COMPPART Foundation for Justice and Peace Building, has kicked against the plan by the National Assembly to give powers to the Inspector General of Police, IGP, to recruit police personnel into the Nigeria Police Force.
Speaking in an interview yesterday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state capital, the executive director of the organization, Mr. Saviour Akpan noted that the National Assembly could only do so after amending the section of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which established the Police Service Commission (PSC) to appoint persons into the police force. Akpan stressed that as long as that constitutional provision still exists, any Act that is contrary to the provision remains null and void. He noted that in the process of trying to repeal the Police Act, Cap. P19 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and enact a new Police Act, the National Assembly should not make a law that would conflict with the provisions of the constitution.
in his word“The Police Act is not the constitution. So I feel uncomfortable that the National Assembly in trying to repeal the Police Act, Cap. P19 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and re-enact the Police Act plans to give power to Inspector General of Police to recruit personnel into the Nigeria Police Force.
“The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (1999 as amended) has spelt out the functions of the Police Service Commission which says the Commission shall have the power to appoint persons to office (order than the Inspector General of Police) to dismiss, promote personnel, and exercise discplinary control over persons holding any office in the force. “This is a constitutional matter. So the National Assembly got it wrong by trying to strip the Police Service Commission that constitutional power to appoint. To appointment, to recruit is the same thing.
“Therefore, the National Assembly should while making laws for good governance of Nigeria, try as much as possible not to dabble into a matter that will conflict with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“If the House of Representatives now wants to make a law to give the Inspector General of Police the power to recruit, that constitutional provision must be amended, otherwise it will not sail through. As long as that constitutional provision still exists, any other Act inconsistent with the provision is null and void”. Akpan pointed out that civil society groups in the security sector reform and justice sector reform had pushed for the re-enactment of the 1943 Police Act so that it would be in conformity with modern policing