By Christiana Ekpa
The Chairman of Police Service Commission (PSC) Musiliu Smith,
has given reasons why the Commission went to court to challenge the constitutionality of recruitment into Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
This was Just as the sponsor of the Bill for an Act to Repeal and Enactment Police Service Commission 2020 and a bill for an Act to Provide for establishment of the National Institute for Police Studies Establishment, Hon. Yusuf Gagdi (APC-Plateau) defended why the Inspector General of Police need to spend four (4) tenure in the office.
Smith disclosed this at a public hearing organised by the House Committee on Police Affairs to review two bills on Thursday in Abuja.
The PSC boss also disclosed that the move was to protect the integrity of the commission, adding that he was aware that many might not be happy with the decision.
The bills are: Police Service Commission (PSC) Act Repeal and Enactment 2020 and a bill for an Act to Provide for establishment of the National Institute for Police Studies Establishment.
According to him, I know a lot of us are not happy with the happening but we need to protect the commission and what has been happening, we need to go to court for the sake of the commission.
He said that a lot of people believed it was not right but it should be noted that “we are there today but may not be there tomorrow,” hence, the need to set the record straight.
He said that there was need for proper funding of the commission, adding however that PSC had been doing its best with the little resources at its disposal.
He added that no “kobo” of the commission was spent to approach the court, adding that all the commissioners in PSC had to task themselves to do what was needful.
Rep Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House of Representatives said that there was need to address recruitment, training, funding and operational priorities in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
Gbajabiamila said that the Nigerian people deserved a Police Force they could trust and a Police Force that acts within the limits of the law and respects the rule of law.
He said that PSC bill, 2020 is the first attempt to institute an independent system for holding erring Police Officers to account for abuses of power and related misconduct in office.
“There are a lot of good policemen, in fact, a good majority of our policemen are gentlemen and officers, upstanding professionals but we all know the popular saying that a rotten egg can spoil the whole basket.
“We must attempt to weed out the few rotten eggs that seem to give the police force who lay their lives and put their lives out there on a daily for you and I and that is why we are taking this bill seriously,” he said.
Rep Usman Bello, the committee chairman said that the House of Reps would be fair and just to all Nigerians in its quest for a better NPF.
He said that the committee would only take things that were of value to NPF that would enable them match shoulder to shoulder with other police in the world.
Rep Yusuf Gagdi (APC-Plateau) who sponsored the the bill said that the bills were meat at to arrest the anomalies in the PSC.
He said that the bill would address the issue of gender disparity on the appointment of Inspector General of Police, adding the the NPF would be the ultimate beneficiary of the bill
On the issue of tenure for the Inspector General of Police “he said” I don’t think there is bottle neck there. We have a Police Act that was sponsored by myself. It was sent to the Senate, the Senate adopted the provision with little amendment. A Committee of both House of Representatives and the Senate was constituted to harmonise those reports and sent to Mr President.