Falana Accuses Jonathan Of Illegality

Falana Accuses Jonathan Of Illegality

Falana Accuses Jonathan Of Illegality

President Jonathan nominated Nigeria’s former police chief to the commission.

Lagos lawyer and former president of the West Africa Bar Association, Femi Falana, has said President Goodluck Jonathan is taking an illegal step by nominating former Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro, as Chairman of the Police Service Commission.

 

Mr. Okiro, a chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, was announced Tuesday to head the police commission, the agency that regulates the administration of police affairs in the country. If the senate ratifies his nomination, Mr. Okiro will continue a south-south headship of that critical security institution that has had Willy Bozimo as head for eight years, followed by Parry Osanyande for four years.

 

Mr. Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, in a statement in Lagos on Thursday evening said: “While the former Inspector-General of Police might have been qualified for the post on account of his experience in the Nigeria Police Force he is disqualified by virtue of his membership of the ruling party.”

 

Section 156 of the Nigerian Constitution requires that a member of bodies like the police commission “shall not be required to belong to a political party,” and Mr. Falana is arguing that if Mr. Okiro’s nomination goes ahead, the president will also be flouting section 42 of the Constitution that provides that “no citizen of Nigeria shall be conferred with any advantage or privilege that is not accorded to citizens of other political opinions.”

 

Furthermore, article 13(3) of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights Act stipulates that all citizens shall have equal access to the public service of the country without discrimination whatsoever.

 

The activist attorney noted that as “a loyal party member Mr. Okiro is politically aligned and biased.” One implication of his nomination is that he cannot be expected to be a dispassionate leader in an agency “constituted by non partisan individuals of unimpeachable integrity with regards to the recruitment and “discipline all police personnel other the Inspector-General of Police.”

 

Seen in this context, therefore, Mr. Falana said, Mr. Okiro “is not competent to head the Police Service Commission,” because, as he argued, Mr. Okiro, based on “his antecedents…is going to manipulate the members of the Nigeria Police Force to serve the parochial interests of the People Democratic Party.”

 

He said Mr. Jonathan should withdraw Mr. Okiro’s nomination from the Senate for another competent Nigerian who is not a card carrying member of any of the registered political parties as the president had done in previous cases when he “removed registered members of the PDP from the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.”

 

Mr. Okiro was a senatorial aspirant on the PDP platform in 2011 and has always publicly admitted his membership of the ruling party.

 

Below is Mr. Falana’s full statement:

 

President Goodluck Jonathan has just nominated a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Mike Okiro as the Chairman of the Police Service Commission. In line with the provisions of the Constitution the nomination has been forwarded to the Senate for confirmation. While the former Inspector-General of Police might have been qualified for the post on account of his experience in the Nigeria Police Force he is disqualified by virtue of his membership of the ruling party.

 

The Police Service Commission is one of the Federal Executive Bodies established under section 153 of the Constitution, section 156 thereof provides that a member of any of such bodies “shall not be required to belong to a political party”. More importantly, section 42 of the Constitution provides that no citizen of Nigeria shall be conferred with any advantage or privilege that is not accorded to citizens of other political opinions. Furthermore, article 13(3) of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights Act stipulates that all citizens shall have equal access to the public service of the country without discrimination whatsoever.

 

By the combined effect of the clear provisions of the afore-mentioned a body which is empowered to recruit and discipline all police personnel other the Inspector-General of Police is expected to be constituted by non partisan individuals of unimpeachable integrity. As a loyal party member Mr. Okiro is politically aligned and biased. Accordingly, he is not competent to head the Police Service Commission. Knowing his antecedents he is going to manipulate the members of the Nigeria Police Force to serve the parochial interests of the People Democratic Party. Having regard to the fact that President Jonathan had in the past removed registered members of the PDP from the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Mr. Mike Okiro’s nomination should be withdrawn from the Senate for another competent Nigeria who is not a card carrying member of any of the registered political parties in the country.

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