Lawyer, Hameed Jimoh Writes Buhari, Questions The Legality Of The Establishment Of Office Of The Commissioner Of Police For FCT

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An Abuja based Lawyer, Hameed Ajibola Jimoh Esq.has questioned the legality of the establishment of the office of the Commissioner of Police for the FCT controlled and or headed by the Commissioner of Police, FCT, as well as the offices of Deputy- Commissioners and Assistant Commissioners of Police for the FCT.

In a letter capturing a clarion call on the subject matter, and addressed to the Nigerian President, Mohammadu Buhari Mr. Jimoh argued that the establishments are illegal and not in accordance with the provision of section 2 of the Act (i.e. the ‘Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act.

Emphasizing the need to declare the establishments null and void, he recommended that all functions and or police commands in respect of FCT as the case might be should be placed under the command of the Inspector-General of Police, Deputy-Inspectors- General of Police and Assistant-Inspectors-General of Police, FCT, respectively, as the case might be, with immediate effect.

He also added among others that, where the provision of section 2 of the Act is not complied with within the next thirty (30) days from the receipt of this letter, he shall be left with no other option than to resort to the court of law to ensure and enforce its compliance.

Below reads the letter

21st September 2018.
His Excellency,
The President, Federal Republic of Nigeria,
And the Chairman,
Nigeria Police Council,
Presidential Villa,
State House,
Federal Capital Territory- Abuja.

Your Excellency,
RE: ESTABLISHMENT OF THE OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONER OF POLICE, DEPUTY-COMMISSIONERS AND ASSISTANT-COMMISSIONERS OF POLICE FOR THE FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY-ABUJA

A CLARION CALL FOR COMPLIANCE WITH SECTION 2 OF THE LAW (MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACT, CAP. 516, LAWS OF FCT, 2006

1. The above subject matter refers, Your Excellency.

2. Your Excellency, I have observed that the Office of the Commissioner of Police of the Federal Capital Territory-Abuja-herein after referred to as FCT- Area Command- under the control of the Commissioner of Police, FCT, as well as the, Deputy-Commissioners and Assistant-Commissioners of Police, has been in operation for many years before now.

3. Your Excellency, in the course of a recent research work which I carried out as a researcher of law, I came across a provision of a law with the short title ‘Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, with full citation as Cap. 516, Laws of FCT, 2006-herein after referred to as the Act. Under this Act, section 2 provides thus ‘Where a written law is expressed to be applicable to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, as though it were a State, in its application, reference to the Attorney-General, a Commissioner, the Director-General or the Commissioner of Police of a State shall mean respectively in respect of the Federal Capital Territory-Abuja, the Attorney-General of the Federation, a Minister, a Director-General, or the Inspector-General of Police’. (Underlining is mine for emphasis’. Also, by section 10 of the Act, it provides thus ‘This Act shall be binding on the Government’. Furthermore, considering the provisions of the preamble to the Act, which provides thus ‘An Act to make provision for the construction of Acts, and laws and to make general provisions with respect to the jurisdiction and powers of the courts of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, in relation to Federal Laws’.

4. Your Excellency, upon the discovery of these provisions of the Act, I then considered whether the establishment of the office of the Commissioner of Police for the Federal Capital Territory-Abuja, as a command, headed by a Commissioner of Police, as well as the Deputy-Commissioners and Assistant-Commissioners of Police, FCT, is legally created and or established? Hence, this letter to Your Excellency as the President and Chairman of the Nigeria Police Council, pursuant to the provisions of sections: 130 and 153 and Part I of the Third Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) for compliance with the provisions of the Act, which still remains in full force.

5. Your Excellency, apart from the above sections of the Act, I had further considered the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended)-herein after referred to as the Constitution which provides in sections: 214, 215, 216, 297, 298, 299, 300, 301, 302, 303 and 304, of the Constitution. Most especially, sections: 214 and 215 of the Constitution provides thus ‘214.—(1) There shall be a Police Force for Nigeria, which shall be called the Nigeria Police Force and, subject to the provisions of this section no other police force shall be established for the Federation or any part thereof. (2) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution— (a) the Nigeria Police Force shall be organised and administered in accordance with such provisions as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly; (b) the members of the Nigeria Police Force shall have such powers and duties as may be conferred upon them by law. (c) the National Assembly may make provisions for branches of the Nigeria Police Force forming part of the armed forces of the Federation or for the protection of harbours, waterways, railways and air fields. 215.—(1) There shall be— (a) an Inspector-General of Police who, subject to section 216(2) of this Constitution shall be appointed by the President on the advice of the Nigeria Police Council from serving members of the Nigeria Police Force; (b) a Commissioner of Police for each State of the Federation who shall be appointed by the Police Service Commission. (2) The Nigeria Police Force shall be under the command of the Inspector-General of Police and any contingents of the Nigeria Police Force stationed in a State shall, subject to the authority of the Inspector-General of Police, be under the command of the Commissioner of Police of that State.’.

