PSC chairman disowns purported demolition letter
By Emma Nnadozie, Crime Editor & Evelyn Usman
THE Police High Command, Abuja, yesterday, said acting Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, Imohimi Edgal, had not been demoted to Deputy Commissioner of Police, declaring that Edgal remained the state police boss.
The high command’s position followed a letter purportedly written by the Police Service Commission, PSC, addressed to the Inspector- General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, informing that Edgal had been reverted to his former rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police.
The letter allegedly signed by the commission’s Permanent Secretary, Mr. M.F. Istifanus, on behalf of the Chairman, Mr Mike Okiro, was entitled, ‘Withdrawal of Acting appointment : AP 25095 Mohimi D. Edgal and AP. 36665 Aji Ali Janga.”
It reads in part: “Our letter with Ref No PS/1924/Vol IX/ dated August 22, 2017 conveying the Honourable Chairman’s anticipatory approval for the placement of the above-named officers as Acting Commissioners of Police refers, please.
“The commission at its 24th plenary meeting of September 27 and 28, 2017, took a decision not to ratify the anticipatory approval. The officers are, therefore, reverted to their substantive rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP).”
However, Chairman of PSC, Mike Okiro, who spoke with Vanguard stated, unequivocally, that the Permanent Secretary of the commission had no powers to write such letter to the police. According to him, that letter should be ignored. It was not authorized. No such decision was taken even during the last plenary meeting which I chaired.
“The man that signed that letter did not even consult the commissioner that is holding brief for me while I am on leave. We have no problem in the commission but when I resume, we will look into the issue and decide what to do to the Permanent Secretary.
Edgal still Lagos CP—FHQ
However, when contacted, the Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, a Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP, said Edgal was still the CP Lagos, in acting capacity.
He said: “The PSC has the power to appoint, promote and discipline officers. But they don’t have the power to demote. They can only demote an officer after the Force disciplinary committee has looked into what the officer has done and then recommend him for discipline. They can only authenticate or authorise what the Police take to them.
“In this case, acting CP Edgal has not committed any disciplinary offence and the Force disciplinary committee has not recommended him for reduction. They cannot demote him and they have no such powers. They should not go beyond their powers.
“Nigeria Police Force, NPF, can exist without Police Service Commission, PSC, but PSC cannot exist without NPF. We are not aware of the reduction in power and acting CP Lagos State has not been demoted.“
Similarly, the Lagos State government has come out in defence of Edgal, in a terse statement after news of his demotion was reported.
The state government said the report emanated from “a fake letter being circulated by revisionists who are stunned by the level of progress that Imohimi has brought to Lagos in just few weeks.”
The statement further stated: “It’s obvious that a lot of people are unhappy with the major strides the Acting CP has made in such a short time.”