Can Ex-IGP Arase Attend To Our Needs? — PSC Union Reacts To Buhari’s Appointment

The Joint Service Union, Police Service Commission (PSC) Chapter, has reacted to the appointment of a former Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase to chair the commission.

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President Muhammadu Buhari in a letter to the Senate on Tuesday asked the lawmakers to approve Arase’s appointment as the chairman of the PSC based on sections 153 (1) and 154 (1) of the constitution as amended.

The development, however, incited displeasure from the union, considering an appeal to appoint only a civilian to head the commission.

Their plea was against the backdrop of the recurring rift between the authorities of the police and PSC, concerning the recruitment of Police Constables among other yet-to-be-resolved issues.

The Union asked that the Commission be chaired only by a civilian and not a former police officer because the latter subverts the independence and impartiality of the commission with the statutory mandate to investigate and punish police misconduct.

The Chairman of the congress, Adoyi Adoyi in an interview with THE WHISTLER, said the chairing of the commission by past police officials has caused a conflict of interest for the PSC.

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“For us as an association, this is not a personal issue but we speak from the background of experience that the spirit of the constitution has always been abused because we have had in recent times, past policemen heading the commission, which had served as a point of distraction and conflict of interest because they are coming from the same police background,” he said.

Adoyi opined that the PSC Act, has many lacunas needed to be addressed and part of it is the mandate of the president to appoint a chairman with no civilian background.

He added, “Well the president has the prerogative as it is today under the current act to do as he has done, but our advice was born out of serious concern that the work of oversight of the Nigerian Police should have been properly done under the situation where the chairman is from the civilian background”.

Adoyi noted that since the emergence of past police personnel to chair the commission, emphasis has never been placed on their welfare.

“The staff of the commission who execute the operation of the commission have only been left to rubber stamp issues of police recruitment and promotion without the welfare of the staff not adequately attended to.

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“As public servants, we cannot enjoy our jobs like our pears elsewhere. They are people in the commission who are being owed money since 2012. Last year, all the assignments carried out by the staff of the commission were not paid for to date.

“It is a very precarious situation for the staff, and our problem is not that Arase has been appointed but if he will come to the commission and run it as it should be. Will he yield to the concerns of Nigerians, the commission and its staff? That is a major concern.”

Adoyi further noted that although personal encounters with Arase, while he was a former IGP, proved he had an “interesting personality” and accorded the commission respect, it was difficult to tell what becomes of the PSC with his emergence.

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