The Court of Appeal has declared that the 2020 Police Act recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari is unconstitutional and illegal.
In a judgement delivered by the appellate court, the new police act contravenes the mandate of the Police Service Commission as stipulated in the constitution.
The ruling was disclosed in a statement issued by Ikechukwu Ani, the spokesperson of the Police Service Commission, on Wednesday.
According to the details of the judgment, whose Certified True Copy was received by the commission on Tuesday, the Act was in conflict with paragraph 30 Part 1 of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution “which empowers the commission to appoint persons into offices in the Nigeria Police Force except the Office of the Inspector-General of Police”.
The appellate court also annulled the recruitment of 10,000 constables carried out by the Inspector-General of Police last year, noting that it was the prerogative of the PSC to conduct such responsibility.
The statement read: “Justice Emmanuel Agim, one of the three Justices of the court in his concurrent judgment, ruled that Paragraph 30 of Part 1 of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution has given the power to the commission to appoint persons into offices in the Nigeria Police and did not exclude constables and cadets to Nigeria Police Academy from offices in the Nigeria Police into which the appellant can appoint persons.”
The statement explained that the judge further declared that “no Act of the National Assembly or law can take away or curtail such power”.
“Any piece of legislation or instrument relied upon by the defendants (including but not limited to the Police Act and the Police Regulations) in exercising or purporting to exercise the powers to appoint, promote, dismiss or discipline persons holding or aspiring to hold offices in the Nigeria Police Force, being inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution particularly section 153 subsection (1)(m), section 153 subsection (2) and section 215(1)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Paragraph 30 part 1 of the Third Schedule to the Constitution, is invalid, null and void and of no effect whatsoever,” the lead judgment delivered by Justice Olabisi Ige read.
The court also gave an order of perpetual injunction restraining the police, and other defendants, jointly and severally, from interfering or further interfering in any manner, howsoever, with the commission’s discharge of its constitutional and statutory functions “in respect of the appointment, promotion, dismissal, or exercise of disciplinary control over persons holding or aspiring to hold offices in the Nigeria Police Force other than the IG.”
However, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has appealed the ruling.
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