Police recruitment: Trial Judge bars police; PSC employees from court, fixes Dec 4 for judgment

The trial Judge in the on-goinglegal tussle between the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Police Service Commission (PSC), Justice Inyang Ekwo, on Wednesday ordered that no employee of the police or PSC should be in the court gallery on judgment day.

After hearing arguments from counsel representing parties in the suit, Ekwo fixed December 4 for the final judgment.

He then ordered that only legal counsel, those designated to represent both organizations and the media should be present in court.

While the PSC is the plaintiff, the Inspector-General (I-G) of Police, Muhammed Adamu, the NPF and the AGF are defendants in the case.

While opening his arguments, Counsel to the PSC, Mr Kanu Agabi (SAN), held that contrary to arguments earlier put up by the fourth defendant (AGF) in the suit, there was no distinction between recruitment and appointment.

According to him, the fourth defendant has tried to distinguish between recruitment and appointment but recruitment simply means the filling of vacancies by appointment of people not already in the public service, saying there is no distinction between the two.

Arguing further, Agabi held that there was no constitutional provision to back the claim that “recruitment of police personnel from time immemorial has been done by the Inspector -General of Police”.

“It was the responsibility of the PSC to recruit police personnel and not that of the IGP and allowing the IGP to conduct recruitment, would be usurping powers of the commission”, he maintained.

Agabi thereafter prayed the court to grant all the reliefs sought by his client in the suit.

Countering, Counsel to IGP, Alex Iziyon, SAN, described the suit as frivolous, scandalous and abuse of court process, urging the court to dismiss the suit.

But while making his own submission, counsel to the Attorney-General of the Federation, Terhemba Agbe, insisted that there was a distinction between recruitment and appointment.

Agbe told the court that the AGF had advised both parties to work in harmony, that the IGP should conduct recruitment into the police and the names of those found worthy would be forwarded to the PSC for an appointment.

After hearing arguments from all parties, Justice Ekwo fixed December 4 for judgment …

The PSC had dragged the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to court over the recruitment of 10,000 constables.

In the motion on notice filed on Sept. 24, the commission is praying the court for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants from ”appointing, recruiting or attempting to appoint or recruit by any means whatsoever any person into any office by the NPF pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.”

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