PSC to review, place junior police lawyers, others appropriately

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The Chairman of the Police Service Commission, IGP Solomon Arase (retd.), has promised to look into the status of qualified lawyers serving in the Nigeria Police Force (IGP) and appearing in Courts with the ranks of Corporals, Sergeants and Inspectors.

He also said the cases of other junior police officers who acquired additional certificates in other disciplines while in service would also receive the attention of the Commission, noting that it would give the officers the required self confidence  to perform better.

PSC Head, Press and Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani, in a press statememr, weekend in Abuja, said the commission’s boss made gqve the assurence while playing host to the 

leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Abuja branch also known as Unity Bar, at the PSC Headquarters in Abuja.

Hw said Chairman of the Association, Bar. Afam  Okeke, who led the delegation had complained that Lawyers who came into the NPF as junior officers but improved their qualifications were appearing and defending cases in Courts for the Force but were still wearing junior ranks.

Ani said the PSC chairman told the delegation that the Commission may decide to send these categories of police lawyers and other junior police officers with additional qualifications on a short service training after which they would be properly placed as officers.

Arase said the Nigeria Police needed the services of more lawyers, stressing that the commission would come out with a decision that will leave all parties in a win-win situation. 

The former police boss also advised practising lawyers to stop criminalising civil matters, stating: “It is wrong and should be discouraged, civil matters should be treated as civil matters and arbitration should serve the parties and the society better.

“We should avoid time wasting in criminalising civil matters and sending them to the Police when it can be better handled outside of the Police.”

Dr. Arase called for a robust legal system in Nigeria that inspires the citizens to seek for redress and justice, adding that offenders must be arrested and prosecuted to restore confidence in the system.

He informed his visitors that the commission was setting up a Compliance Monitoring Unit to ensure the Police Complaints Response  Units promptly attends to public complaints. 

Dr. Arase also spoke of the commission’s desire to collaborate with the NBA for training programmes on human rights  so as to expose its staff Lawyers to a better appreciation of its duties.

Earlier, Bar. Okeke congratulated the PSC Chairman on his appointment and pledged the Association’s support.

Meanwhile, the PSC has said he was building a new Police Force that would once again be attractive to the Nigerian youths.

He noted that in less than two months he had succeeded in creating a cordial working relationship between the Commission and the NPF.

Dr. Arase said he has also made a success of his stakeholders conversations immediately on resumption of duty at the Commission and was happy that he had united the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in support of the Commission and the NPF.

The PSC chairman said he has continued to engage international donor agencies and other stakeholders in the police sect or to assist build the capacity of the commission as an oversight body and that of the police as the lead agency in internal security.

Dr. Arase, who took stock of his two months in office, commended the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Baba, for the massive promotion of the junior police lfficers who have in recent times suffered stagnation in their career progression.

The chairman vowed that under his watch, no police officer, whether junior or senior, will be allowed to stagnate in a rank especially when there are no disciplinary issues  around the officer.

He disclosed that he was sending officers of the commission to the various Police Zonal Command Headquarters to observe Inspector’s promotion, Departmental Selection Board interviews, starting across the federation on Monday, June 5, 2023.

Dr. Arase urged the staff of the commission to ensure that they conduct themselves in a manner that depicts the current  high standards prevailing in the Commission.

He warned that he would not condone any form of malfeasance or corrupt practice from any staff on official assignment.