Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Alhaji Musiliu Smith, has resigned from his position. PSC spokesperson, Ikechukwu Ani, confirmed the development last night.
According to him, Smith resigned on “health grounds,” adding that the commission will issue an official statement regarding the development today.
In the interim, the second most senior Commissioner in the PSC, Retired Supreme Court Justice, Clara Ogunbiyi, who is representing the judiciary has assumed duty as Chairman.
The retired Inspector General of Police had been at loggerhead with the police hierarchy, particularly the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Alkali Baba Usman, over the 2022 police recruitment exercise for 10,000 Constables into the Nigerian Police Force (NPF).
In August, the NPF dismissed an advertisement by PSC on the recruitment of Constables into the force. Muyiwa Adejobi, the force spokesperson, said the NPF has no connection with the advert, which was placed by PSC in the national dailies.
Hours later, the Commission announced the suspension of the recruitment. Following the development, PSC workers declared an indefinite strike over what they described as a “breach of conditions necessary for working harmony.”
The PSC workers, led by the chairman of the joint union congress, PSC chapter, Adoyi Adoyi, also asked Smith to resign if he cannot uphold the mandate of the commission as it relates to the recruitment of Constables.
Despite the stance of the police headquarters, the PSC recruitment portal for Constables in the Nigeria Police has been running with over 60,000 applications received.
Confirming this in a statement last week, Ani, the Head of Press and Public Relations PSC, said the commission had no intention to abdicate its constitutional mandate to recruit Nigerians into the Police Force and urged interested Nigerians to continue to avail themselves of the opportunity to pursue a career in the NPF.
During the regime of former IGP, Mohammed Adamu, the same scenario played out with the PSC Chairman, who were at loggerheads over which body is allowed by law to carry out the recruitment process.
The Commission dragged the then IGP and the Force to court for conducting the recruitment exercise of 10,000 constables in 2019.