Undoubtedly, from the foregoing provision, the Commission, as the overall supervisory body of the Nigeria Police Force, is saddled with the onerous responsibility of ensuring that our dear Country (Nigeria) has a Police Force deserving of International Standard, perceived positively locally and also internationally. Rightly or wrongly in November 2017, the Nigeria Police was rated 127th by the World Crime Index out of 127 Countries. l cardinal issue is that as partners in progress, we must continue to make efforts at changing the negative perceptions, whether justified or otherwise.
In this context, strict adherence to tenets of the law, with regard to the Commissions responsibilities and powers are cardinal. It is within this ambit that the issues confronting the Nigeria Police can be confronted. In other words, it is within the context of adherence to the law that the Commission seeks to draw the IGP’s attention to the issue of Appointments and postings of State Commissioners of Police by your Office, which is infringing and contradicting Section 6 of the Police Service Commission (Establishment) Act No 1 of 2001 as reproduced supra and is hereby again re-reiterated further that: –
“1. The Commission shall-
(a)be responsible for the appointment and promotion of persons to offices
(other than the office of the Inspector-General of Police) in the Nigeria Police Force (see S. 215 (2) of the Constitution)
By the above sub-section appointments of officers to the office of the Commissioner of Police is exclusively that of the Commission, whose power is to be exercised strictly as provided by subsection. (2) to section 6 of the Enabling Act:
That is to say:-
“(2) The Commission shall not be subject to the direction, control or supervision of any other authority or person in the performance of its functions other than as is prescribed in this Act,”
You will recall that during the Commission’s first meeting with you and your Management Team on Friday 14/09/2018, some salient issues were raised and discussed at length, prominent among which was the issue of large-scale special promotion without following due process. Your letter even came with an attached reference from a newspaper publication reporting your Team’s encounter with the Commission. Therefore to refer to the outcome of such an official and formal meeting as a rumour is quite surprising.
The AIG Force Secretary (Force Sec.) who accompanied you to the meeting was asked in your presence to explain the modalities for these promotions. He could not defend the action on the spot and till date, no cogent explanation has been forwarded. The Police Service Commission as mentioned in your letter as provided for both in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Police Service Commission (Establishment) Act, 2001 is empowered to monitor and act in totality on any matter that is capable of eroding discipline in Nigeria
Police Force. The position of discipline as the bedrock of the Force cannot be overemphasized. And it is this critical aspect that the Police Service Commission is empowered to enforce.
As you are aware there are statutory and General Guidelines on Promotions in the Nigeria Police Force which include:
Availability of Vacancies; ii. Merit and Seniority; iii. Officers must have spent a minimum of 3 years on a rank (ASP — ACP 3 years, while for ACP — AIG it is 4 years); iv. Officers must attend the relevant promotion courses and pass the prescribed examinations;
Officers must have no Pending Disciplinary Matter (PDM), complaints or petitions of gross misconduct against them such as human rights violations, torture, extrajudicial killings, rape, etc; vi. Officers must have good APER grades for the 3 preceding years; vii. Inspectors must have been recommended by the Departmental Selection Board (DBS), while other officers are to be recommended by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP); viii. Officers in the Commissioner Cadre must pass the oral interviews conducted by the Commission; ix. Officers for promotion to the rank of AIC are expected to, in addition to all other requirements, attend and pass the prescribed course of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS) or the National Defence College or recent Institute for Security Studies.
The Police Rules and Regulations established the fact that all unconfirmed Inspectors and ASPs must be made to sit for and pass the mandatory confirmation examinations. Never in the history of the Force have special promotions been this cheapened and trivialized, It wilt be difficult to explain a situation where senior officers without any pending disciplinary matters are skipped perpetually while junior officers will be receiving double promotions within very short intervals, While it is agreed that special promotions cannot be completely avoided, even then, laid down rules must always be followed, otherwise we will be heading for a collapse of morale and discipline.
Significantly and also clearly spelt out by the general promotion guidelines approved by the Commission in 2014 is where, for an officer to be legible for promotion, he must satisfy amongst other conditions, the requirement thus:
“Officers must have spent a minimum of three years on a rank (ASP — ACP) and four years (ACP- AIC)”
For purpose of updating the ICP with the current position his attention is drawn further to the last approved policy guidelines for special promotions in the
NPF wherein the Police Service Commission at its 23 rd Plenary held on Friday, July 28/2017 “approved the amended policy with the added condition for approval of special promotion in the NPF.”
The following Revised conditions must, therefore, be put in place before any officer could qualify for a special promotion: –
“1 That the benefitting officer must have spent at least two (2) years on his substantive rank
2 That the officer must not have been a beneficiary of special promotion in the last three (3) years;
3. That reasons for special promotion must be clearly stated and evidence of such superlative performances open to scrutiny;
4. Special promotion may be proposed by a recommendation of the
Inspector General of Police;
5. Notwithstanding number 1 to 4 above the Police Service Commission can promote any deserving officer on special grounds”
