PSC Justifies Operating Without Board Members

Police Service Commission
Police Service Commission

The Police Service Commission has criticized the intentions of 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 running the commission without board members.

In a statement obtained by our correspondent on Tuesday, the Spokesperson of the PSC, Ikechukwu Ani, described the planned action as an “unnecessary distraction”, highlighting 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”.

Silas Onu, a lawyer, reportedly wrote a letter to the PSC, arguing that the commission's operations with a sole administrator were not in line with its establishment, and that the current PSC structure breached Section 2(1) of the Police Service Commission (Establishment) Act 2001.

Part of the letter read that the ongoing actions of an individual claiming to have promoted, retired, or recruited Police Officers since 25th July 2023, when the tenure of the last appointed Board ended, go against the provision of Section 2(1) of the Police Service Commission (Establishment) Act, 2001, which assigns such responsibilities to the Commission's Management.

In responding to inquiries on Tuesday, Ani clarified that the management of the PSC had been handling the affairs of the Commission creditably. Ani also cited previous instances where the Commission operated without a board and pointed out Paragraphs 1(1) and (5) of the Police Service Commission (Establishment) Act 2001, which allowed the commission to establish standing orders or conduct proceedings without a full board.

The Commission also claimed that the media "campaigns" against the PSC were linked to "some of the recently retired Deputy Inspectors General of Police who reportedly refused to accept their fate."

This investigation uncovered that the Commission had previously operated without its full Membership. After the tenure of Chief Simon Okeke’s Board that ended in 2008, Mr. Garuba Buwai, a Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Commission, had taken over and held forth in the Commission for six months before his passing. The then Permanent Secretary, as per sources, oversaw the Commission's operations with the staff Management and granted anticipatory approvals to recommendations presented to the Commission.

Reliable sources within the commission have verified that the current Chairman, a Constitutional lawyer who comprehends the law, has upheld its provisions and granted anticipatory approval to recommendations before the commission.

Mr. Ani pointed out that the chairman of the commission, along with the one remaining Member, which includes the recently retired Permanent Secretary and Secretary of the Commission, have overseen the affairs of the commission in accordance with the law.

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