PSC Moves To Reform Disciplinary Procedures And Processes In The Police Force, Inaugurates Inter-Agency Committee On Disciplinary Matters …Arase says lack of discipline breeds corruption, human rights abuse and lack of accountability

By Ebinum Samuel

The Police Service Commission has moved to sanitize/reform the disciplinary procedures and processes in the Nigeria Police Force to streamline and eliminate arbitrariness in the handling of Disciplinary cases of senior Police Officers, Inspectors and Rank and file.To give effect to this, Commission Chairman, Dr. Solomon Arase, CFR, retired Inspector General of Police, yesterday, Monday 8th April 2024, inaugurated an Inter-Agency Committee on Disciplinary Matters between the Police Service Commission and the Nigeria Police Force.

In a statement released by Ikechukwu Ani, the Commission Spokesman, it stated that the Committee is charged with the responsibilities of identifying Disciplinary cases pending at the Commission and at the Police Force; analyze judgments of courts with respect to Disciplinary cases and compile all Disciplinary decisions that are yet to be implemented by the Nigeria Police.

The Committee is also expected to compile cases of dismissal across Commands and Formations, compile all Disciplinary decisions that are yet to be implemented by the Nigeria Police, also compile cases of perceived infractions brought before the Commission and work out modalities on mitigating punishments of dismissal amongst non commissioned Officers.

It is also charged with the responsibility of recommending the best ways of ensuring a cordial working relationship between the Nigeria Police and the Commission and is also expected to draw up guidelines for processing appeals and petitions.

Inaugurating the Inter-Agency Committee at the Corporate Headquarters of the Commission in Jabi, Abuja, the PSC Chairman noted that discipline in the Nigeria Police Force is central to the standardisation, perception, evaluation, trust and confidence by the Police system itself and the citizens it protects.He observed that lack of discipline in the Police Institution breeds corruption, human rights abuse, lack of accountability and accounts for the negative perception by Members of the public.

Dr. Arase declared that ” since discipline remains an imperative essence for the Nigeria Police Force, it behoves on the Commission as the Police Oversight body to constantly evaluate and re-evaluate our Disciplinary mechanisms, processes and set out standard operating procedures that will ensure that Disciplinary decisions are not construed to be punitive but corrective and as well, must serve as deterrence to other officers”.

He disclosed that it was “in light of the above, that my first year in Office has given priorities to dispensing with both Pending Disciplinary Matters (PDM) and Appeals/Petitions (A&P) bearing in mind that lives and careers of Officers are directly affected”.Dr. Arase charged the Members of the Committee to work assiduously in achieving the goals set for them.

He assured them of the support of the Commission in implementing the robust recommendations that will emanate from their untiring efforts at reforming the Disciplinary processes of the Nigeria Police Force”.The Chairman of the Inter-Agency Committee, Mr. Ponfa Wuyep, Director Department of Police Discipline in the Police Service Commission promised that the Committee will be diligent in its assignment and will discharge its duties with a great sense of responsibility and fairness.

Mr. Wuyep said there was really the need to harmonise disciplinary cases emanating from the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters especially those Police Officers who have been dismissed and who had appealed to the Commission.

He said although the Commission had referred such appeals to the Force Headquarters for comments, responses don’t come as at when due leading to court cases.Mr. Ponfa spoke of 25 court judgements that are currently before the Commission awaiting verification before implementation.

Cp Peter Opara, Deputy Force Secretary who led the Police team that included DCP Hope Okafor, Force Provost Marshal promised that the Joint team will work as a family.CP Opara said they will do their best and assured of Police cooperation in this national assignment.

According to him, the Commission is the last hope of every police officer and deserves the support and cooperation of the Nigeria Police Force.

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