The Police Service Commission and the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, are at loggerheads over moves by the former to demote about 1,500 policemen who benefitted from the special promotion exercise carried out by the IG.
Following media reports that the commission had pencilled down certain police officers for demotion, including the force spokesman, acting DCP Jimoh Moshood, and an officer of the Intelligence Response Team, DCP Abba Kyari, who enjoyed accelerated career elevation, Idris on September 23, 2018, wrote to the commission questioning its powers to reverse the promotion of the men.
In his letter to the PSC Chairman, Musiliu Smith, with reference number: CE:2300/IGP.SEC/ABJ/VOL.27/46, the IG stated the planned demotion was discriminatory on account of its arbitrary selection of officers to be affected, insisting that the commission lacked the power to review the promotions.
Idris also stated that the commission’s power of promotion was only exercisable on his own recommendation, noting that the planned demotion of the affected officers could lead to multiple litigations.
But Smith in his response to the IG’s letter outlined the commission’s powers of appointment, promotion and discipline as captured in Section 6 of the Police Service Commission (Establishment) Act No 1 of 2001.
The letter with reference number PSC/CH/2.18/13/VOl.1 dated October 5, obtained by our correspondent on Wednesday, stressed that the PSC had the overall supervisory function over the Nigeria Police Force.
It informed the IG that his appointments and postings of Commissioners of Police infringed and contradicted Section 6 of the PSC Act which says, “The commission shall be responsible for the appointment and promotion of persons to offices (other than the office of the IG) in the NPF.”
The commission further reminded the IG of their discussions during his visit to Smith on September 14 where the issue of large scale special promotion without following due process was raised.
“The police rules and regulations established the fact that all unconfirmed Inspectors and Assistant Superintendents of Police must be made to sit for and pass the mandatory confirmation examinations.
“Never in the history of the force have special promotions been this cheapened and trivialised. It will be difficult to explain a situation where senior officers without any pending disciplinary matters are skipped perpetually while junior officers will be receiving double promotions within very short intervals,” Smith stated.
The commission stated that an officer must have spent at least two years on his substantive post and should not have benefited from the special promotion in the last three years before he could qualify for the special promotion.