Group sues IGP over demotion fear in police
A Non Government Organization (NGO), Gani Fawehinmi Memorial Organization (GAFAMORG) has filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Lagos, seeking 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) headed by Alhaji Musiliu Smith and Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris.
The NGO is seeking a declaration that the promotion of 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.
GAFAMORG which was established for the purpose of keeping alive the memory and ideals of the late human rights crusader, Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN) claimed the action was filed in the interest and defence of constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
It also seeks a declaration that the planned demotion of any and or all the officers duly promoted by the PSC in plenary between 2016 and 2018, is null and void.
According to them, the officers were promoted based on the IGP recommendation following the efficiency and good conduct displayed in the performance of their duties in line with the provisions of Section 149 and 165 of the Police Act and Regulations.
They claimed that such action would be ultra vires the power of the defendants. They are also asking the court to declare that the defendants 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).
Consequently, the plaintiff wants the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from demoting more than 45 officers attached to IGP-IRT and 3,791 police officers duly promoted by the PSC under the leadership of Dr. Mike Okiro, as their promotion follows the laid down procedure and rules associated with such special promotion.
The plaintiff also want 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 3,791 gallant officers promoted between 2016 and 2018, in relation to the promotion, the subject matter of this suit.
The group want the court to make an order of perpetual injunction restraining PSC from ordering or compelling IGP to demote the said promoted officers between 2016 and 2018, in relation to their promotion and the subject matter of this suit.
The plaintiff in its affidavit deposed to by a legal practitioner, Debo Adeleke, stated that the suit was instituted in public interest and in defence of Nigerian constitution and that what prompted the suit was recent press conference by the PSC’s Head of Press and Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani, on Tuesday, October 2, 2018, wherein he confirmed to journalists that PSC has setup a panel headed by a retired Justice of Supreme Court, Justice Clara B. Ogunbiyi, to review promotions made between 2016 and 2018.
The deponent stated that 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 office of Commissioner of Police, Oshogbo, Osun State.