The tussle between the Nigeria Police Force and the Police Service Commission to gain full control of the recruitment of 10,000 constables has taken a new twist as the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, approved the release of the list of successful candidates despite the PSC suspending the exercise.
Punch correspondent learnt that the Chairman, PSC, Alhaji Musiliu Smith, was only informed about the release of the results during his meeting with the House of Representatives Committee on Police Affairs, the Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Maigari, and the IG in Abuja on Tuesday — in an attempt to resolve the crisis.
It was learnt that Smith, a retired Inspector-General of Police, was shocked to hear the news of the release of the results. The PSC on Friday announced the suspension of the recruitment pending the resolution of the issues with the police. But the IG said at a security stakeholders’ meeting in Ibadan on Tuesday the recruitment exercise had not been suspended. And the PSC has asked those who applied for recruitment into the police to “watch out for the authentic list” that would emerge after its meeting with the NPF authorities.
The commission dismissed the list released by the police, insisting it was compiled without its input. Spokesman for the PSC, Ikechukwu Ani, said in a statement the list had been withdrawn from the NPF website. He said, “Our attention has been drawn to a list circulating on social media and originating from the NPF website containing some names of candidates for recruitment into the force as constables.
“The candidates, according to the information, were invited for medical screening scheduled for September 9-14, 2019. It has been observed that as of September 4 afternoon the list has been withdrawn from their website. “The commission will like to report that the list was compiled by the NPF without the involvement of the commission, the body that has the constitutional mandate for appointment.” Ani added, “The commission will resist any attempt to sabotage its efforts. Applicants are therefore advised not to panic or despair as their interest will be adequately protected.”
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary, PSC, Mr Maurice Mberi, who appealed to the workers who protested against Adamu’s decision in Abuja on Wednesday, said Smith had sought an audience with President Muhammadu Buhari over the issue. He pleaded with them to wait for the outcome of the meeting, adding that the PSC had also sought the Attorney General of the Federation’s legal opinion on the mandate of the commission regarding recruitment into the police. Mberi said, “We were in the middle of the meeting when someone came to inform us that the list of successful candidates had been released. The chairman, who was surprised by the development, brought it to the attention of the minister.
“The IG also expressed surprise, saying he was not aware that the list had been released.”But the workers insisted the list could not have been released without the IG’s approval. The workers however stated that they would not return to work until the commission recovered “its constitutional mandate to recruit into the force”. Spokesman for the Joint Staff Union, Abonyi Abonyi, accused Smith of colluding with the police to render the PSC redundant. He called for Smith’s resignation and also opposed the appointment of retired police officers as PSC chair, adding that the police had turned the agency to their retirement home. The workers alleged that the list of successful candidates released by the police was dominated by the names of those who did not take part in the screening. Force spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, could not be reached for comments as his line was unreachable. Punch
Pix: IG of Police Mohammed Adamu