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Why Musiliu Smith was forced to resign as Police commission chairman

...activities of the commission had been paralyzed...

Alhaji Musiliu Smith, former Inspector-General of Police (Guardian)

The spokesman of the commission, Ikechukwu Ani, confirmed Smith’s resignation to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), but declined further comments on the matter.

The spokesman disclosed that an official statement would soon be issued by the commission.

Real reason why Smith resigned: Sources said the PSC Board, at its meeting on Wednesday, September 14, 2022, asked Smith to resign and hand over to retired Justice Clara Ogunbiyi, who represents the judiciary at the commission.

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Ogunbiyi, 74, is a former Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

What's going on in the Police commission?: Several reports have emerged on how activities of the commission had been paralyzed in the last few weeks, following the indefinite strike by the workers of the commission to press home their demands, including the alleged takeover of the recruitment of 10,000 constables by the police, staff promotion and training by the commission management.

What happened to Smith: Sources said the meeting also discussed the possibility of amending the PSC Act to remove a section which states that a retired Inspector-General of Police be appointed to chair the commission.

‘’Immediately the meeting started, one of the commissioners said that the defining characteristic and mission of the commission is that it is a civilian oversight body, external to the Police. This requires the PSC to be independent and impartial. It cannot be either of these if it is headed by a retired former Inspector-General of Police.

"This mission is destroyed by appointing a recent or former Inspector-General as chairman of the PSC. After thorough deliberations on these issues, a commissioner advised Smith to step aside, after which another commissioner moved a motion and he accepted,’’ a source said.

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Another source added, immediately Smith accepted to step aside, other agenda of the meeting were suspended till the new management of the commission reconvenes.

Smith reportedly wrote a notice of resignation to President Muhammadu Buhari which has been approved.

What you should know: 76-year-old Smith was appointed Inspector General of Police in May 1999 and retired in March 2002.

President Buhari, in May 2018, appointed Smith as the chairman of the commission. He succeeded Mike Okiro, also a former Inspector-General of Police.

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