Flaying the needless turf war between the Police and PSC (Editorial)

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By CrimeWorld Editorial Board

THE lingering faceoff between the IGP Mohammed Adamu-led Police Force and the Police Service Commission under the leadership of Alhaji Musliu Smith, a retired IGP, which has degenerated into litigation is no less an unwarranted muscle flexing and ego trip. The PSC has on September 29, 2019 approached an Abuja High Court seeking explicit interpretations of certain terms especially, as it pertains the recruitment of potential candidates into the Nigeria Police Force which it believes rest solely within its purview as against what obtains in the past. Aside recruitment, the PSC is also seeking the withdrawal of all delegated powers to the Police which include discipline and promotion of rank and file up to inspectorate cadre. On the other hand, the Police as an organization is sclerotic on its stand that recruiting candidates into its fold should be an exclusive preserve of the Force since any successful candidate would directly work in the organization. Viewed from a balance prism, this quest for obeisance laced in definition of terms that has seemingly pitched these two vital organs of internal security against each other, underpins a new colour of the monster called corruption. Suffice to say that the recrimination has nothing to do with the recruitment of 10,000 Constables into the Police Force as recently approved by President Muhammed Buhari; it had been an unremitting decimal right from the era of Chief Simon Okeke as Chairman of PSC. However, of interest is the fact that whenever such occurs, both the IGP and the Chairman of PSC always find a common ground of compromise. Curiously this is not the case in the present stance. And to say that the feud between the duo of IGP Adamu’s Police Force and Smith’s PSC is unexpected is to state the least deceitful. Alhaji Smith is a known cerebral pendant and critical to rules. A Sociology graduate of the University of Lagos and an accomplished Police officer who rose to the exalted position of an Inspector-General of Police, it is anticipated that his appointment on May 24, 2018 as PSC Chair would no doubt, usher in a new vista in the oversight function of the Commission. Smith is not alone in the dire pursuit to cloak the PSC in its deserved garment; he has in his kitting the likes of Alhaji Olayinka Balogun, a retired Commissioner of Police, a lawyer and another thoroughbred intellectual but a victim of lopsided promotion synonymous with PSC at the time. With the duo of Smith, Balogun and others in the saddle at the PSC, one expects issues of promotion, discipline and welfare of personnel to be knit in perspective.

However, in bringing the desired change and entrench the ‘elusive due process’ in the Nigeria Police Force and by extension, the PSC as it pertains recruitment, there is need for circumspection. Anything short of this could cause a cog in the wheel of crime fighting and other far reaching management decisions as we are already witnessing. IGP Admau-led Police already have enough troubles hanging on its shoulders and should therefore, be left alone to tackle them. Dragging him to court over ‘recruitment’ of candidates, discipline and promotion of rank and file up to inspectorate cadre amount to distraction; for want of appropriate adjective. The Act establishing the PSC has unambiguously allocated the welfare, disciplines and promotion of senior Police officers from the rank of ASP upward to the PSC. Though distinct in structure and activities, the Police and the PSC cannot be entirely independent of each other; they are coordinate. Outside personal interest and corruption, it is not incongruous for the Police to recruit candidates whether they be Constables, Inspectors or ASPs and submit the list to the PSC for final vetting. First and foremost, one has to be a Policeman before the issues of welfare, discipline and promotion from the PSC. It happened during the tenures of Mr. Parry Osayonde and Sir Mike Okiro as Chairmen respectively. Dragging IGP Adamu or any other IGP for that matter to court over the selection of those to work it is not only senseless but time wasting altogether. Apart from distracting the Police in the fight against crime and criminality that is almost overwhelming it in the country, certain management decisions such as promotions and retirements of deserving personnel were stalled by the court order until recently. Straightening issues in legal perspective is good, but not every legal pronouncement is morally right. This postulation is settled in the psychology of the law. The recent big brother role played by the Sir Mike Okiro-led nine retired Inspectors-General of Police which brokered peace between the feuding parties is highly commendable. There is need for Alhaji Smith to do a retrospection of the ugly incident of 2002 and forestall recurrence. The law suit against IGP Adamu should therefore, be withdrawn forthwith in the interest of peace and peaceful coexistence.

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