PSC Chair decries rampant garnishee judgements against commission



…Makes case for Police lawyers proper placement

By Chimezie Godfrey

The acting Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi has decried the rampant cases of the garnishee of the accounts of the Police Service Commission by Courts on matters directly related to the operational duties of the Police which has nothing to do with the Commission.

Justice Ogunbiyi spoke on Monday, when she received in audience the leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association, led by its President, Bar. Yakubu Maikyau.

She lamented that Lawyers erroneously sue the Commission for breach of the fundamental rights of the Populace “whereas the Commission is not liable”.

The Acting Chairman cited the Court of Appeal decision in the case of Nuhu vs. Sale & Ors (2017) ACN Pt 1 Pg 197 paragraph E to F where the liability of the 4th Respondent (PSC) was pronounced thus “The 4th Respondent is not in the position to dictate the duties of the respondents but rather it is either the Commissioner of Police or Inspector-General of Police as the case may be, who does.

“The control of the Servant by a Master is a factor to consider in a contract of service and the 4th Respondent has no such control over the respondents to render it vicariously liable for their wrong doing”.

Justice Ogunbiyi also cited Regulation 341 of the Police Act and Regulations CAP P19 LFN 2004 which stated; “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 called on the NBA President to assist the Commission pass these relevant information to his Members to save the Commission from this garnishee problems.

The Chairman also spoke on the need for the senior Lawyers to encourage and accommodate their younger colleagues, especially those operating at lower ranks.

In response to the question raised by the NBA President relating to proper placement of the Police Officers who obtained additional legal qualification while in the service, the acting Chairman saw this as a concern and should in due course be addressed by the relevant stake holders.

Justice Ogunbiyi also told the visiting delegation that the Law Faculty of the Police Academy Wudil, Kano was yet to be accredited and encouraged the Bar to seek for the assistance and intervention of the Body of Benchers as the highest Governing Authority.

The President finally solicited for the appointment of more lawyers into the Police Force and wishes the Commission greater heights and achievements.