10th May, 2013
Lagos lawyer and human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to withdraw the nomination of Mr. Mike Okiro as the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, PSC.
In line with the provisions of the Constitution, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday forwarded the name of Okiro, a former Inspector-General of Police, to the Senate for confirmation as Chairman of the PSC.
In a statement, Falana faulted the nomination of Okiro, saying it is against the provisions of the constitution.
The activist submitted that while Okiro was qualified for the position on account of his experience, he is disqualified by virtue of his membership of the ruling party.
Until last month, Okiro was the Chief of Staff to the PDP chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.
According to Falana: “The Police Service Commission is one of the Federal Executive bodies established under Section 153 of the Constitution. Section 156 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.”
Falana argued further that going by these clear provisions of the laws, a body which is empowered to recruit and discipline all police personnel other than the Inspector-General of Police is expected to be constituted by non partisan individuals of unimpeachable integrity.
“As a loyal party member of the PDP, Mr. Okiro is politically alligned and biased. Accordingly, he is not competent to head the Police Service Commission which is part of the public service of the country to which all Nigerian citizens have equal access, regardless of political affliations. Knowing his antecedents in the Nigeria Police Force, Mr. Okiro is going to manipulate the members of the Commission to serve the parochial interests of the Peoples Democratic Party,” he added.
He appealed to President Jonathan to replace Okiro’s name with another competent Nigerian who is not a card carrying member of any of the registered political parties in the country.
“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 (INEC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Mike Okiro’s nomination should be withdrawn from the Senate and replaced with the name of another competent Nigerian who is not a card carrying member of any of the registered political parties in the country,” he stated.