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PSC Blames Police Screening Personnel for Recruitment Of Deaf Individuals, Persons with Suicidal Tendencies, Calls for Accountability

The Police Service Commission (PSC) has issued a strong statement in response to allegations of recruiting unsuitable candidates, including Deaf individuals and those with suicidal tendencies, into the Nigeria Police Force. The Commission has asserted that the responsibility for such lapses lies with the police personnel who conducted the physical and medical screenings during the recent recruitment exercise of 10,000 constables.

The PSC has demanded that the Nigeria Police provide verifiable evidence to support these allegations, describing the accusations as an attempt to undermine the Commission’s credibility. In a press release titled “2022 Police Constable Recruitment: Our Position – PSC,” Ikechukwu Ani, Head of Press and Public Relations, condemned the allegations as “uncharitable and preposterous.”

PSC’s Standpoint on Recruitment Allegations

“The Police Service Commission has watched with keen interest developments since it concluded and released the list of successful candidates for recruitment as Constables into the Nigeria Police Force,” the statement reads. The Commission expressed its concern over what it perceives as a blatant disregard for ethics, the Constitution, and a valid Supreme Court judgment.

The PSC outlined several key points:

Violation of Public Service Rules

The release of a confidential letter from the Inspector General of Police to the Chairman of the Commission, detailing alleged lapses in the recruitment exercise, to the media was labeled a “gross violation of the Public Service Rules with grave consequences.”

Usurpation of Recruitment Duties

Since 2019, the PSC claims it has been sidelined from its constitutional duty to oversee recruitment, a role that was purportedly hijacked by a former Inspector General of Police. Despite a Supreme Court judgment affirming the Commission’s exclusive right to conduct recruitment, the PSC alleges continuous encroachment by the Police.

Inclusion and Misconstrued Intentions

The Commission emphasized that its efforts to include relevant stakeholders in the recruitment process were intended to ensure transparency and inclusiveness. However, this goodwill gesture has been misinterpreted, leading to unwarranted allegations against the PSC.

Police’s Accountability in Recruitment Process

The PSC firmly stated that physical and medical screenings during recruitment exercises are conducted by Police personnel. Therefore, if any unsuitable candidates were recruited, the responsibility lies with those who screened and recommended them. The PSC condemned the Police for attributing its failure to protect lives and property to poor recruitment practices, calling such claims “self-indicting and provocative.”

Appeal for Presidential Intervention

In light of the ongoing dispute, the PSC appealed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to intervene and ensure the Nigeria Police Force respects the Commission’s constitutional mandate to conduct recruitment. The PSC stressed that the Police are tasked with enforcing the law, not circumventing it.

Supreme Court Judgment and Recruitment Rights

The PSC reiterated that the Supreme Court’s judgment affirms its sole authority to recruit officers into the Nigeria Police Force. The Commission criticized the Police’s attempt to retain control over constable recruitment despite this ruling, viewing it as a “brazen show of power” and an effort to perpetuate their hold on the process.

Conclusion

The PSC concluded by urging that the successful candidates from the recruitment exercise be allowed to proceed with their training without delay. The Commission’s statement reflects a broader conflict over recruitment authority, underscoring the need for clear delineation of roles and respect for judicial decisions.

This ongoing saga between the PSC and the Nigeria Police Force highlights significant issues within the recruitment process of law enforcement personnel, with both sides calling for accountability and adherence to constitutional mandates. As the situation unfolds, the hope remains that the integrity and efficiency of the recruitment process will be upheld, ensuring that only suitable candidates are entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining law and order in Nigeria.

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