Union Protests Police Retirees As PSC Chairmen

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L-R: Secretary, International Press Institute, Nigeria, Mr Raheem Adedoyin; Chairman, Publicity Committee, Congress of the International Press Institute (CIPI), Mr Tony Iredia and Managing Director, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr Bayo Onanuga, during the visit of the CIPI chairman to NAN headquarters in Abuja, recently.

The Nigeria Civil Service Union (NCSU), Police Service Commission (PSC) chapter, yesterday in Abuja protested against the appointment of retired police officers as chairmen of the commission by the Federal Government.
Addressing newsmen, Chairman of the union, Mr Umar Sharubutu, said that the appointment of retired policeman as chairman of the commission was an aberration.
“It is constitutionally wrong to have an ex- policeman heading the commission,”Sharubutu said.
He explained that the Act establishing the commission defined it as a “civilian “oversight body on police.
He further said that a police officer was appointed as a Commissioner II on the board to serve as adviser on technical issues concerning the police.
The chairman said that appointing another police officer on the board was a duplication of police representation on the board, adding that the Act provided for the appointment of a civilian chairman.
He said that because of the background of the police, the junior takes order from his superior.
He alleged that members of staff of the commission were being treated like policemen to whom orders were being given as against the public and other extant rules applicable to civil servants.
“We are not policemen, we are civilian staff and the commission is a civilian organisation, the chairman should be a civilian.
“Our experiences under these former policemen had not been a palatable one as they clamp our colleagues into detention indiscriminately.
“We are using this medium to appeal to Mr President to give us a civilian chairman,” he said.
Sharubutu said that the union would lawfully resist further appointment of former policeman as chairman of the commission, adding that the commission has had enough of them.
He said that the commission under the pioneer civilian chairman, flourished without interference from the police.
“Under the civilian chairman in 2001 promotions were done strictly on seniority and merit.
“We are complaining now because we have endured believing that things will get better but matters are still difficult,”he said.
He said that the union had written to the President, the National Assembly, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and the Secretary to the Federal Government.
The chairman also alleged that under the chairmanship of a retired policeman, issues of promotion in the commission had been abused.
In a reaction, the Head of Press and Public Relations of the commission, Mr Ikechukwu Ani, said that the issue of appointment of chairman was beyond the competence of the commission.
“Even though I have not been briefed by the management of the commission, I know that it is the prerogative of Mr President to appoint chairmen of the commission,”he said.
Ani said that the Act establishing the commission was very clear on this as there was no restriction for the president to appoint chairman for the commission.
the Inspector-General of Police.