Civil society groups applaud Arase’s appointment as PSC Chairman

 Some civil society groups have congratulated Mr Solomon Arase, a retired Inspector-General of Police, over his appointment as Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC).

This is contained in a statement on Wednesday, issued by the Group’s Coordinator, Mr Okechukwu Nwanguma, who doubled as Executive Director, Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Senate on Wednesday confirmed the nomination of Arase as Chairman of Police Service Commission.

His nomination was received on Tuesday by the Senate from President Muhammadu Buhari.

“We, the undersigned civil society organisations, spread across Nigeria, congratulate, Mr Solomon Arase, former Inspector-General of Police, on his appointment as the new Chairman of the Police Service Commission.

“We congratulate him, not because we have shifted from our position against the practice of appointment of serving or retired Police officers as Chairman of the PSC.

“We remain firmly committed to our position and campaign against the appointment of retired police officers as chairmen of the PSC.

“We know Arase stands out and can make a difference,” the statement said.

The statement said that Arase could make the PSC work because of his performance while in the force.

It pointed out that in going forward, the system should adopt and stick to the standard best practice that the PSC should be headed by civilian with requisite qualifications.

“I-GP Solomon Arase stands out because of his democratic and professional mindset and doubtless commitment to police discipline and accountability,” it added.

The statement also noted that I-GP Arase set up the Complaints Response Unit (CRU), which was an improvement on existing public complaints mechanisms.

“This, he did, by introducing the use of technology and expanding the platforms through which members of the public could send complaints on police misconduct,” the statement said.

The statement pointed out that succeeding I-GPs had not given the CRU the support it received under Arase, which made it work effectively and efficiently then.

“He initiated the very first set of measures to check police brutality focussing especially, on tackling the excesses of SARS.

“He split SARS into two units with one to handle arrest and the other to handle the investigation.

“But his tenure was short-lived and most of his initiatives and efforts to entrench a culture of discipline and accountability were not sustained by his successors.

“We are aware of how political interference frustrated his efforts to rein in some notorious SARS commanders against whom were frequent and high numbers of complaints of abuse of power, corruption and discreditable conducts,” it added. (NAN)