A Division of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday ordered the stoppage of the on-going recruitment of 10,000 police constables in the country.
The presiding judge, Inyang Ekwo has therefore ordered the Inspector General (I-G) of Police, Mohammed Adamu, the Police Service Commission (PSC) and other parties in the suit to maintain status quo until further pronouncement.
Justice Inyang Ekwo who gave the order at the hearing of the case brought by the PSC against the IGP, further urged all parties to stay within the bounds of the law until the matter is decided.
The PSC had brought the matter before court, asking it to stop Adamu from continuing the recruitment exercise, alleging that the power of the commission had been usurped.
In a suit No FHC/ABJ/05/1124/19, the Police service Commission had dragged the Nigerian Police Force, the Inspector General of Police and the Ministry of Police Affair who are the 1st 2nd and 3rd Defendants respectively in the suit to court.
The Attorney General of the Federation is on the verge of being joined in the suit as one of the Defendants.
The PSC sought an interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants, their officers and representatives including anybody or person acting on their behalf from appointing, recruiting or attempting to appoint or recruit by any means whatsoever any person into any office in the first defendant pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
Opening his argument on the matter, Counsel to the three Defendants, Dr Alex Izinyon SAN asked that the Attorney General of the Federation be joined as fourth defendant in the matter.
The counsel to PSC, Kanu Agabi SAN did not however disagree or raise any objection when Justice Ekwo was about to adopt it.
Meanwhile, the presiding judge had gone ahead to give the plaintiff four days from the date of the order to amend, file and service the processes and the first to third defendants another four days upon service by the plaintiff to amend file and serve their processes.
Ekwo thereafter cautioned the senior lawyers, saying that they represent the cream of the inner bar and since the issues between them has been brought to court, all parties must respect the rule of law and stay within bounds until the matter is decided.
“I need your assurance on that,” Ekwo added.
Meanwhile, Izinyon had gone further to argue that the issue that brought the motion was the issue of recruitment, which has passed, as recruitment of the 10, 000 constables had been concluded by the Police.
“I am giving you between now and the fourth of November to return to court.
“Are you telling me that between now and the fourth of November, you still need to go on with what you are doing?” Ekwo had queried.
Izinyon responded: “We have finished what we are doing, with the greatest respect. And with the greatest respect, the police service commission is aware.”
At that point, Ekwo had to interject and reiterated his initial stance as saying; “The case is not between you and me.”
“You have submitted to the jurisdiction of the court. You stay within the jurisdiction of the court,” Ekwo said.
In his own argument, Agabi, told the court that he had nothing more to add, saying that the judge has said it all. “We are before the court.” he held
Arguing further, he said, “Now my learned brother is saying they have already completed it. What an embarrassment it would be to the nation and to the police if this court should decide that whatever they were doing were illegalities. What an embarrassment.”
The matter has since been adjourned to November 4, 2019.