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PSC justifies operation without board members

The Police Service Commission has faulted plans by a lawyer, Silas Onu, and the Shield Sword and Consult Legal Practitioners to sue the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, former Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, for operating the commission without board members.

The Spokesperson of the PSC, Ikechukwu Ani, on Tuesday, in a statement obtained by our correspondent, described the planned action as an “unnecessary distraction”, noting that the Chairman and the one remaining member of the Board, Onyemuche Nnamani, representing the Organised Private Sector, had been managing the affairs of the Commission “according to law”.

The PUNCH previously reported that a lawyer, Silas Onu, had written a letter to the PSC, where he argued that the commission was not established to carry out its functions with a sole administrator, adding that the current set-up of the PSC violated Section 2(1) of the Police Service Commission (Establishment) Act 2001.

“The continuing actions of an individual purporting to have promoted, retired, or recruited Police Officers since 25th July 2023 when the tenure of the last appointed Board elapsed, is contrary to the provision of Section 2(1) of the said Police Service Commission (Establishment) Act, 2001 that vest the Management of the Commission with such responsibilities,” part of the letter read.

In responding to enquiries on Tuesday, Ani clarified that the management of the PSC had been managing the affairs of the Commission creditably while citing previous instances where the Commission had operated without a board while noting Paragraphs 1(1) and (5) of the Police Service Commission (Establishment) Act 2001, which permitted the commission to make standing orders or hold proceedings without a full board.

The Commission also alleged that the “campaigns” against the PSC in the media were traced to “some of the recently retired Deputy Inspectors General of Police who is said to have refused to accept the fate that befell them”.

“Investigation revealed that this is not the first time the Commission had operated without the full compliments of its Membership. One Mr Garuba Buwai, a Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Commission now late, had held forth in the Commission for six months after the tenure of Chief Simon Okeke’s Board that exited in 2008. The then Permanent Secretary according to sources, ran the Commission with the staff Management and gave anticipatory approvals to recommendations brought before the Commission.

Reliable sources in the commission confirmed that the present Chairman, a Constitutional lawyer who knows what the law says has also kept faith with its provisions and has only given anticipatory approval to recommendations before the commission.

Mr. Ani noted that the chairman of the commission and the remaining one Member including the just retired Permanent Secretary and Secretary of the Commission, have managed the affairs of the commission according to law.

He added that approvals on recommendations have been anticipatory which obviously would be ratified when the complement of a full board is put in place by Mr. President.

He noted that the management of the commission has been creditably handling the affairs of the commission and forging a credible and remarkable synergy with all the stakeholders in the police sector.

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