Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) on Saturday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to dismiss the chairman of the Police Service Commission, Musiliu Smith (rtd) over recurring ineptitude under his administration.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, backed the call for Smith’s sacking made by the Joint Union Congress of Police Service Commission.
The staff blamed Smith for the #EndSARS nationwide protests in October 2020, saying the wanton destruction of police formations and killing of scores of policemen were totally avoidable if the PSC leadership had been proactive in addressing challenges of policing in the country.
The PSC is a civilian oversight body of the Nigerian Police Force.
The Chairman of PSC Joint Union Congress, Augustine Adoyi, said staff of the Commission would launch a massive protest if their demands including ensuring merit-based promotion in the Nigeria Police Force were not met.
The body embarked on an indefinite strike last week over a working condition dispute, among other issues.
Reacting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, Quote
“It is unfortunate that the Police Service Commission under IGP Musiliu Smith (rtd) has become a unit in the office of the IGP, which is contrary to the statute setting it up as a civilian oversight body of the Nigeria Police Force.
“It is embarrassing that instead of concerning itself with germane issues in consonance with its mandate, the PSC under Smith has engaged in needless battles like the distraction called the tussle over the recruitment of constables, which it has been dragging with the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Baba.
“Also, under IGP Smith, the NPF has continued to operate with arrant impunity. For instance, last December, policemen invaded an Anglican church in Imo State, where they abducted Rochas Okorocha’s son-in-law, Uche Nwosu.
“A month before then, policemen invaded the Abuja residence of Supreme Court Justice Mary Odili, before the police said the invaders were fake personnel. Many of these cases keep recurring, yet PSC under Smith has been aloof and unconcerned.
“Scores of serving operatives have been caught openly robbing citizens, with many citizens arbitrarily detained and robbed through blackmail and extortions rackets within the ranks of the Nigeria Police Force, but the statutory body imbued with the duty of enforcing disciplinary measures to deter criminality by the men and officers of the NPF known as the Police Service Commission under Musiliu Smith has looked so weakened and ethically challenged to focus on carrying out their duties to the nation due to crass incompetence on the part of the Chairman of the PSC.
“Many innocent Nigerians are detained illegally through criminal collisions of corrupt-minded police operatives, but even when such infractions are brought to the attention for the institutional interventions of the PSC, victims of such grand scale police indiscipline are not able to get redress due to bureaucratic bottlenecks and outright dereliction of duty by the Police Service Commission.
“No nation survives without a guaranteed independent Ombudsman to check the excesses of men in uniform and especially the Police. Till date the police still carry out extralegal executions of citizens but the PSC is not organised in such a way to check this unconstitutional practice of the police.
“HURIWA posits that IGP Smith honorably resigns or be sacked by the President if he is too tired to focus on the mandate of the commission to guarantee standard welfare for police in the country which will go a long way to boost their morale in the fight against criminality, especially as the country approaches an election year.