Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has faulted the appointment of former Inspectors General of Police (IGPs) as chairmen of the Police Service Commission (PSC).
Over time, it has been the practice for the President to appoint a retired IGP as the Chairman of the Police Service Commission.
In 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed ex-IGP Musiliu Smith as chairman of the PSC. Four years after, he resigned in 2022 and retired Justice Clara Ogunbiyi took over as acting chairman.
Nearly a year after his resignation, another retired IGP Solomon Arase was appointed as substantive PSC Chairman.
Obasanjo stated that police officers should instead be appointed as members of the commission, while civilians should be appointed as chair.
“I believe it must be a civilian, not a retired police officer. A retired police officer should be a member of the commission but not the head,” Obasanjo stated.
“When you make a retired police officer the head of the Police Service Commission, it is like asking a thief to catch a thief.”
To the former President, the mandate of the PSC as stated in the 2001 Act that established it, clearly stated its job and responsibilities. However, the IGPs have oftentimes, gone beyond their duties to interfere with the jobs of the PSC.
He believes that the Nigeria Police must be allowed to be thoroughly monitored and supervised as stated in the PSC Act and the PSC must be allowed to do their normal oversight functions.