Police Service Commission (PSC) has said the retirement of some senior police officers will not affect the February poll.
Gatekeepers News reports that PSC stressed that their tenure will not be extended their expected time of retirement which is the first quarter of 2023.
The PSC spokesperson, Ikechukwu Ani in a statement on Tuesday, said the commission took the decision at the end of its management meeting on Monday.
Over the past weeks, there have been concerns that some senior police officers, including the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba, would be due for retirement in the first quarter of 2023, this was in line with the public service rule.
The retirement age for public service officials is 60 years or after 35 years in service.
The concerns were heightened owing to speculations that it might disrupt the security plans for the February and March polls.
Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Dingyadi, while answering questions from journalists on the expected retirement of the IGP, said the appointment of Baba was based on a four-year tenure in line with provisions of the Police Act of 2020.
Dingyadi had said, “I don’t know where you got your record, but by the provision of the Police Act 2020, the IGP is now supposed to have a tenure of a four-year period and Mr President has given him a letter of appointment in that regard.”
In April 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Baba as the IGP.
According to his profile, the IGP will be 60 years old on March 1, and on March 15, he would have spent 35 years in the police service.
Meanwhile, the appointment and dismissal of the IGP are subject to the powers of the president, while that of other police officers are under the purview of the PSC.
Nevertheless, the commission in a statement said there are officers to fill up the expected vacant positions.
The PSC also said it would not extend the tenures of retiring senior police officers because it is illegal.
The statement read, “The Police Service Commission, the statutory government executive body with the constitutional mandate to recruit, promote, dismiss and exercise disciplinary control over persons holding offices in the Nigeria Police Force, except the Inspector General of Police, wishes to assure Nigerians that there can never be any leadership vacuum in the NPF.
“The commission has watched with keen interest the conversation in the media on whether retiring senior police officers’ tenure should be elongated or not and whether such retirements would affect the 2023 election security.
“Rising from a management meeting on Monday, January 23rd, 2023 in Abuja, the commission said the ongoing campaign for the extension of the tenures of some deputy inspectors general (DIGs), assistant inspectors general (AIGs), commissioners (CPs), and other senior police officers was an unnecessary distraction and an affront on all the existing laws in the country guiding entry and exit in the public service.
“The commission took a decision that it will not extend the tenures of the retiring senior police officers, stressing that even when requested, it can not do so as it is against all existing laws, Police Act, Police Service Commission Act, and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“It noted that the police have capable men and women who should be encouraged to step into the vacancies that would be created by the existing officers.
“It assured Nigerians that there is an institutional succession plan in the Nigeria Police Force, especially with the current injection of 10,000 Constables and several other thousands of cadet ASPs from the Police Academy every year.
“The commission assured Nigerians that there would be no vacuum in the hierarchy of the Police with the touted retirement of hundreds of senior police officers.
“It took a decision to rigidly uphold the provisions of the law which stipulates that a serving public officer, whether in the police or in any other government agency, must exit the service at the age of 60 or having served for a period of 35 years.”