There are strong indications that the Nigeria Police Force may abandon its appeal against a ruling of the Appeal Court on the recruitment of 10,000 constables filed at the Supreme Court last October.
The PUNCH gathered on Sunday that the police high command was no longer interested in following up with the appeal, which sought to overturn the Appeal Court judgment that voided the recruitment of 10,000 constables by the force.
A three-man panel of the Court of Appeal led by Justice Olabisi Ige had unanimously held that the Inspector-General of Police and the NPF lacked the powers to recruit the constables.
The erstwhile IG, Mohammed Adamu; the NPF and Federal Ministry of Police Affairs, had through their lawyer, Dr Alex Izinyon, SAN, filed 20 grounds of appeal at the Supreme Court.
The appellants further prayed the Supreme Court to stay execution of the verdict of the appellate court.
An official stated, “Recall that after the judgment of the Appeal Court nullifying the 2020 recruitment, the former IG filed a notice of appeal, but it is over three months since the case was abandoned. This means the appeal is as good as dead. All the Police Service Commission needs to do is to ask for the suit to be struck out.”
But the police counsel said all the necessary processes had been filed, including a motion for injunction pending appeal, adding that he was awaiting a date from the Supreme Court.
Asked if the police were planning to discontinue the case, Izinyon said, “Not to my knowledge. All I know is that before the new IG came, all those processes were there and I have not been given instructions to withdraw any. Anybody who says there is no appeal is deceiving himself. We have also filed our briefs, but we have not been given dates; maybe after the court vacation.”
However, findings by our correspondent indicate that the IG, Usman Baba, was seeking rapprochement with the PSC and had not shown any interest in continuing with the legal challenge instituted by his predecessor against the commission.
During his first official visit to the PSC headquarters in Abuja on April 14, 2021, Baba had pledged to work with the commission in recruiting constables into the police and also sought its support to conclude the contentious 2020 recruitment.
He explained that the police had done the screening of the candidates and were preparing to conduct an examination for the shortlisted applicants as well as the medical screening.
A source said, “But the commission told him during the meeting that the Appeal Court had already nullified the exercise and it is, therefore, illegal for the commission to participate in an exercise that has been declared illegal by the court.
“The commission wondered how and when they (police) did the screening, because money has not been released. Did they do virement?”
Our correspondent learnt that the PSC had sent a list of conditions the IG must meet before it could collaborate with his administration on the recruitment, but Baba had yet to reply to the letter.