The Court of Appeal has declared that the Police Act 2020, enacted in September this year as it affects the constitutional mandate of the Police Service Commission (PSC) is unconstitutional and void.

Analysts believed the nullification of the act was a serious setback for President Muhammadu Buhari who assented to the bill and the National Assembly, which signed it into law.
President Buhari had promised reform of the Nigeria Police Force amidst continued #EndSARS protests across the country.

It was gathered that the details of the Appeal Court judgment, which nullified the Police Act, 2020, were contained in the Certified True Copy received by the PSC on Wednesday.

A statement signed by the PSC’s Head of Press and Public Relations, Mr Ikechukwu Ani, said the Court of Appeal judgment ruled that the provision of the act was obviously in conflict with paragraph 30 Part 1 of the Third Schedule to 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.

He said Justice Emmanuel Akomaye Agim, one of the three Justices of the Court, in his concurrent judgment, ruled that Paragraph 30 of Part 1 of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution has given the power to the commission to appoint persons into offices in the Nigeria Police “and did not exclude constables and cadets to Nigeria Police Academy from offices in the Nigeria Police into which the Appellant can appoint persons.”

Ani stated that Agim declared that no act of the National Assembly or law could take away or curtail such power.

According to him, Agim noted that even if the Nigeria Police carried out the disputed enlistment pursuant to a directive or approval of the president of the federation, “the enlistment would remain contrary to the constitution and therefore unconstitutional and void.

“Such a directive cannot repair its unconstitutionality and illegality.”

Ani mentioned that the commission would soon make public its programme of action in respect of recruitments into the Constable Cadre of the Nigeria Police Force and admission into the Police Academy.

Culled from Daily Trust