President Muhammadu Buhari has sworn in former Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Solomon Arase, as Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), as well as five members of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).
The brief swearing-in ceremonies were held Wednesday before the start of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by the President at Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Former IGP Arase took over as Chairman of the PSC, following the resignation of another former Inspector-General of Police, Musiliu Smith.
Arase, 65, who retired in 2016, is the 18th indigenous Inspector-General of Police. He was in office between April 2015 and June 2016 and had served in various capacities, including as head of the Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Bureau, the foremost intelligence-gathering unit of the Nigerian police.
The five persons swore in as members of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) were Murtala A. Kankia from Katsina to represent (North West); Zephaniah Ishaku Bulus from Nasarawa to represent (North Central); Farouq Umar from Yobe State to represent (North East); Abdulsalam Taofiq Olawale from Ondo State to represent (South West) and Prof. Juwaria Badamasiuyi from Kogi.
Council also observed a minute silence in honour of former Chief of General Staff, Lt. Gen. Oladipo Diya.
Diya, who served as the Chief of General Staff to the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, died on Sunday, March 26, 2023 at the age of 78.
He was the military governor of Ogun State from January 1984 to August 1985.
In an interview with State House reporters, former IGP Arase pledged to prioritise the welfare of officers and men of the Nigerian Police Force as well as to address the issue of corruption and the recurring issues between the IGP and the Police Service Commission.
He also promised to continue to tap local and international expertise at their disposal and focus on training in various areas especially alternative dispute resolution.
On discipline, Arase said: “The issue of discipline will be taken seriously. I will not want a situation where civil situations arise. So any officer who steps out of the line, there will be consequences. But at the same time, they are my colleagues and children. So I’m going to make sure that I sharpen their skills.
“I will ensure that they start having confidence in themselves. With more training, the trust gap between members of the public and the police will be bridged. That is what I want to do. That members of the public will collaborate with the police force; see them as part of the larger society.”
On the specific steps that he would take to improve the relationship between the commission and the police, he said:
“I will expect that the commission allows the IGP to exercise his operational control over the police. And that the IGP himself will respect the constitutional powers of the Police Service Commission. So, there must be mutual respect between both parties. I don’t foresee any crisis at all.”