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Police constable recruitment: We followed due process, PSC insists

.. Challenges NPF to prove alleged irregularitie

The Police Service Commission has challenged the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to provide verifiable evidence to prove the allegations peddled against it concerning the recently concluded 2020 recruitment of 10,000 Constable into the Force.

The commission insisted that its list of successful candidates and that of the Police should be subjected to a forensic audit using the result of the JAMB computer based test (CBT).

Blueprint reports that the Inspector General of Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun, had rejected the list of successful  candidates published by the PSC citing alleged irregularities and corruption in the recruitment process.

The police boss, who acknowledged the power of the commission to recruit for the police as ruled by the Supreme Court, insisted that this power does not include the power to recruit unqualified personnel.

Responding to the allegations, the PSC in a press statement by the Head, Press and Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani, on Friday in Abuja, described the allegation as a case of giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it.

According to the statement, “PSC

has watched with keen interest developments since it concluded and released the list of successful candidates for recruitment as Constables into the NPF.

“The Commission is disturbed at the flagrant abuse of ethics, the Constitution and valid judgment of the apex court of the land.

The Commission wishes to state as follows; That the release of the confidential letter sent to the Chairman of the Commission by the Inspector General of Police on alleged lapses in the recruitment exercise to the media was a gross violation of the Public Service Rules with grave consequences.

“That since 2019, when a former Inspector General of Police (IGP) hijacked the soft copy of an ongoing recruitment exercise and forcefully completed the exercise without the input of the commission, the statutory body solely charged with such responsibility, the PSC has not been allowed to perform this constitutional duty.

“The Commission has at every turn suffered several indignities in its attempt to perform functions provided to it by the Constitution even after the Supreme Court decided the matter in its favour.

“That this show of brute force and intimidation by the Police, and most recently, inducements of hired writers to run down the Commission in the Media is a serious affront on the mandate of the Commission.”

It further stated that, “The Commission has studied the issues around this successfully concluded recruitment exercise and has come to the conclusion that even after the Supreme Court Judgment, the Police is reluctant to allow the Commission perform this constitutional assignment.

“The Commission demands that the Police should provide verifiable evidence to prove the allegations peddled against it as it is obvious that it is a case of giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it.

“It is important to state that due process was meticulously followed  throughout the exercise and the Commission wishes to assert its prerogative to exercise full control over recruitments into the Nigeria Police Force.

“The Commission is also insisting that its list of successful candidates and that of the Police should be subjected to a forensic audit using the result of the JAMB computer based test.

Supreme Court judgement

The commission nited that, “The Supreme Court Judgment delivered on July 11, 2023 in the case of NPF & Ors v Police Service Commission & Anor (2023) – LPELR-60782(SC) reinforces the Commission’s  “exclusive” statutory authority in the recruitment of Constables.

The Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeal judgment delivered on the September 30, 2020.

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