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DIG Argungu assumes duty as PSC chairman, flags off Arena of knowledge lectures

By Anthony Maliki, Abuja

The new leadership of the Police Service Commission has assumed duty at the Corporate Headquarters of the Commission in Jabi, Abuja with a commitment to drive a deliberate knowledge acquisition programme for the Staff called “The Arena of Knowledge”.

The new Board of the Commission, recently appointed by the President, has DIG Hashimu Argungu rtd as Chairman, DIG Taiwo Lekanu rtd, Member and Chief Onyemuche Nnamani, Secretary. The new Chairman, Member and Secretary assumed duty on Thursday, July 4th, 2024.

Earlier today, Wednesday, July 10th 2024, the new Board flagged off an innovative programme, the Arena of Knowledge, a weekly lecture series for the Staff of the Commission.

Chairman of the Commission, rtd DIG Argungu in his introductory remarks at the training programme said since nobody has monopoly of Knowledge, there was need for the Commission to meet weekly to share knowledge on the different areas of the staff day to day work.

He noted that he has always introduced the “Arena of Knowledge ” in all the places he has worked, adding that the nation’s civil service needs knowledge for improved service delivery.

The Commission Chairman and the Director Legal Services of the Commission, Bar. Babatunde Dada presented papers at today’s lecture.

In a paper, titled: “The Innocent Victim: Wrongful Garnishment Against Police Service Commission”, the Commission Chairman examined a pending garnishee proceedings against the Commission in respect of an account with the Central Bank of Nigeria which training money was lodged. He also examined the grounds that the judgment creditors have executed Wrongful garnishments against the Commission other than the real judgment debtor.

DIG Argungu rtd traced possible objections which included that the garnishee does not reside within jurisdiction; that there was no proper service on the garnishee; that the order nisi is not predicated on a valid and subsisting judgment and that the certified copy of the judgment has not been attached to the application.

He also looked at other possible objections and noted that the Commission “is an innocent victim for Wrongful garnishment.

The PSC Chairman recommended that the Commission’s legal department should urgently liaise with the Commissioner of Police Legal Services of the Nigeria Police Force to trace the civil suits in question with the view to ascertain the genuineness of the claims and also to urgently liaise with the necessary organisations to see the final conclusion against the order absolute.

DIG Argungu rtd also said the Secretary to the Commission, the Director Legal Services and the Director Finance and Accounts should put a mechanism in place to find out the remote and immediate causes of these problems .

In his presentation, the Director, Legal Services, Bar. Dada traced the persisting problem of garnishee proceedings against the Commission to the inability of the Commission to mobilize its lawyers to put up appearances for its cases which normally result to judgment passed against it. According to him “If cases are effectively attended to and appearances made, then no judgment will be against the Commission “.

He noted that in view of the fact that the Commission has not been able to resolve its funding problem, the Legal Department entered into Public-private partnership (PPP) with private legal firms who “are willing to handle the cases pro-bono (free)”.

Bar. Dada said that for a permanent solution, there should be an inter Agency Cooperation where the Commission, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Attorney General of the Federation will need to meet and discuss this issue and work out the modalities to liquidate this debt which are orders from Court.

He also recommended the introduction of its disciplinary power on any Police Officer who is the subject of the litigation and who caused its account to be garnished by implementing of Public Service Rule 030414. He said the Alternative Dispute Resolution should also be adopted since various High Court Rules have made provisions for that.

The Director also suggested the need to liaise with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) for the deployment of Corps Members who have been called to Bar to the Legal Department of the Commission .

The next in the series of the Arena of Knowlege lectures holds on Wednesday July 27th, 2024 and this will look into Leakages of classified documents/Information and the consequences. It will be followed a week later by another lecture on the serious issues of cyber crime since 2015.

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