Monday, 23 January 2023

PSC Ask FG To Stop Salaries Of 10,000 Newly Recruited Constables


 

The Police Service Commission has asked the Accountant-General of the Federation to  halt the capture of 10,000 constables who recently graduated from police training colleges on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel System.

The commission stated that the police officers had not been issued their letters of appointment and should not be enrolled on the payment portal.

According to the Public Service Rules, public officers not captured on the IPPIS cannot be paid  salaries and other emoluments.

The development followed the alleged refusal of the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, to submit their names to the PSC for vetting on the grounds that he was empowered by the Police Act, 2020 to recruit constables into the force.

The commission has also written to the President,  Muhammadu Buhari  and the Head of Service, Folasade Yemi-Esan about the enrolment of 20,000 police officers on the salary portal without letters of appointment.

The personnel were recruited in 2020 and 2021.

The face-off between the police authorities and the commission is a spill-over of their supremacy fight over the right to recruit constables.

Though the Court of Appeal September 30, 2020 ruled that the commission had the constitutional mandate to recruit constables, the NPF had gone ahead with the recruitment process in defiance of the court order.

Last year, the police appealed against the judgment to the Supreme Court, two years after the order was handed down.

Before its appeal and in spite of the court order restraining the police from conducting constables’ recruitment, the authorities had recruited a total of 10,000 constables in the 2020 recruitment exercise.

In 2020 and 2021, two batches of 20,000 cops were  recruited  without the active involvement of the PSC under a former IG, Musiliu Smith, who resigned in September, 2022, on the grounds of ill-health.

The Commissioner 1 in the PSC, Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, replaced Smith in acting capacity pending the appointment of a new chairman by the President.

2022 exercise

The 2022 exercise has been in limbo after the police and the commission clashed when the former disowned the newspaper advertisement on the recruitment placed by the PSC.

It was learnt that protests by the police service commission last year about the illegality of the IPPIS enrolment were waved aside by the unit which had also concluded the capturing of the 2021 exercise.

It was gathered that the police authorities had successfully captured the 2020 and 2021 recruits despite the refusal of the PSC to authorise their enrolment on the Federal Government payment portal due to the disagreement between the police and the commission.

Among other requirements, a staff letter or gazette of first appointment is required for enrolment on IPPIS.

Sources disclosed that the commission complained about the development to the President and the HoS last year, but nothing was done about it as the constables were paid their salaries.

A senior official said, “The officers were enrolled on the IPPIS platform despite the refusal of the PSC to issue appointment letters to them.

“So far, the Federal Government has enrolled 20,000 police constables who have no appointment letters on its salary payment portal in violation of its financial regulations and the Public Service Rules.

“Last year, we wrote to the Accountant-General and the IPPIS to stop the salaries of the constables, but this was not done. This is the second time we have complained to the government about this illegality. The police usually send their officials to the training colleges to enrol the constables on the IPPIS without the appointment letters.’’


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