The Court of Appeal in Abuja has sacked the 10,000 constables recruited in 2019 by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.
A three-man panel of the appellate court led by Justice Olabisi Ige unanimously nullified the recruitment, on the ground that the IGP lacked the power to recruit constables for the police force.
According to the court, such powers to carry out the recruitment was exclusively that of the Police Service Commission, PSC.
Recall that the Police Service Commission had a year ago dragged the IGP to the court in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1124/2019.
This was in order to have the exclusive right to carry out the recruitment process of constables.
The PSC had prayed Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court judge, to nullify the process which the Nigerian Police Force and the IGP had already commenced.
But the Federal High Court judge, in his ruling delivered on December 2, 2019, dismissed PSC’s case, saying that it lacked merit.
But the Commission approached the appellate court through its lawyer, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), asking it to set aside the Federal High Court’s ruling.
Justice Ige, while delivering the lead judgment of the Court of Appeal yesterday, upheld the Police Service Commission’s case by resolving all the issues raised in favour of the appellant.
The Appeal Court agreed with Agabi that the word “appointment” used in the Constitution with respect to the powers conferred on the PSC included “the power of recruitment and or enlistment of recruit constables”.
Justice Ige and the others held that the police regulation and or provisions of the Police Act, which purportedly vested the IGP the power of recruiting constables “is null and void being in conflict with the Constitutional powers vested in the Police Service Commission”.
It, therefore, declared the recruitment carried out by the IGP as “null and void”.
Earlier, the court had thrown aside the preliminary objection filed by the NPF, the IGP Adamu and the Minister of Police Affairs.