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The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), has Malami has spoken about the planned nullification of 10,000 constable police recruits
The Police Service Commission (PSC) had in September 2019 approached a Federal High court in Abuja for it to gain the exclusive right to conduct the recruitment process which the Nigeria Police Force and Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, have almost concluded.
Recall that IGP Adamu released names of the shortlisted applicants a few weeks ago which was described as being controversial.
PSC alleged that Police IGP hijacked the recruitment process and approached the court to nullify the recruitment.
Speaking Wednesday, Malami in a counter-affidavit opposing the nullification posited that nullifying the process which is almost concluded would amount to an economic loss for Nigeria.
PSC wanted Justice Inyang Ekwo of FHC, Abuja to nullify the process already commenced by the NPF and the IG, and declare it as the constitutionally recognised body to conduct recruitment into the police force.
Malami stated in his counter-affidavit, “That the plaintiff’s Prayer 5 seeks to nullify the current process of recruitment of 10,000 persons for appointment in the Nigerian Police Force.
“That the recruitment process has gone through significant stages in filtering qualified persons for appointment.
“That millions of naira have been budgeted and expended on the current recruitment process of abut 10,000 persons into the Nigeria Police Force.
“That nullifying the current exercise will occasion serious economic loss to the country.”
The AGF argued that since the establishment of the PSC, “the recruitment of persons for appointment into the Nigeria Police Force had been done by the 1st and 2nd defendants (NPF and the IG).”
His counter-affidavit was submitted by the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. Dayo Apata (SAN), where he said that the Nigerian Constitution “did not state recruitment as one of the functions of the Police Service Commission”.
He said, “The word, ‘appointment’ cannot be accorded an expansive interpretation to include the initial enlistment or engagement recruitment of constables into the NPF.
“A proper construction of the word ‘appoint’ and ‘appointed’ in section 215(1)(a) and (b), and Paragraph 30(a) of the Third Schedule, Part I of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and section 24 f the Police Service Commission Act, shows that the appointment is to be made from persons already in the system.”
Malami further stated that “It is the powers of the Police Service Commission to appoint police officers to various offices, while it is the duty f the 1st t 3rd defendants to conduct recruitment exercises for persons to be appointed by the Police Service Commission.”
The battle continues. A public commentator said the case might be settled out of court to allow the completion of the recruitment process.