Where there are no proven records indicating that all the recommendations before and thereafter for a special promotion, had not reflected the aforementioned and approved conditions and guidelines, then the proposed promotions would not in any way take effect. In other words, any special promotion that does not follow laid down rules for such is a sure precursor of indiscipline and must, therefore, be checked. It is difficult to understand why the Police have completely abandoned the age-long REWARD SYSTEM like Award for Gallantry and Courage, Letters of Commendations and other statutory avenues of appreciating hard working officers. All acts of exceptional performance can definitely not lead to promotions.
Of important note is that some of the promotions done within the period under review have been found to be highly arbitrary, audacious, and unjust. They did not even conform to the simple rule of Federal Character. If an officer received Special Promotion for whatever reason, it is unexpected that such an officer should receive another promotion within the next following twelve (12) months while his mates and even seniors are still stagnated on their old ranks.
It should be realized that the present leadership and members of the Police Service Commission have already and over the years served the nation in different capacities and have names and integrity to protect. They will therefore not condone any form of injustice and illegality. The Commission will not be against the special promotion of officers who really merit it but should be sparingly done as against the bandwagon and bazaar-like system of the period under review. Promotions should not be considered as presents or gift items to be doled out on whims and caprices.
On the issues of some officers wishing to take the Commission to Court on this matter, let it be known to all and sundry that every officer has a right to seek legal redress on any issue that affects his/her fundamental Human Rights provided he follows the Police Rules and Regulations guiding such steps. The Commission will not suppress any officer from lawfully pursuing any matter affecting his wellbeing.
I seek to emphasize again that Part Il Section (2) of the PSC (Establishment etc) Act 2001 is emphatic that:-
“The Commission shall not be subject to the directions, control or supervision of any other authority or persons in the performance of its functions other than is prescribed in this Act.”
The Act vests in the Commission, the Power to formulate and implement policies on promotions, conversions, up-grading etc in the Police Force.
In the light of the foregoing, it is hoped that your fears and concerns earlier enumerated in your letter have been addressed based on the stipulated Constitutional provision as well as the other subsidiary extant rules and regulations therein.
It behoves the Commission as it is dismayed that the Inspector-General of Police should base his letter merely on newspaper information and on social media as well as unconfirmed utterances by the staff of the Chairman PSC, received via rumour mills. The matter of this magnitude ought to have emanated from objective and reliable sources. Without having to belabour issues, undoubtedly the laws have put in place adequate measures to ensure the smooth working relationship between the Commission and the office of the IGP. Accordingly, the subordinate laws and regulations are all subject to the Constitution and can in no wise override the same.
On the point of necessity to issue queries to the officers concerned before any action can be taken against them, it is pertinent to note that the officers who benefited from the arbitrary promotions have not actually committed any offence for which they could be queried. They may be beneficiaries of a lopsided and unjust promotion exercise but the truth is that it is the Police High Command that should take the blame for the embarrassing and shameful development over the matter.
The Police Service Commission as it is currently constituted comprise of:
A retired Inspector General of Police — as Chairman
A retired Justice of the Supreme Court — Hon. Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi, FClArb, (JSC Rtd.) erroneously and embarrassingly referred to in your letter as Justice Ogundipe
A retired Assistant Inspector General of Police — Alh. Bawa Lawal, mni,
CON
A representative of Women Right — Hajia Hadiza Naja’atu Muhammad
A representative of Private Sector — Dr Nkemka Osimiri Jombo-Ofo
A representative of Civil Society — Barr. Rommy Mom and
A representative of Media — Austin Adogame Braimoh
Our team is determined to ensure strict compliance to Police Rules and Regulations in all actions by the Police Management Team under your supervision.
The Commission wishes to intimate the ICP further that the new Board intends to work and perform its functions strictly and in accordance to the powers vested in it by the Constitution, the Act and also the relevant Rules and Regulations as clearly laid down.
In other words, the Commission is clothed with the power to formulate and implement policies on promotion, conversions, upgrading etc amongst others in the Police Force. It is needless to emphasize therefore that the functions of the Commission are not subject to the direction, interpretation, opinion and control of the IGP.
The activity of the Commission which the ICP is purportedly complaining against is an internal and legal function of this Commission. Therefore the memo from the ICP is an outright affront to the provision of the laws.
Finally, the Commission would like to assure the Inspector-General of Police that the new Commission Management deserves to set an agenda for itself to ensure that in executing its mandate, it should be guided by justice, equity, fairness and also due process.
This the Commission believes will undoubtedly assist the ICP in achieving stability and discipline in the policing system. It will also go a long way in building a police force that we all can be proud of as a nation.
While assuring the IGP of the Commission’s co-operation, please accept the assurances of the Hon. Chairman’s Highest regards.

Alh, Smith, CFR, ICP (Red.), Honourable Chairman”

 

Editor’s Note:

We have received hundreds of complaints after our reports on the irregular and unlawful promotion by the Okiro-led PSC. Also, Many have complained and written this online platform of how their names were swapped with names of those who were not successful. It is our belief that Mr Musiliu Smith, a former Inspector General of Police will be able to look into these and return the Police to its path of professionalism.

We will in the course, send those complaints to the PSC but of course, not revealing the identities of serving officers.

Again, we believe, there is a ray of hope for the aggrieved officers and men even as a few have gone to court in an attempt to stop the PSC from looking into hundreds of complaints.

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