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IGP-PSC Feud: Appeal Court Voids Recruitment Of 10,000 Constables

The court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has on Wednesday voided this year’s hiring of 10,000 constables by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP).  

Recall that the Police Service Commission (PSC) sued the Inspector General of police Adamu Mohammed for taking in the recruitment process of the constables. The new recruits were screened between August 24 and September 6 in various locations ahead of training. The PSC in their appeal said the IGP has no constitutional powers to recruit constables.

The PSC’s appeal at the Appellate court came after Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court on December 2, 2019, dismissed the suit. The Court of Appeal on Wednesday set aside Justice Ekwo’s verdict and allowed PSC’s appeal.

A three-man panel, presided over by Justice Peter Ige, unanimously held that the IGP lacked the power to recruit the constables.
Justice Ige resolved all the issues for determination in favor of the appellant.

The appellate court held that the word “appointment” used in the Constitution, as it relates to the powers conferred on the PSC included “the power of recruitment and or enlistment of recruit constables”.

The court held that the Police Regulation and or provisions of the Police Act, which purportedly vested the IGP with the power of recruiting constables “is null and void, being in conflict with the Constitutional powers vested in the Police Service Commission”.

The Court of Appeal declared the recruitment carried out by the IGP as “null and void”. It also granted all the reliefs sought by the PSC in its amended originating summons before the Federal High Court.

The appellate court earlier dismissed the preliminary objection filed by the respondents – the Nigeria Police Force, the IGP and the Minister of Police Affairs.

Justice Ekwo had held that the law guiding the enlistment of constables into the NPF was the Nigeria Police Regulations of 1968 issued by the President in accordance with the provisions of Section 46 of the Police Act 1967 (No 41) providing for the organisation and administration of the police force.
He was of the view that Section 71 of the Nigeria Police Service Regulations, 1968, gave the power to enlist constables to the IGP and not the PSC.
Justice Ekwo held that the PSC, by its enabling law, retained the exclusive powers to promote, demote, dismiss and discipline any police officer apart from the IGP.

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