Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Dr. Solomon Arase has refuted claims of bias, unfairness and vindictiveness in the ongoing transfer of police officers across state commands. The PSC Chairman has been at loggerheads with police officers, who appear to be disgruntled over their removal from states where they are currently serving to other states across the country. The controversy has consequently attracted a rebuttal via a statement issued by PSC’s Head of Press and Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani. The PSC helmsman swiftly debunked claims that the reorganization in the Nigeria Police Force, which involved transfer of certain categories of police officers from some states of the federation, was a premeditated and vindictive move to punish them.
According to the PSC, the reports gave the erroneous impression that Arase was responsible for the transfers that affected Officers from his home state of Edo. The Explainer gathered that some police officers had also complained about how “the Inspector General of Police and the PSC Chairman…collected money from Obaseki, the Edo state Governor to transfer us out of the Command.” The PSC statement also faulted the claim that “the PSC Chairman did the same transfer when he was the Inspector General of Police and it was stopped by the former PDP Chairman, late Chief Anthony Anenih of blessed memory.”
The PSC statement went on to describe as infantile further claims by the affected police officers that Arase is the only Police IGP who dismissed officers from his own village. “The Commission is however happy that the Police Management has sufficiently addressed the issues raised in the publication and that the transfers were routine reorganisation in the Force which involved the transfer of officers who have served for a long period of time in a particular state which it also noted is “a crucial aspect of maintaining effectiveness and professionalism “.
The Explainer checks also indicate that the top brass of the force also mentioned the states currently undergoing the reorganisation to include, Edo, Delta, Rivers, Akwa Ibom. According to the Police, these states and some others have been earmarked for this first phase of reorganisation to enhance efficiency and accountability and that this exercise is a tradition and sacrosanct.
“Dr. Arase however insists that he has no apology for his known tradition to stand for a Police Force that is committed to nation building through the protection of lives and properties, maintenance of the rule of law and freeing the nation of the menace of cultists, bandits and other marauding deviants across the country. Dr. Arase says that he cannot be diminished to operate as a provincial Nigerian who thinks first of himself or his kindred before national interest.”
On the allegation that he was the only Police IGP who dismissed Policemen from his own village, Arase insisted that he will always fight crime and criminality anywhere it raises its head whether it is in his village or somewhere else. Nonetheless, the PSC Chairman confirmed that he wrote the Governor of his state and copied the Inspector General of Police last December on the worsening insecurity in home state of Edo where voters will be heading to the polls later in the year. The PSC Chairman lamented the recent surge in cult related violence and demanded urgent and decisive action. According to the statement, the PSC Chairman had blamed the deteriorating security situation in Edo State on the failure of the judiciary to successfully prosecute cult related cases. This failure in the reckoning of the PSC Chairman, has allowed criminals to roam freely, perpetuating violence and instilling fear across Edo State.
The statement noted: “As the Inspector General of Police, Dr. Arase said that he amputated cult dons and charged them to court, although and unfortunately the powers that be released these outlaws upon his retirement. The records he noted are still with the Edo state judiciary. Since the gang war commenced in the state in November last year, he disclosed that close to 30 persons have been killed.”