By Kassim Omomia
Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Kpotun Idris is to be investigated by the House of Representatives over alleged undue promotion of some police officers.
The House is also probing threats to demote officers promoted by the IGP, by the Police Service Commission, which is constitutionally mandated to appoint and promote persons into the force except the office of the IGP.
The lawmakers made the resolution yesterday after approving a motion on the “need to investigate the allegations of promotion of police officers by the Inspector General of Police and the threat of Demotion of the officers by the Police Service Commission” brought for their consideration by Honorable Frederick Agbedi.
In the resolution, the House mandated the committee on Police Affairs to investigate the allegations and ascertain the propriety or otherwise of such appointments and promotions if they were carried out in line with the Constitution and the general promotion guidelines of the Nigerian Police Force.
The standing committee is to report back for further legislative action within eight weeks.
Debating the general principles of the motion for which a resolution was approved, Honorable Agbedi raised concern over the faceoff the development has created between the IGP and the Police service commission.
He disclosed that a feud has occurred between those who have benefitted from the promotion and those that have not, creating palpable tension in the force
Agbedi said ” aware that some of the benefitting officers who felt aggrieved by the decision of the Commission have threatened litigation if the said decision to demote them is carried out while those due, but denied promotion are spoiling for action”
He noted that section 153(1) which established the police service commission also provides it with the responsibility to appoint and promote persons to offices other than the office of the IGP but argued that such powers may have been usurped by the IGP’s action
The lawmaker drew attention of paragraph 30(a) and (b) of the Third Schedule to the Constitution of the powers to appoint, promote, dismiss, and discipline officers of the police, other than the IGP , conferred on the PSC, but regrettably which the police boss has arrogated to himself by appointing, posting state commissioners and promoting some preferred officers without recourse to the general promotion guidelines of the commission.
He stated further that by virtue of the provisions of section 160(1) of the constitution, the police service commission is empowered to make rules to regulate its own procedures or confer power and impose duties on any officer or authority for the purpose of discharging its functions and in the exercise of the powers , the Police Service Commission, in 2014, approved the general promotion guidelines for the promotion of officers”
Hon Agbedi explained however that the inaction of the IGP necessitated why the Commission has threatened to remedy the situation by reviewing and demoting those affected by such promotion, so as to ensure professionalism, discipline in the force and make both Nigerians and the international communities perceive the Police to be so.