The Police Service Commission and the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, are at dagger drawn over plans by the Commission to demote about 1,500 policemen who were beneficiary from the special promotion exercise carried out by the IGP.
Ibrahim Idris was said to have written the commission demanding its powers to reverse the promotion of the men.
The letter with reference number: CE:2300/IGP.SEC/ABJ/VOL.27/46, addressed to the PSC Chairman, Musiliu Smith, Ibrahim Idris said the move to demote the personnel was discriminatory on account of its arbitrary selection of officers to be affected, insisting that the commission lacked the power to review the promotions.
Tthe IGP further explained that the commission’s power of promotion was only possible on his own recommendation, adding that the planned demotion of the affected officers could lead to multiple litigation.
However Musiliu Smith in his response to the IG’s letter outlined the commission’s powers of appointment, promotion and discipline as captured in Section 6 of the Police Service Commission (Establishment) Act No 1 of 2001.
The response letter with reference number PSC/CH/2.18/13/VOl.1 dated October 5 stressed that the PSC had the overall supervisory function over the Nigeria Police Force.
It informed the IG that his appointments and postings of Commissioners of Police contradicted Section 6 of the PSC Act which says, “The commission shall be responsible for the appointment and promotion of persons to offices (other than the office of the IG) in the NPF.”
Musiliu Smith in the letter further reminded the IGP of their discussions during his visit to the commission on September 14 where the issue of large scale special promotion without following due process was raised.
“The police rules and regulations established the fact that all unconfirmed Inspectors and Assistant Superintendents of Police must be made to sit for and pass the mandatory confirmation examinations.
“Never in the history of the force have special promotions been this cheapened and trivialised. It will be difficult to explain a situation where senior officers without any pending disciplinary matters are skipped perpetually while junior officers will be receiving double promotions within very short intervals,” Smith stated.
The PSC adduced that an officer must have spent at least two years on his substantive post and should not have benefited from the special promotion in the last three years before he could qualify for the special promotion.