By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja
Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday, dismissed the suit challenging the ongoing recruitment exercise of 10,000 police constables by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu.
The Police Service Commission (PSC) dragged the IGP and the Nigeria Police Force to court over the recruitment of 10,000 constables as approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The suit with the number, FHC/ABJ/CS/1124/2019, was filed by the plaintiff’s counsel, Kanu Agabi mentioned the Nigeria Police Force (first), the IGP, the Minister of Police Affairs and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami as defendants in the matter.
The court in his judgement, held that it is the Police Service Council under the leadership of the Inspector General of Police that is statutorily empowered to enlist constables into the force.
He held that the suit challenging the power of the IGP to recruit personnel into the force, is lacking in merit, adding that the plaintiff,(PSC) was unable to prove that the recruitment usurps its power.
“Consequently, I hold that (it is) the police council under the Inspector General of Police that has the power to carry out recruitment into the police force.
‘’I hereby make an order dismissing the case for lacking in merit,” Justice Ekwo held.
The judge held that the law guiding the enlistment of constables into the NPF was the Nigeria Police Regulations of 1968, issued by the Nigerian 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.
The judge noted that section 71 of the Nigeria Police Service Regulations gave the power to enlist constables to the Police Council under the control of the IGP and not the PSC.
He ruled that the PSC by its enabling law could only appoint constables after the enlistment exercise carried out by the NPF.
Further in his ruling, Justice Inyang held that the Civil Service Rules cited by the PSC in defining the meaning of “appointment” to include “recruitment” did not apply to the NPF, not being a civil service.
The judge also noted that contrary to the allegation by the PSC that the NPF and the IGP were attempting to usurp its powers to recruit the constables, it was the PSC that was attempting to usurp their powers to do so.