Juliana Francis

At least 29 civil society organisations in Nigeria have expressed concern over the decision by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to remove the Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Dr. Solomon Arase.

In a statement made available to Eagle Online, the groups said: “We note that the State House Press Release dated June 10, 2024, through which the removal was announced did not disclose any reason for the said removal. We are also concerned that this removal appears to have violated the established legal procedure for the removal of the PSC Chairman. Section 5, subsection 1 of the PSC Act provides: _“Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 4 of this Act, the Chairman and any other member, may at any time be removed from office by the President acting on an address supported by a two-thirds majority of the Senate praying that he be removed for inability to discharge the functions of the Office (whether arising from infirmity of mind or body or any other cause of misconduct).”

According to them, they were worried that such a decision by the president further undermines the independence, effectiveness, and confidence of the Commission to discharge its mandate without undue interference as stipulated by the Police Service Commission Act.

It further stated that: “ Civil society is saddened that this is coming at a time when we are investing a lot of resources in support of the Federal Government towards police reform, which can be seen through various trainings supported by local and international partners and the recent recruitment of 10,000 police personnel.

“While we welcome this recruitment, we are worried about the renewed and needless controversy associated with the power games around police recruitment, despite the Supreme Court‘s judgment of July 11, 2023, which affirmed the power of the commission under the Police Service Commission (Establishment) Act, 2001 to handle police recruitment functions.”

The groups also noted that Section 6 (2) of the PSC Act stipulates that _“The Commission shall not be subject to the direction, control or supervision of any other authority or person in the performance of its functions other than as is prescribed in this Act”.

The groups believed that “ this controversy does not serve the interest of the NPF as an institution or the interest of the country.”

They opined that today 12th of June 2024, Nigerians are celebrating Democracy Day, which I of the fundamental attributes of a democratic system is respect for the rule of law and due process, thus Mr President should holistically address this issue.

The groups called on the President to reverse the purported removal of the Chairman of the PSC and fully constitute the Board of the Commission.

The CSOs also said: “We also call for a conclusion of the police recruitment process, including training and deployment, considering that even the IGP stated recently that more than 20,000 police personnel needed to be recruited annually to boost police manpower requirements. The numbers for recruitment can also be boosted through the Cadet ASP short course.


“We will use this opportunity to also call on the National Assembly to maximise its powers of checks and balances over actions by the Executive. The total disregard for the rule of law in this instance further fuels the fears of the Nigerian people about the vulnerability of the operations of the Nigerian Police by the political class. This is not good for our democracy and standing in the comity of nations.


“We are looking forward to a quick and positive resolution of the situation for the good of a thriving democracy and the good of the country.”

The CSOs are listed as  Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Center (RULAAC), NOPRIN Foundation, Open Society on Justice Reform Project, Confluence of Rights, Nigeria, Criminal Justice Network of Nigeria, Justice for Peace and Development Initiative, Legal Resources Consortium, Centre for Community Empowerment in Conflict and Peacebuiding – Kaduna, Rural and Urban Development Initiative, Dataphyte Foundation, Equity International Initiative (EII), Centre For Youth Participation Dialogue and Advocacy (CYPA), Africa, Advocacy Hub International, Initiative for Research, Innovation and Advocacy in Development IRIAD, Human Right Advocacy and Monitoring Group (HURAMG),  Creative Minds Center for Youth and Community Development (CM-CYCD), Centre for Human Rights Advocacy and Wholesome Society (CEHRAWS), Kuyimiki Development Initiative (KDI), Centre for the Advocacy of Justice and Rights, Centre for Transparency Advocacy, Koyenum Immalah Foundation, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), African Focus For Youth Development (AFFYD), GURARA YOUTH FOUNDATION, Council For Affirmative Action (COFAA), Comrade Nelson Nnanna Nwafor Executive Director. Foundation For Environmental Rights, Advocacy & Development (FENRAD Nigeria, Human Right Advocacy and Monitoring Group (HURAMG)

  1. Benevolent Initiative for Development (BID4DEV) Nigeria and African Peace Initiative.
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