June 19, 2024

Police Recruitment: Remove IGP Egbetokun – PSC union urges Tinubu

The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, on Tuesday pledged to tame the rising cases of kidnapping in Ogun state.

IGP Egbetokun

By: Kingsley Omonobi

Following what they referred to as deliberate misrepresentation and falsehood about the recently concluded recruitment exercise, the workers union of the Police Service Commission has called for the removal of Inspector General of Police Kayode Egbetokun.

Recall that last Saturday, the police in a statement alleged that the process was marred by corruption and other irregularities thereby rejecting the recruitment, an allegation denied by the Joint Union Congress of the PSC.

Speaking with newsmen on Wednesday, the Chairman, Joint Union Congress of the Police Service Commission, Adoyi Augustine Adoyi stated that the action of the IG was against his profession.

His words, “We begin this press conference with a clarion call on the President and Commander in Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Bola Tinubu to immediately relieve the IGP, Kayode Egbetokun of his appointment as IGP.

“Our concern comes from the fact that a public officer who misleads the president is causing confusion in the country and may lead to chaos which is antithetical to his duty as a police officer.

“His attitude has become only a replica of the biblical Haman who in deceiving his principal wanted to wipe out an entire nation but for the timely intervention of God. So we call on the president to responsibly relieve him of his duties for the following reasons.”

Emphasizing that some elements within the police force attempted to smuggle over 1000 names into the recruitment list, Adoyi said, “We have been furnished with reliable information indicating that elements within the Police Force attempted to smuggle over 1,000 names into the recruitment list.

“This manipulation was a grave breach of the recruitment process and a calculated attempt to undermine the credibility of the entire exercise.

While describing the allegations levelled by the IG against the commission as false, unfounded and spurious, Adoyi said, “”The allegations of fraud and several unwholesome acts levelled against the Police Service Commission and its staff are, to say the least, unfounded, spurious, speculative and most irresponsible, especially by the way the allegations were thrown into the public space even before official channel of communication for dealing with such a matter was explored. “

While debunking allegations by the Force headquarters that the recently concluded recruitment of 10,000 Police Constables was marred by irregularities and corruption the Joint Staff Union said that rather, the Police Service Commission rejected an attempt by Force headquartets to foist their own list on the recruitment board.

The union ststement wss titled, “Re: “Police Confirms 2022 Constable Recruitment Process Marred with Irregularities, Alleged Corruption”

It reads, “The attention of the Joint Union of the Staff of the Police Service Commission has been drawn to a Press Release with reference number CZ.5300/FPRD/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.6/178, dated June 15, 2024 and signed by the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), on behalf of the Inspector General of Police.

“The said Press Statement is not only in bad state but diversionary.

“It is sad to note that despite the unambiguity in the powers of the Police Service Commission (PSC) as clearly spelt out by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the subsequent interpretation of such powers by the Supreme Court, the Nigeria Police Force will still not allow the Commission exercise its Constitutional powers to appoint persons into the Nigeria Police Force.

“This clandestine scheming by the Inspector General of Police to usurp such powers is obviously an affront on both the Nigerian Constitution and judgment of the Supreme Court.

“The Commission is at a loss why it is only during recruitment exercises that Police confrontation manifests suggesting obvious hidden interests and corrupt tendencies.

“To address the issues raised by the FPRO in the above release, it is worthy of note that after the Commission got judgement from the Supreme Court on the 11th of July, 2023 re-affirming it’s powers to amongst other things, appoint qualified Nigerians into the Police Force as stipulated in the paragraph 30 Part 1 of the Third Schedule of the Nigerian Constitution.

It stipulstes, “The Commission shall have power to (a) appoint persons to offices (other than the office of the Inspector-General of Police) in the Nigeria Police Force.

“The Commission to ensure inclusiveness constituted a Recruitment Board comprising of a Commissioner from the Police Service (PSC) as Chairman, Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Development and Training Department as Co-Chairman/Deputy Chairman, CP Hassan Yabanet representing Police Training Colleges (NPF), Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Olabode Akinbamilowo as Secretary to the Board amongst others .

“The Board had representatives from virtually all the stakeholders in the Police Sector such as The Commission, the Police, Ministry of Police Affairs, Federal Character Commission, the Police Colleges and the Police Trust Fund.

“The claim that the Recruitment Board was crippled and was not allowed to function, was no doubt a fallacy as the Board severally met before the release of the list of successful candidates.

“The same Board met and endorsed the list that was released on the 4th of June, 2024 at their usual meeting point, PSC Corporate Headquarters, with the DIG Training, Mr Frank Mba and other Police representatives in attendance.

“Meanwhile, it is also worthy of note that the Police had shortlisted and concluded the exercise without the knowledge of the Board and PSC.

“They had the effrontery to submit the list to the Commission. They wanted a meeting of the Board where they had planned to force the list on the Board but unfortunately their plans collapsed.

“For example, this takes us back to 2019 when the then IGP hijacked the list of candidates of the smooth on-going recruitment exercise from the Commission in the guise of having the list to prepare the training colleges for the training purposes and ended up smuggling hundreds of names of persons who neither applied nor participated in the screening process.

“A case in study is Nasarawa State with 13 Local Government Areas that is supposed to have had 253 successful candidates but ended up having 528 after the NPF had sneaked 275 candidates in excess.

“That culminated into the Commission instituting a legal action against the NPF over our mandate.

Our position, however, is as follows: “The Commission demands a forensic audit of the Joint And Martriculation Board Computer Based Test results and compare it with the list released by the Commission.

“We insist that the list of the successful candidates as released by the Commission is open to any Body or Organization for forensic examination to establish it’s authenticity.

“The Commission will not at any time involve itself in any untoward activities in the process of recruiting qualified Nigerians into the Nigeria Police Force.

“The Police and any other interested bodies are very free to investigate any act of financial dealings and corrupt practices as alleged by the Force Public Relations Officer.

“Finally, considering the power and mandate of the Commission as derived from the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (and eventually reiterated, interpreted and established by the Supreme Court judgement of the 11th of July, 2023) and the 2001 Establishment Act of the Police Service Commission, the Commission is the only Executive Body charged with the responsibility, amongst others, of appointing qualified Nigerians into the Nigeria Police Force.

“However, as we mentioned earlier, based on the democratic nature, sense of responsibility, inclusiveness and transparency of the Commission, it has always involved other relevant Bodies, including the NPF, in the recruitment process.

“However, we would not succumb to any form of blackmail and threat as demonstrated by the Inspector-General of Police in the Press Release with reference number CZ.5300/FPRD/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.6/178, dated June 15, 2024 by the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), signed on behalf of the Inspector General of Police. “