A Non Government Organization (NGO), Gani Fawehinmi Memorial Organization (GAFAMORG) has instituted a suit before a Federal High Court, Lagos to stop the alleged proposed demotion of about 4000 police officers who were promoted between 2016 and 2018.
Joined as defendants in the suit marked FHC/L/2011/2018, are: the Police Service Commission (PSC) and Inspector-General of Police (IGP).
The NGO is seeking a declaration that the 45 officers attached to IGP Intelligence Response Team (IRT) and other 3791 officers promoted between 2016 and 2018, under the chairmanship of IGP Mike Okiro (rtd) have not been indicted for any offence, misconduct or misdemeanor and that the present board of PSC has no right to pencil them for demotion or relegation as being presently attempted.
In addition, the NGO sought a declaration that the proposed demotion of any or all the officers duly promoted by the PSC between 2016 and 2018, based on the recommendation of the IGP for their efficiency, intelligence and good conduct in the performance of their duties in line with the provisions of Section 149 and 165 of the Police Act and Regulations is not tenablr.
They added that the said police act without extending same to police officers promoted on the same conditions since the inception of PSC is discriminatory and violation of section 42 of 1999 Constitution (As Amended).
They requested from the court an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from demoting more than 45 officers attached to IGP-IRT and 3791 police officers duly promoted by the PSC under the leadership of Dr. Mike Okiro.
According to them, the promotion of the officers followed the laid down procedure and rules associated with such spacial promotion.
The NGO urged the court to make an order perpetually restraining the present constituted PSC from issuing query, discipline against any of the 45 officers attached IGP-IRT and other 3791 gallant officers promoted between 2016 and 2018, in relation to the promotion.
In its affidavit deposed to by a legal practitioner, Debo Adeleke, tje NGO stated that the suit was instituted in public interest and in defence of constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
They stated that what prompted the suit was a recent press conference by the PSC’s Head of Press and Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani, on Tuesday, October 2, 2018, where he confirmed to journalists that PSC had setup a panel headed by a retired Justice of Supreme Court, Justice Clara B. Ogunbiyi, to review promotions made between 2016 and 2018.
According to them, the said planned demotion of all officers promoted between 2016 and 2018, was earlier confirmed by Mr. Olayinka Balogun, a retired Commissioner of Police and Personal Assistant to the Chairman of PSC, Alhaji Musiliu Smith IGP (rtd), on September 19, 2018, at the officer of Commissioner of Police, Oshogbo, Osun State.
Adeleke also stated that consequent upon the remarks of CP Balogun and Ikechukwu Ani, he was mandated by the plaintiff to write a letter dated October 4, 2018, to the Chairman of PSC to among other things plead for the change of the planned action and to serve as a pre-action notice on PSC. The letter he said has not been responded by the first defendant.
He emphasized that all the officers promoted between 2016 and 2018 were promoted based on gallant performance and that they have since been decorated and have been wearing the new ranks, which he said further motivated them to be more productive.
He added that the planned demotion of the said officers, if carried out, will adversely affect their psychic, morale and performance.
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