Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) have gone to the Supreme Court to seek the upturning of Wednesday’s judgment of the Court of Appeal which nullified the recruitment of 10,000 constables across the country.
The IG and the NPF, in their notice of appeal, claim that the Appeal Court “erred in law when it held that the provision of section 71 of the Nigeria Police Regulations 1968 made pursuant to section 46 of the Police Act is inconsistent with the provision of paragraph 30 Part I of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution.”
Section 71 of the Nigeria Police Regulations 1968, according to them, specifically confers on the IGP “the power and responsibility of enlisting recruit constables.”
The appellants, through their lawyer, Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), insisted that the lower court “was on error in its findings that the provision of Section 71 of the Nigerian Police Regulations, 1968 made pursuant to Section 46 of the Police Act is inconsistent with the provision of paragraph 30 Part I of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution”.
Similarly, they faulted the judgment on the grounds that the court erred in law when it held that the IGP and the NPF “are not conferred with powers to enlist recruit constables.”
They also argued that the Court of Appeal erred in law when it held that the PSC was conferred with powers to enlist recruit constables into the NPF by virtue of the provision of paragraph 30 of Paragraph 30, Part I of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution.
The appellants in the matter before the Supreme Court are seeking an order setting aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal delivered on September 30, 2020, another dismissing the appeal filed by the PSC, and another affirming the judgment of the Federal High Court delivered by the Federal High Court on December 2, 2019.
The notice of appeal was filed alongside an application for a stay of execution of the Appeal Court’s judgment.
The Police Service Commission (PSC) had, last year, dragged the Police Force (NPF), the Inspector General of Police and the Minister of Police Affairs as first, second and third respondents respectively to the Federal High Court in Abuja. The Attorney General was added as a fourth respondent.
The PSC sought an order to restrain the defendants, their officers and representatives including anybody or person acting on their behalf from appointing, recruiting or attempting to appoint or recruit by any means whatsoever any person into any office in the first defendant.
Justice Inyang Ekwo dismissed the case.
The PSC then headed to the Court of Appeal.
A three-man panel of the Court of Appeal led by Justice Olabisi Ige on Wednesday unanimously held that the IGP and the NPF lacked the power to recruit the constables.
It held that it was the Police Service Commission that had the responsibility to carry out the recruitment.
Forty-eight hours after the Court of Appeal’s verdict, the PSC cancelled the recent promotions of 112 senior police officers by the IG.
It then proceeded to approve the elevation of 175 officers.
The commission said its decisions were on account of the failure of the Inspector General of Police to “comply with the directive of the Commission to attach the Presidential approval for the creation of additional Police Zonal Commands and Departments from where the vacancies for the recommended officers were harvested.”
Chief spokesman of the PSC, Ikechukwu Ani, said in a statement in Abuja that the decisions were taken at the 9th Plenary Meeting of the commission held in Abuja on Monday and Tuesday, September 28th and 29th, 2020.