10,000 Con­sta­bles Re­cruit­ment: IG Asks Supreme Court to Stay Nul­li­fi­ca­tion

Files fresh 20 grounds of ap­peal

THISDAY - - FRONT PAGE - Alex Enumah in Abuja

The In­spec­tor-Gen­eral (IG) of Po­lice, Mr Mo­hammed Adamu, has asked the Supreme Court to halt the ex­e­cu­tion of the judge­ment of the Court of Ap­peal that nul­li­fied his re­cruit­ment of 10,000 con­sta­bles into the Nige­ria Po­lice. The re­quest was con­tained in an ap­pli­ca­tion for stay of ex­e­cu­tion filed along with fresh 20 grounds of ap­peal against the judge­ment of the ap­pel­late court de­liv­ered on Septem­ber 30.

A three-man panel of the Abuja Divi­sion of the Court of Ap­peal presided by Jus­tice Olabisi Ige had in a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion held that the IG and the Nige­ria Po­lice lacked the power to re­cruit the con­sta­bles. Ac­cord­ing to the ap­pel­late court, the power to re­cruit the con­sta­bles is ex­clu­sively that of the Po­lice

Ser­vice Com­mis­sion (PSC).

Ige sub­se­quently set aside the ear­lier judge­ment of the Fed­eral High Court, Ab­jua, which had val­i­dated the IG's power of re­cruit­ment, and nul­li­fied the re­cruit­ment of the 10,000 con­sta­bles made by the IG.

Un­sat­is­fied with the de­ci­sion, Adamu, along with the Nige­ria Po­lice and

the Fed­eral Min­istry of Po­lice Af­fairs, ap­proached the Supreme Court on Oc­to­ber 2 to set aside the judge­ment of the Court of Ap­peal on the grounds that the ap­pel­late court erred when it ar­rived at its de­ci­sion that they lacked power to re­cruit the said 10,000 con­sta­bles.

The ap­pel­lants, how­ever, in fresh 20 grounds of ap­peal filed along with their orig­i­nal no­tice of ap­peal by their lawyer, Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), sub­mit­ted that the power of the Nige­ria Po­lice and the IG to en­list the con­sta­bles was dis­tinct from the power of the PSC to ap­point them.

Izinyon faulted the Court of Ap­peal’s de­ci­sion that the Nige­ria Po­lice Reg­u­la­tions 1968 con­fer­ring the power of “en­list­ment of re­cruit con­sta­bles” on the Nige­ria Po­lice was in­con­sis­tent with the Nige­rian con­sti­tu­tion. He ar­gued fur­ther that Sec­tion 71 of the Nige­ria Po­lice Reg­u­la­tion, 1968, was not syn­ony­mous with the power of “ap­point­ment” used in the Nige­rian con­sti­tu­tion or the Po­lice Ser­vice Com­mis­sion (Es­tab­lish­ment) Act. He said, "The power to en­list re­cruit con­sta­bles con­ferred on the 1st ap­pel­lant (Nige­ria Po­lice) is dis­tinct and is not the same func­tion con­ferred on the 1st re­spon­dent (PSC)."

The se­nior lawyer stated that the pro­ce­dure for en­list­ment of re­cruit con­sta­bles was specif­i­cally pro­vided in Sec­tion 76 – 106 of the Nige­ria Po­lice Reg­u­la­tions, adding that the PSC “is not con­ferred with ab­so­lute power or any power how­so­ever de­scribed to en­list re­cruit con­sta­bles into the 1st ap­pel­lant (Nige­ria Po­lice).” He also ar­gued that the Court of Ap­peal erred in law by re­ly­ing on the def­i­ni­tion of “re­cruit­ment” con­tained in

Pub­lic Ser­vice Rules 2008, which he con­tended was not ap­pli­ca­ble to the Nige­ria Po­lice.

Izinyon fur­ther claimed that the ap­peal court’s re­liance on the def­i­ni­tion of “re­cruit­ment” con­tained in the Pub­lic Ser­vice Rules in de­ter­min­ing what con­sti­tuted “ap­point­ment” led to “a grave er­ror of law”. He sub­mit­ted that the Court of Ap­peal caused a mis­car­riage of jus­tice and a breach of fair hear­ing to the detri­ment of his clients by re­ly­ing on Sections 14 and 15 of the Po­lice Act with­out giv­ing par­ties to the case an op­por­tu­nity to air their views on them be­fore judge­ment was de­liv­ered. He also con­tended that the ap­peal court did not show how the Po­lice Act and the Po­lice Reg­u­la­tions, 1968, made by the Pres­i­dent were in­con­sis­tent with the pro­vi­sions of para­graph 30, Part 1 of the Third Sched­ule to the Nige­rian con­sti­tu­tion.

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