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Three Ex-IGPs In Race To Become Next PSC Chairman

Akwa, hoodlums, suspects
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By Emma Onuwa

Information reaching NaijaBlitzNews indicates that three former Inspectors-General of Police and a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police are currently jostling to replace ex-IGP Musiliu Smith as the Chairman of the Police Service Commission.

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The former police chiefs were said to have solicited the assistance of top government officials for consideration for the top job.

Smith, who assumed office on July 25, 2018, alongside other commissioners, was supposed to complete his five-year tenure in July 2023, but he resigned on health grounds about two weeks ago.

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His tenure was marred by a face-off with the police authorities over the recruitment of police constables.

A retired Supreme Court Justice who is Commissioner 1 in the commission, Clara Ogunbiyi, has since taken over in an acting capacity.

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A senior official said, “There is intense jostling for the position of PSC chairman as candidates have been soliciting the support of top government officials in the Presidency.

“As we speak, one of the candidates is in New York to meet with President Buhari where the deal would be sealed. On his return to the country, the retired police officer may be announced as the new chairman of the commission.

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The development is causing tension among the PSC workers because they fear that the situation that pervaded the agency under Smith would continue if another retired IG is appointed as the chairman.’’

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has listed for hearing the police appeal against the Court of Appeal judgment which affirmed the PSC’s constitutional mandate to recruit constables.

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NaijaBlitzNews gathered on Thursday that the case which had been abandoned for about two years has been dusted up and is now slated for hearing at the Supreme Court early next month.

In a unanimous judgment on September 30, 2020, a three-man panel of the appellate court led by Justice Olabisi Ige, held that the IGP lacked the power to recruit for the police force. The court held that the power to recruit was exclusively that of the Police Service Commission.

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The judgment overturned the December 2, 2019 verdict of a Federal High court in Abuja which upheld the powers of the IGP to carry out the recruitment of 10,000 constables.

The PSC spokesperson, Ikechukwu Ani, confirmed the development, adding that the police appeal would be heard in October.

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It was gathered that the acting PSC chairman, Ogunbiyi recently attempted to meet with IG Usman Baba and the Minister of Police Affairs, Mohammed Dingyadi to resolve the recruitment crisis.

END.

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Elderly Woman Falls On Her Knees To Pray For Peter Obi In Jos Rally

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As political campaigns for the 2023 general elections commenced on Wednesday, a elderly woman has been captured praying for the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, during a solidarity rally held in Jos, Plateau State.

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The Director-General of the Obi-Datti Campaign organization, Doyin Okupe, in a tweet on Wednesday disclosed that the LP candidate and his vice, Datti Baba Ahmed, will attend the Jos rally although the party is yet to commence campaigns officially.

”Today in Jos, HE Peter Obi & his running mate Datti-Ahmed, will honour an invitation from the Middle Belt forum to attend a solidarity rally. We are yet to commence our own campaigns.

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To comfort our students, We urge the FG to quickly resolve the lingering ASSU Crisis,” the tweet read.

Amongst persons seen at the venue to welcome the LP flag bearer was an elderly woman on her knees in the midst of other supporters praying for Peter Obi at the Rwang Pam Stadium Jos, Plateau state.

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UNIBEN releases post-UTME, DE screenings date

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The University of Benin has fixed dates for its Post Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination and Direct Entry screenings for 2022/2023 session.

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The university in a notice by its Registrar, Ademola Bobola on Wednesday in Benin, said the exercise would hold between Nov. 14 and 25.

Bobola said the screening would be conducted in designated centres at the Ugbowo main campus of the institution, using the Computer Based Test mode.

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“Only candidates who applied through JAMB for the 2022/2023 UTME and Direct Entry admission and chose the University of Benin as First Choice and scoring 200 and above for UTME candidates are eligible for this screening exercise,” the registrar said.

Bobola, however, referred admission seekers to the institution to the university’s official website.

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Presidency denies authorising Katsina security outfit to carry arms

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The Presidency has denied that any state has been issued authorisation to procure automatic weapons for its security outfit.

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Last week, Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu had accused the Federal Government of bias in refusing to allow the Western Nigeria Security Network Agency, also known as Amotekun Corps, to carry sophisticated firearms, while allegedly granting approval to the Katsina State security outfit to carry sophisticated firearms.

That was as the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba said that quasi-security outfits established by state governments have no legal basis to function during the 2023 general elections.

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In a statement on Tuesday, the Presidency said the possession of automatic weapons and AK-47 remains illegal in the country.

“The Presidency wishes to strongly assert that there is no state, not Katsina, not any other state in the federation, that has been authorized to procure automatic weapons for their security outfits,” the statement reads.

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“Under this administration, the President has repeatedly made it clear that nobody is allowed to illegally carry AK-47 or any other automatic weapons and that they must surrender them”.

The Presidency however said neither Katsina nor Ondo is allowed to purchase automatic weapons for security outfits.

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“Under the existing regulations, only the Office of the National Security Adviser can issue such authorization, upon proper clearance by the President and Commander-in-Chief and as it is at this moment, no such approvals have been issued to any state government.

“In the specific Katsina State often cited, the Governor, Aminu Bello Masari wrote to explain that the administration invited the Provost of the Civil Defence Training College in Katsina to train their vigilantes for a five-day period….

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“in the handling and operations of Pump Action Rifles,” emphasising that “the vigilantes were not trained to take over the responsibilities of the security agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria but to assist them”.

The Presidency added that it “appreciates the active involvement of states with security matters. As they continue to expand their capabilities as well as their active collaboration with law enforcement agencies of the federation, the joint efforts continue to yield good results, thwarting attempts of terrorists to wreak havoc and destruction on communities”.

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President Muhammadu Buhari was quoted as saying he has received reports “of acts of utmost bravery and professionalism” by operatives of state security outfits.

“He thanked them for their alertness that is helping to defeat nefarious plots against targets at grassroots levels”, the statement added.

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Furthermore, the Presidency called on leaders at various levels “to exercise restraint in their speech, even as we are in a political season”.

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