By Uche Amunike
The embattled Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Musiliu Smith, has presently tendered his resignation from the commission.
Even though reasons for this decision were attributed to health grounds, another account has said that the board of the Police Service Commission actually asked that he stepped down and he accepted.
According to the Spokesman of the Commission, Ikechukwu Ani, the former Inspector General of Police tendered his resignation because of health challenges. Hear him: ‘Yes, I can confirm that he has resigned. He resigned on medical grounds and the president has accepted his resignation.’
On their part, however, striking workers of the Police Service Commission, who heartily accepted Smith’s resignation have also demanded that the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba should also resign. According to them, Usman had connived with Smith, to take the constitutional powers of the Police Service Commission to conduct, recruit and appoint police officers.
During a chat with Newsmen, the Chairman of Joint Executives of the Police Service Commission, Mr Adoyi Adoyi, made a call to Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, not to appoint another retired Police Chief as Head of the commission, in order to make it work effectively.
His words: ‘We welcome his resignation because that is the honourable thing to do. If you are given an assignment and you cannot discharge your responsibility, the natural thing to do is to toe that part of honour and resign.’
‘There are people he collaborated with in committing constitutional breaches, including the Inspector-General of Police. We are calling on the IG to do the right thing and resign his appointment for his involvement in this constitutional breach.’
The union strongly held that a civilian should be appointed this time to head the commission.
Adoyi further stated: ‘Of all the former chairmen of the commission, Chief Simon Okeke was the best. He handled issues dispassionately.’
‘The Bureau for Public Service Reforms (BPSR) had also recommended that the commission be headed by a civilian since the police has a permanent representative on the board of the commission.’
Speaking on the strike action by workers of the Police Service Commission, Adoyi assured that the union’s congress would hold to take a decision today, noting that the protesting workers would most likely soften their position and call off the strike, because of the Chairman’s resignation.
Recall that these workers passed a vote of no confidence on the former chairman, Smith, alleging that he connived with the leadership of the Nigerian Police Force to usurp the constitutional powers of the commission.
Recall also, that a Police Service Commission commissioner, Naja’atu Bala Muhammad petitioned the anti-graft body over alleged multi-million Naira contract scam and other corrupt practices at the commission during Smith’s leadership.
In his petition, dated June 29, 2022, Muhammad accused him of mismanaging resources and breaching due process by arbitrarily awarding bogus contracts.
In her petition to the EFCC, she stated that Smith lacked the power to approve expenditure for and on-behalf of the management of the commission, unless approved by the management.
Her petition further stated: ‘.On May 11, 2022, without the management committee’s approval, the PSC chairman awarded or caused to be awarded a contract and paid the sum of N34, 749,375, being payment of 50 per cent down payment made to EMPLUG LTD for the design and development of police e-recruitment portal for the commission.’
‘The contract was awarded regardless of a memo stating clearly that the ICT Department designed the website free of charge and has the capability for upgrade. Yet, due to the fraudulent intentions embedded in the decision, a contract was awarded to do the same thing that the ICT department has already done.’