The Court of Appeal has declared the Police Act 2020 unconstitutional and void.
The Police Act 2020, which was enacted in September this year, affects the constitutional mandate of the Police Service Commission
The Appeal Court ruled that the provisions of the Act was in conflict with Paragraph 30 Part 1 of the Third Schedule of 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 judgment also nullified the recruitment of 10,000 constables carried out by the police authorities last year.
However, the IG, Mohammed Adamu, has appealed the ruling which nullified the earlier order of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The PSC spokesman, Ikechukwu Ani, in a statement on Wednesday, explained that the details of the Appeal Court judgment was contained in the Certified True Copy received on Tuesday.
The statement was titled, ‘Appeal Court declares Police Act 2020 as it affects PSC mandate null and void.’
The statement explained that the judge further declared that “no Act of the National Assembly or law can take away or curtail such power.”
He further noted that, even if the Nigeria Police carried out the disputed enlistment pursuant to a directive or approval of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), “the enlistment would remain contrary to the constitution and therefore, unconstitutional and void. Such a directive cannot repair its unconstitutionality and illegality.”
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party Governors’ Forum has called for a repeal of sections of the Police Act recently given assent by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), citing constitutional breaches.
This was contained in a communiqué issued after a virtual meeting held by the PDP governors.
The communiqué, which was made available to reporters in Abuja on Wednesday, was signed by the Chairman of the forum, Aminu Tambuwal, who is also the Governor of Sokoto State.
The governors, among other things, implored the President and the National Assembly to repeal Section 4(1) of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (Establishment) Act, 2019 which “purportedly authorises the President to deduct 0.5% of the total revenue accruing to the Federation Account for the benefit of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund.”
According to the governors, the said deduction is patently unconstitutional.
The communiqué read in part, “The meeting noted the signing of the New Nigeria Police Act, 2020 by Mr President, Commander in Chief.
“While acknowledging the many important innovations in the new law, the forum emphasised the need to make the Nigeria Police Council, which has Mr. President as Chairman and 36 state governors as members, fully operational and the clearing house on all issues bordering on the organisation and administration of the Nigeria Police Force as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.”