The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu, has headed for the Supreme Court seeking to upturn Wednesday’s judgment of the Court of Appeal, which nullified the ongoing recruitment of 10,000 constables across the nation.
The notice of appeal of three grounds together was filed alongside an application for stay of execution of the Appeal Court’s judgment.
The Police Service Commission (PSC) had last year dragged the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), the Inspector General of Police, and the Minister of Police Affairs as first, second, and third respondents respectively to the Federal High Court in Abuja. The Attorney General was subsequently added as a fourth respondent.
The PSC had sought to restrain the defendants, their officers, and representatives, including anybody or person acting on their behalf from appointing, recruiting, or attempting to appoint or recruit by any means whatsoever any person into any office in the first defendant.
Delivering his judgment in the matter in December 2019, Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court had dismissed the case.
The PSC then headed to the Court of Appeal.
A three-man panel of the Court of Appeal led by Justice Olabisi Ige on Wednesday unanimously held that the IGP and the NPF lacked the power to recruit the constables.
It held that it was the Police Service Commission that had the responsibility to carry out the recruitment.
Following these, the IGP and the NPF, through their lawyer, Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), had written a letter dated October 2, 2020, to the Chairman of the PSC contending that no step could be taken to enforce the judgment after an appeal and the motion for injunction they had filed against the contested verdict of the Court of Appeal.
The letter was copied to PSC’s lead counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN).
The notice of appeal faulted the Court of Appeal’s judgment as to the IGP and the NPF contended that the court “erred in law when they held that the provision of section 71 of the Nigeria Police Regulations 1968 made pursuant to section 46 of the Police Act is inconsistent with the provision of paragraph 30 Part I of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution”.
They argued section 71 of the Nigeria Police Regulations 1968 specifically conferred on the IGP “the power and responsibility of enlisting recruit constables”, while the provision of “Paragraph 30 Part I of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution and section 6 of the Police Service Commission (Establishment) Act, 2001, the 1st respondent is empowered to appoint persons to offices in the 1st appellant”.
The appellant’s lawyer added that the lower court “was on an error in its findings that the provision of Section 71 of the Nigerian Police Regulations, 1968 made pursuant to Section 46 of the Police Act is inconsistent with the provision of paragraph 30 Part I of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution”.
He also faulted the judgment on the grounds that the court erred in law when it held that the IGP and the NPF “are not conferred with powers to enlist recruit constables.”
They also argued the Court of Appeal erred in law when it held that the PSC was conferred with powers to enlist recruit constables into the NPF by virtue of the provision of paragraph 30, Part I of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution.
The appellants in the matter before the Supreme Court are seeking an order setting aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal delivered on September 30, 2020, another dismissing the appeal filed by the PSC, and another affirming the judgment of the Federal High Court delivered by the Federal High Court on December 2, 2019.