The court of appeal in Abuja has nullified the recruitment of 10,000 constables carried out by Mohammed Adamu, the inspector-general of police, in 2019.
In a unanimous judgement on Wednesday, a three-man panel of the appellate court led by Olabisi Ige, held that the IGP lacked the power to make the recruitment for the police force.
The court held that the power to carry out the recruitment was exclusively that of the Police Service Commission (PSC).
The judgment upturned the December 2, 2019 verdict of a federal high court in Abuja which upheld the powers of the IGP to carry out the said recruitment.
In a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1124/2019, filed before the high court in September 2019, PSC had argued that the IGP by law has no role to play “in the appointment, promotion, dismissal or exercise of disciplinary measures over persons holding or aspiring to hold offices in the Nigeria Police Force”.
They prayed the court to nullify the recruitment process already commenced by the NPF and the IGP.
But Inyang Ekwo, judge of the federal high court, dismissed PSC
Ekwo noted that Section 71 of the said Nigeria Police Service Regulations, 1968, gave the power to enlist constables to the police council and the NPF under the control of the IGP, and not the PSC.
However, setting aside the judgment of the lower court, the court of appeal upheld the PSC’s case, resolving all the issues raised in its favour.
Ige who read the judgment held that the police regulation which purportedly conferred power on the IGP to recruit constables “is null and void being in conflict with the Constitutional powers vested in the Police Service Commission”.
Consequently, the court declared the recruitment carried out by the IGP “null and void”.