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‘Sacrificing competence on altar of favouritism’ — PANDEF condemns Arase’s sack as PSC chair

Solomon Arase

The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), a socio-political group, says the removal of Solomon Arase as the chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC) was “unwarranted and unnecessary”.

In a statement on Sunday by Emmanuel Ibok Essien, national chairman of PANDEF, the group expressed disappointment over the removal of Arase by President Bola Tinubu.

On June 10, Tinubu appointed Hashimu Argungu, a retired police officer, as chairman of PSC after announcing the removal of Arase.

“PANDEF views Arase’s removal as unwarranted and an unnecessary provocation that reflects negatively on Tinubu’s administration, indicating a lack of regard for the nation’s laws that Mr. President swore to uphold and protect,” the statement reads.

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“This singular act further portrays this administration as one that does not prioritize competence, integrity, and efficiency, sacrificing merit on the altar of favouritism.

“The question arises as to why any serious government would dismiss a personality like Solomon Arase, who had initiated positive reforms and improvements at the Commission, and given his meritorious track record as a diligent police officer, who rose through the ranks to become the 18th Inspector General of Police of the Nigeria Police Force, and retired with dignity.”

The national chairman of PANDEF lamented that Arase’s tenure as chairman of PSC lasted only about 16 months of the four-year term, noting that he was appointed in January 2023 by former President Muhammadu Buhari.

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“According to Section 3, subsection (1)a of the Police Service Commission Act 2002, subject to the provisions of Section 4 of the Act, a member of the Commission, other than ex-officio members, shall each hold office for a term of four years and no more,” Essien said.

“The Act also details the conditions for removal from office in section 4, as cited below: Notwithstanding the provisions of section 3 of this Act, a person shall cease to hold office as a member of the Commission if: “He becomes bankrupt, suspends payment, or compounds with his creditors; he is convicted of a felony or any offence involving dishonesty or fraud; he becomes of unsound mind or is incapable of carrying out his duties; he is guilty of serious misconduct in relation to his duties; in the case of a person possessed of professional qualifications, he is disqualified or suspended, other than at his own request, from practising his profession in any part of the world by an order of a competent authority made in respect of that member.

“A member of the Commission may be removed by the President if he is satisfied that it is not in the interest of the Commission or the interest of the public that the member should continue in office.

“Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 4 of this Act, the Chairman and any other member may at any time be removed from that office by the President acting on an address supported by a two-thirds majority of the Senate praying that he be removed for inability to discharge the functions of the office (whether arising from infirmity of mind or body or any other cause of misconduct).”

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