Controversy has been generated over the actual rank and status of the Lagos State Acting Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, following a letter from the Police Service Commission (PSC) demoting him from Commissioner to his previous rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police.
The Commission’s Permanent Secretary, Musa Istifanus, had written to the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, about the demotion of Edgal to his former rank of DCP, stoking controversy.
The letter, signed by Istifanus on behalf of the Chairman, Mike Okiro, was titled ‘Withdrawal of Acting appointment: AP 25095 Mohimi D. Edgal and AP. 36665 Aji Ali Janga’.
It read in part, “Our letter with Ref No PS/1924/Vol IX/ dated 22nd August, 2017 conveying the Honourable Chairman’s anticipatory approval for the placement of the above-named officers as Acting Commissioners of Police refers, please.
“The Commission at its 24th Plenary Meeting of 27th and 28th September, 2017, took a decision not to ratify the anticipatory approval.
“The Officers are, therefore, reverted to their substantive rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP).”
But in a swift reaction, the Nigeria Police Force had expressed its shock and disagreement, stating that the PSC had no power to demote, and rejected the move.
Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, said that Edgal was still the acting CP of Lagos.
He said, “The PSC has the power to appoint, promote and discipline officers. But they don’t have the power to demote.
“They can only demote an officer after the Force disciplinary committee has looked into what the officer has done and then recommend him for discipline. They can only authorize them to authenticate what the Police take to them
“In this case acting CP Edgal has not committed any disciplinary offence and the Force disciplinary committee has not recommended him for reduction. They cannot demote him and they have no such powers.
“They should not go beyond their powers. Nigeria Police Force can exist without PSC but PSC cant exist without NFF. We are not aware of the reduction in power and acting CP Lagos state has not be demoted”.
Also, the PSC chairman, Mike Okiro, in an interview he granted later Thursday, dismissed the letter from the commission purportedly demoting Edgal, stating that the letter was not authorised by him and should be ignored.
He said, “The letter was not authorised by the commission; Istifanus did not write on my behalf. We read the letter too like everybody and I have told the IG to ignore it. The letter was not authorized at all. I would meet with Istifanus about it and find out how the letter came about”.
This development marks a second wave of controversy surrounding the newly appointed acting police commissioner of Lagos State.
Recall that following the announcement of his appointment, his predecessor, Fatia Owoseni, had reportedly rejected his replacement, asking the public to disregard the news. It took a reconfirmation and insistence by the Force Headquarters before the handover eventually happened.
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