CSO writes SGF, says Okiro illegally acting as PSC chairman

The Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) has kicked against the “illegality” of Mike Okiro’s role as chairman of the board of Police Service Commission (PSC).

In a petition to Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), the organisation said despite the dissolution of the PSC board on December 29, 2017, Okiro still functions as the chairman.

CSNAC cited an internal memo reportedly dated January 5, 2018, from Okiro in his purported position as board chairman, directing the permanent secretary of the commission “to report an action to him in seven days, among several others instructions”.

It described Okiro’s alleged continued role in the position as “contemptuous disregard of the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari”.

The petition, signed by Olanrewaju Suraju, CSNAC chairman, read: “The Police Service Commission is one of the federal executive bodies established by section 153 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) with enormous powers which include: appointment, promotion and disciplinary control of all police officers in Nigeria (except the inspector general of police).

“With the weight of responsibility placed on an important agency of government such as the PSC, it is disastrous to allow any functionary to operate it illegally and by extension, in nullity.”

It added that while the president is yet to name a new chairman for the board, section 161(c) of the 1999 constitution as amended states that “any reference to ‘member’ of a body established by section 153 of this constitution shall be construed as including a reference to the chairman of that body.

“We however, view Mr. Okiro’s continued function till date in that capacity as either lack of understanding of the statutes or a deliberate disregard of government’s directive with an ulterior motive to continue certain activities that we are certain will not be in the interest of the police and the public.”

While stating that any function performed by Okiro in the said position is null and void, it called on the SGF to compel him to handover to the next qualified officer in line.

CSNAC said failure to do so within one week of the receipt of the petition “will force us to proceed to a competent court of law to stop him from parading himself as chairman.

“We will further challenge all action(s) purportedly taken by him and the others within the period under reference.”