OpinionOPINION: Police Act 2020 Clearly States IGP’s Appointment And Tenure

OPINION: Police Act 2020 Clearly States IGP’s Appointment And Tenure

June 24, (THEWILL) – On Monday, June 10, 2024, President Tinubu sacked the 5th Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Dr Solomon Arase. My problem is not the sack or the circumstances surrounding the sack of Arase, but the insinuations by some paid online media. I came across a paid editorial titled “Of Arase’s Sack, Nepotism and Future of PSC (Editorial)” By CrimeWorld Magazine Online.

The most disgraceful part of the paid editorial is the statement that says, “…why Dr Arase may have been unceremoniously booted out of office was his hard stand on tenure extension for top police officers, including the serving IGP touting it.”

First of all, I doubt if the online media have professionals on their editorial board because they should have been aware of the Police Act 2020.

Section 7 of the Police Act of 2020 stipulates:

“(1) The Inspector-General of Police is the head of the Nigeria Police Force and shall exercise full command and operational control over the Police and all its departments and units.

“(2) The person to be appointed as Inspector-General of Police shall be a senior police officer not below the rank of an Assistant Inspector-General of Police with the requisite academic qualifications of not less than a first degree or its equivalent in addition to professional and management experience.

“(3) The Inspector-General of Police shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Police Council from among serving members of the Police Force.”

Sub-Section 3, states that “The Inspector-General of Police shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Police Council from among serving members of the Police Force.” It did not say on the advice of the “Police Service Commission.”

The Police Service Commission doesn’t have the power over the tenure of the Inspector-General of Police, as this was further buttressed by Sub-section 5. The Inspector-General of Police shall only be removed from office by the President on the advice of the Police Council. In fact, the editorial has made me dig further to say that the Inspector-General of Police still has more years in office after his September 4, 2024 birthday. This is further supported by sub-section (6): “The person appointed to the office of the Inspector-General of Police shall hold office for four years.”

The fact that the Police Service Commission constitutes the membership of the Police Council does not give it the power to decide the appointment and tenure of the Inspector-General of Police, as the Council comprises other powerful decision-makers, such as the President and the governors of the 36 states.

The height of ignorance of the editorial team of the CrimeWorld Magazine Online was the statement that says, “His removal is akin to accusing a snail of overspending. Replacing him with an unknown, sadistic Hashimu Argungu is a setback for the PSC; it’s like moving five steps forward and 10 steps backwards, sacrificing progress at the slab of indolence.”

DIG Hashimu Salihu Argungu (Retd.) is a perfect gentleman who joined the Nigeria Police Force as Cadet ASP in 1984 and retired in 2016 with the rank of Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG). His experience spans over 32 years in policing and security work, and among the positions held in the Nigeria Police Force are Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Department of Training and Development, Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 5 Command Headquarters Benin City, Commissioner of Police Jigawa State, Ogun State and Airport Command, Ikeja, Lagos and Deputy Commissioner of Police, Legal and Prosecution Services FCID FHQ, Abuja. He also held the position of Head of Investigation Department (HOD) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Abuja, on secondment.

He regularly presents papers (lectures) in various states and national fora (summits) on security, investigation and intelligence, leadership, professional ethics and codes of conduct. Some of the summits include the Lagos-Kano Economic and Investment Summit 2018, as a lead discussant and a discussant in the 2nd Annual Retreat for the Sokoto State Government Executive Council, Permanent Secretaries and Directors at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies.

Therefore, it is very wrong to have written that “replacing him (Arase) with an unknown, sadistic Hashimu Argungu.” DIG. Hashimu, Salihu Argungu (Rtd), is well known and his sterling performance as the Chairman of NPF Microfinance Bank Plc is in the public domain.

I strongly see a cordial working relationship between the Nigeria Police Force and the Police Service Commission under the leadership of IGP Kayode Egbetokun and DIG. Hashimu Salihu Argungu (Rtd), as they are both aligned for the advancement of social justice, safety, security and well-being of police officers. The visit of the PSC Chairman, DIG. Hashimu, Salihu Argungu (Retd), to the Inspector-General of Police on Thursday, 13th June 2024, has created a harmonious working relationship between the commission and the Police Force.

IGP Kayode Egbetokun and DIG. Hashimu Salihu Argungu (Rtd), have united to build a new police force that is attractive to the younger generation. The duo have vowed that no single personnel, whether junior or senior, who has no disciplinary issues would be allowed to stagnate in a rank. Nigerians should anticipate, in not too distant a time, a 21st-century police force that is regarded with confidence by all.

*** Written by Kelvin Adegbenga, a public affairs analyst based in Abuja.

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