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Appeal Court Declares Police Act 2020 Illegal, Nullifies Constable Recruitment

Peter Okunoren

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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 for 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 authorizes 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 emphasized the need to make the Nigeria Police Council, which has Mr. President as Chairman and 36 state governors as members, fully operational and the clearinghouse on all issues bordering on the organization and administration of the Nigeria Police Force as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.”

BIG STORY

BREAKING: Buhari Presides Over Security Council Meeting

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The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), is currently presiding over a meeting of the National Security Council at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The meeting which started at about 11 am is holding amidst violence in parts of the country.

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (retd.); Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin; the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas, and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar are among those in attendance.

Also present are the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; Director-General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi; and Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Rufa’i.

Details later…

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Video Footage Of Lekki Shooting Will Be Submitted To Judicial Panel —- Gov. Sanwo-Olu

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Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos state, says the video footage of the shooting at Lekki tollgate will be submitted to the judicial panel on police brutality.

The governor said this during a live programme on ARISE TV on Thursday.

”Nobody ordered the removal of cameras at the Lekki tollgate. The MD of LCC said because of the curfew, they made the decision to take out installations,” he said.

”The cameras you saw are not security or motion cameras, they are laser cameras for vehicles. The security cameras are still available and we are using them for our security investigations.”

On Tuesday, soldiers opened fire on protesters who had converged on the tollgate to protest against police brutality.

The judicial panel was set up following protests against police brutality. It has already commenced sitting.

More to follow…

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Buhari Must Address Nigerians, Senate Spokesperson, Ndume Insist

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The Spokesperson for the Senate, Dr. Ajibola Basiru, and the Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, have asked the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to comply with the National Assembly’s resolutions on the ongoing nationwide protests against police brutality and bad governance.

Part of the resolutions of the federal lawmakers included an appeal to Buhari to address the nation immediately on the issue.

Basiru and Ndume lamented the current situation in the country, especially the killing of innocent protesters by soldiers.

Ndume said, “I have monitored with shock and personal indignation, the turnout of events on the #EndSARS protest with evidence of obvious descent of the country, particularly in the South-West of Nigeria, after the reckless and disturbing incident at Lekki Tollgate on Tuesday evening.

“As a student, who was involved in several protests, I see no reason for the display of outright recklessness by shooting into unarmed protesters by whoever; governmental or otherwise.

“As an elected representative of the people of Osun Central in the Senate, I deprecate the clear lackadaisical attitude of the Federal Executive to the lingering anarchy and destruction of lives and property.

“At the sitting of the Senate on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, it was resolved that the President should address the nation, not knowing that the evening of that day will bring about more sinister dimensions to the already deteriorated situation.”

Ndume also insisted that Buhari must address the nation immediately in order to reduce the tension.

He said, “Mr President should talk to Nigerians. The Senate has passed a resolution, even though it is advisory, I think it is worth giving the necessary consideration. The parents of the protesting youths should also calm down their children.

“Those who are protesting now should know that the government has accepted their demands. They should be organized under a leadership, which will now follow up on the five-point demand, which the government is already considering.

“Any unconnected process without leadership would always end up in chaos,” he added.

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