The Police Service Commission has suspended the ongoing recruitment of 10,000 personnel into the Nigeria Police Force following pressure from the Senate and the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.
The decision to stop the exercise was taken by the commission about two weeks ago, shortly after it concluded the screening of 110,469 shortlisted candidates, The PUNCHlearnt on Thursday.
Investigations showed that the PSC management was in the process of finalising the recruitment process in Jigawa State when the IG ordered the police representatives at the meeting, the Deputy IG in charge of Training and Development, Emmanuel Inyang, and another senior officer to return to Abuja immediately.
This, it was gathered, forced the commission to suspend the recruitment as the police management needed to be represented and carried along in the exercise.
It was learnt that the IG’s move might have been informed by the pressure by some senators, who wanted the recruitment to favour their geo-political zones.
The Senate Committee on Police had earlier demanded the suspension of the exercise in a letter to the commission, saying the recruitment should be determined by the candidates’ local governments and not states.
The committee chairman, Senator Abu Ibrahim, had also written to the Presidency on the issue, arguing that local government should be the basis for the recruitment, ostensibly to strengthen community policing.
Ibrahim, in an interview with journalists, said, “We want the selection to be based on local government because of community policing. For the rank and file, we said nine persons should be selected per local government while for the officers, we said it should be based on state.
“All we are saying is that the selection of personnel from inspectors downward should be based on local government basis to advance community policing in this country.”
A source, however, said the real reason for the committee’s demand was to ensure that the recruitment favoured the geo-political zones with more local government areas in the country.
The source stated, “The Police Service Commission did not suspend the recruitment on account of the letter from the Senate; we don’t report to the Senate.
“The exercise was suspended because the IG recalled the police representatives at the meeting to finalise the exercise and since we need to carry the police along, the commission decided to suspend it until the issues raised are resolved.”
Our correspondent learnt that the commission observed the Federal Character provisions in the recruitment to ensure even and equal representation of all states in the police, but the senators were allegedly not satisfied with the criteria.
The Head, Media and Public Relations, PSC, Ikechukwu Ani, confirmed the suspension of the recruitment, saying some issues needed to be resolved.
“We have suspended the recruitment; that is all I can say for now,” he said over the telephone on Thursday.