23rd November, 2022
The Police Service Commission (PSC) has urged the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA to prevail on lawyers to stop joining the commission in suits related to infractions during police operational duties.
The acting Chairman of PSC, Justice Clara Ogunbiyi made the appeal when she received a delegation of the Nigerian Bar Association, led by its President, Mr Yakubu Maikyau who paid her a courtesy visit on Tuesday.
Ogunbiyi said every police officer is legally responsible for his or her actions and PSC is worried over court fines it was being made to pay on matters relating to police operational duties, Mr Ikechukwu Ani, PSC Head of Press and Public Relations, said in a statement issued on the visit.
Ogunbiyi added that it is erroneous to sue the commission for breach of fundamental rights of citizens where the commission is not liable.
Ogunbiyi said the Police Act and Regulations were clear on the matter.
“In the individual exercise of his power as a police officer, every police officer shall be personally liable for any misuse of his powers or for any act done in the excess of his authority,” she said.
The PSC boss, therefore, called on the NBA to pass the information to its members to save the commission from the garnishee problems.
She urged senior lawyers to encourage and accommodate younger colleagues, especially those operating at lower ranks.
Ogunbiyi pledged to ensure proper placement of police officers who obtained additional legal qualifications while in service, after consultations with relevant stakeholders.
She appealed to the NBA to seek for the assistance and intervention of the Body of Benchers to get the Faculty of Law in the Police Academy accredited.