6. Furthermore, I also considered the provision of section 2 of the Police Act, which provides thus ‘Commissioner’, means a Commissioner of Police, a Deputy Commissioner of Police or an Assistant Commissioner of Police’. Also, sections 5 and 6 of the Police Act were considered which provide thus ‘There shall be an Inspector-General of the Nigeria Police, such number of Deputy-Inspectors-General, Assistant Inspectors-General as the Nigeria Police Council consider appropriate, a Commissioner for each State of the Federation and such ranks as may from time to time be appointed by the Nigeria Police Council. 6. The Force shall be under the command of the Inspector-General. And contingents of the Force stationed in a State shall, subject to the authority of the Inspector-General, be under the command of the Commissioner of that State’. I also considered the provisions of Regulations: 2, 3 and 4 of the Nigeria Police Regulations, 1968, which provide thus ‘2. (1) In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires the following expressions have the meanings hereby assigned to them, that is to say – ‘area command’ means a police area command’. 3. For the purposes of these Regulations, the office of the Inspector-General shall be deemed to be a police area command and may be referred to as Force Headquarters’. 4. For the purpose of command and administration of the Force, the Federation of Nigeria shall be divided territorially into: … (v) Federal Capital Territory- Abuja Area Command.’ Also considered were Regulations: 11 and 12 of the Nigeria Police Regulations.

7. Therefore and in conclusion Your Excellency, from the reading of the above provisions of laws, I am of the submissions that:
i. The establishment of the office of the Commissioner of Police for the FCT controlled and or headed by the Commissioner of Police, FCT, as well as the offices of Deputy- Commissioners and Assistant Commissioners of Police for the FCT, is illegal and not in accordance with the provision of section 2 of the Act (i.e. the ‘Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, which is to be cited with full citation as Cap. 516, Laws of FCT, 2006 referred to above) and section 2 of the Police Act (supra) and is therefore unknown to law in FCT.

ii. The FCT Area Command shall be under the command of the Inspector-General of Police, Deputy-Inspectors- General of Police and Assistant-Inspectors-General of Police, FCT, respectively, as the case might be.

iii. It is legally wrong and unacceptable in our Nigerian legal system for the Attorney-General of the Federation and a Commissioner of Police of the FCT to be in charge of the FCT rather, it shall be the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Inspector-General of Police, in compliance with section 2 of the Act (i.e. the ‘Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (supra), more so, the FCT laws are made by the National Assembly acting as a House of Assembly of the FCT.

iv. The police affairs of the FCT shall be under the Nigeria Police Council and not the Police Service Commission.

v. All suits against the Nigeria Police, FCT, shall be by and or against the Inspector-General of Police and or the Nigeria Police Force, as the case might be and not Commissioner of Police, FCT.

vi. The provisions of section 2 of the Act shall be binding on the Government as provided in section 10 of the Act.

8. RECOMMENDATIONS:
i. The establishment of the office of the Commissioner of Police for the FCT controlled and or headed by the Commissioner of Police, FCT, as well as the offices of Deputy- Commissioners and Assistant Commissioners of Police for the FCT, is illegal and not in accordance with the provision of section 2 of the Act (i.e. the ‘Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, which is to be cited with full citation as Cap. 516, Laws of FCT, 2006 referred to above) and section 2 of the Police Act (supra), so should be rendered null and void and of no effect.

ii. All functions and or police commands in respect of FCT as the case might be should be placed under the command of the Inspector-General of Police, Deputy-Inspectors- General of Police and Assistant-Inspectors-General of Police, FCT, respectively, as the case might be, with immediate effect.

iii. A stakeholders’ meeting should be organized immediately in order to bring the provisions of the section 2 of the Act (i.e. the ‘Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, which is to be cited with full citation as Cap. 516, Laws of FCT, 2006 referred to above) and section 2 of the Police Act (supra), into effect.

iv. It is very important that the rule of law should be complied and abided with at all time by all persons and government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

9. However Your Excellency, where the provision of section 2 of the Act is not complied with within the next thirty (30) days from the receipt of this letter, I shall be left with no other option than to resort to the court of law to ensure and enforce its compliance.

10. While I hope and trust that timely action would be taken on this my letter by Your Excellency and all stakeholders on police affairs, please accept the assurances of my highest professional regards.

11. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria! God bless the leadership of the Federal Republic of Nigeria! God bless the Nigerian citizens!
Yours faithfully,

Hameed Ajibola Jimoh Esq.
Sole Practioner/Principal Counsel/ Constitutional and Human rights activist/ Legal Researcher.

Cc:
1. The Attorney-General of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Justice, Abuja.
2. Chairman, Police Service Commission, Central Area, FCT-Abuja.
3. The Inspector-General of Police, Force Headquarters, Louis Edet House, FCT-Abuja.

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