Afenifere chief, human rights lawyer sue Nigeria Police for ‘illegal recruitment’

Yinka Odumakin

The spokesperson of Afenifere Renewal Group, Yinka Odumakin, and human rights activist, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, have filed an action before the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court, seeking to stop the proposed recruitment of 10,000 personnel into the Nigeria Police through local government quota.

Joined as defendants in the suit numbered are the Nigeria Police Force, the Inspector-General of Police, the Nigerian Police Council, the National Assembly, the Senate and the House of Representatives, the Minister of Police Affairs and the Attorney-General of the Federation.

The plaintiffs are urging the court to declare that the Nigerian Police Council is the only constitutionally established body in Nigeria saddled with the responsibility to recruit and appoint persons into the Nigeria Police Force, in accordance with Section 14 and Paragraph 30 of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution.

The Police Service Commission, last August, shortlisted about 330,000 candidates out of the nearly one million applicants that applied for recruitment into the Nigeria Police Force.

Only 10,000 vacancies were available.

In August, the police said the successful candidates would be subjected to compulsory polygraph test (lie detector test); general background test; biometrics, medical and physical examination; and aptitude, oral and psychological tests.

But in their suit, Messrs. Odumakin and Adegboruwa urged the court to declare illegal the National Assembly’s directive that police recruitment be done on local government basis.

They also urged the court to declare as unconstitutional the National Assembly’s directive to the Nigeria Police Force to supervise the police recruitment exercise against the enshrined duty of the Police Service Commission which is statutorily saddled with such responsibility.

The plaintiffs further urged the court to suspend the recruitment of the 10,000 personnel into the police.

In the affidavit in support deposed to by Mr. Adegboruwa, he stated that it was wrong for the National Assembly and the Inspector-General of Police, to seek to take over the statutory roles of the Nigeria Police Council and that any recruitment based on local government quota will create inequality across the nation, as that will be contrary to section 14 of the 1999 Constitution relating to the federal character principle.

Mr. Adegboruwa stated further that under paragraph 30 of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution, it is the Police Council that has the statutory power of recruitment, promotion and discipline of all policemen and women and not the Inspector-General of Police or indeed the National Assembly.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the case.


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