OrderPaperToday – The Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Dangiyaddi, has sharply opposed a bill currently being considered by the House of Representatives to limit the powers of the President to hire and sack members of the Police Service Commission (PSC).
The minister, during his presentation at a public hearing organized by the House Committee on Police Affairs on Thursday, frowned at a clause which seems to water down the power of the President to appoint the chairman and other members of the Commission but denies him express powers to sack them.
The minister also cautioned the House on a section of the bill which intends to allow the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to recruit constables and cadets into the Police Force since the matter is under litigation.
Mr. Dangiyaddi, who made five observations on the bill, expressly objected to “Section 5 of the draft Bill where the power of Mr. President to remove the Chairman and members has to some extent been deleted, leaving only the power of members to resign at their own time,” submitting that “whoever has the power to appoint should naturally has the power to remove.”
He continued: “The second issue is under section 6 of the Bill which retains the powers to appoint and remove persons to offices except that of the Inspector-General of Police. However, it specifically states that the responsibility for recruitment of Constables into the Police Force and recruitment of Cadets into the Police Academy shall be that of the Inspector General of Police.
“I believe Mr. Chairman, Honourable Members are aware of the controversial nature of this issue and I will like to suggest that since the matter is currently pending at the Supreme Court of Nigeria, it may not be wise to make into law at this stage. It will appear to be preempting the decision of the Supreme Court on the matter. I’m therefore suggesting that we should leave the matter for now as it is while we await the decision of the Supreme Court.”
He also threw the weight of his ministry on a provision which gives the Commission powers to discipline officers “because the extension of the powers of the Commission to discipline Officers, there is need for proper investigation of allegations of wrong doing against Police Officers in the discharge of their duties. I want to support this provision so that the Police Service Commission will be in a better position to monitor, investigate Officers who are found to erring in the discharge of their duties.”
The minister however disagreed with a part of the bill that states that the Commission shall from time to time review the terms of reference for the operational guidelines of any tactical unit set up by the Inspector General of the Police, saying it is “clearly beyond the scope of the Police Service Commission as an organization saddled with the task of employment, promotion, discipline of Police Officers.”
Recall that the National Assembly passed a bill that restricts the tenure of the Inspector General to a single term of four years.
Meanwhile, Mr Yusuf Gagdi (APC, Plateau) who sponsored the bill, the proposed law was meant to arrest the anomalies in the Commission as it would address issues of gender disparity on the appointment of Inspector General, among others.
“There are issues of gender bias in the former Police Act where a woman can’t rise to the position of Commissioner of Police let alone attending the position of the Inspector General. In terms of recruitment the restriction of the women is quite obvious but the same Act addressed those disparities. If the Nigerian people being the beneficiary of those adjustments in the various angles that talked about fundamental human rights of Nigerians and equally, the Police themselves are beneficiary of that Act in terms of their welfare,” he said.