Former Deputy Inspector General of Police, Mr Moses Ambakina Jitoboh, has sued the Police Service Commission for wrongfully and compulsorily retiring him from office.
By the suit instituted at the National Industrial Court Abuja, Jitoboh is praying the court to direct the PSC to pay him the sum of N500,000,000.00 (Five Hundred Million Naira) only as general damages for the unwarranted embarrassment caused by the purported termination of his employment as he has been portrayed to be a disloyal officer.
Also, the embattled DIG wants the court to make an order for the payment of N50, 000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira) only as the cost of prosecuting the legal action.
The claimant is also praying for an order of court setting aside his purported
compulsory retirement as Deputy Inspector-General of Police on the 25th day of August, 2023 by the Defendant (PSC).
More Jitoboh is seeking an order setting aside all the unlawful and embarrassing decisions taken by the defendant (PSC), including his retirement and the promotion of another to replace him, same having been done unlawfully and illegally.
The former DIG further asked the court to declare his purported compulsory retirement by Police Service Commission, before his mandatory 60 years retirement age or 35 years in service as “wrongful, unconstitutional and unlawful”.
In addition, the compulsorily retired DIG wants a declaration that pursuant to Section 4 (3) of the Police Service Commission Act, 2001, the PSC has no valid Board to take any decision whatsoever purporting to retire or promote any police officer as the PSC Board tenure had elapsed in July, 2023.
In a statement of claims, Jitoboh described his purported compulsory retirement as a flagrant violation of Rule 020810 of the Public Service Rules and Section 18 (8) of the Nigeria Police Act, 2020, respectively.
Jitoboh, also claimed that he was and remains an officer of the Nigeria Police Force until June 10, 2029, when he would have attained 35 years in service and duly retire and that he is therefore entitled to his salaries, emoluments and all other paraphernalia of office due to him.
He insisted that the PSC Board, enjoys a joint tenure and there is no legal basis for Mr. Solomon Arase to remain in office after the tenure of the Board had elapsed, as he was appointed to complete the tenure of Mr. Musiliu Smith, who resigned as PSC Chairman in 2022.
While arguing that the issue has emphatically shown, through verifiable evidence, that there is no such Police tradition like requiring the retirement of officers because a junior officer was promoted over such seniors, the claimant cited some examples including that of Mr. Ogbonnaya Onovo, who served under two of his juniors without being compulsorily retired until he ultimately became the Inspector General of Police.
Jibotoh also cited the present Chairman of PSC, Mr Solomon Arase, who served under Suleiman Abba, who was his (Arase’s) junior without being compulsorily retired until he himself eventually rose to the position of IG of Police.
“Where did Arase create this “Police Tradition” from?, the claimant queried as history shows otherwise.
The claimant recalled that in 2016, the PSC purportedly retired AIG Mbu Joseph Mbu on the same ground as this, but that decision was correctly set-aside by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria for being unlawful, embarrassing and unconstitutional.
The PSC, it will be recalled, had purportedly retired DIG Jitoboh and three others on the ground of upholding the Police tradition of retiring, when a junior Police officer is promoted over his senior to avoid “status reversal”.