The Police Service Commission (PSC), says junior policemen who hold law degrees and similar qualifications in other disciplines would be considered for upgrade in due course.
Mr Solomon Arase, Chairman, PSC, made the promise when he received the leadership of the Nigerian Unity Bar Association, Abuja branch, in his office.
This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Ikechukwu Ani, Spokesperson of the commission, on Sunday in Abuja.
The Chairman said qualified lawyers serving in the Nigeria Police Force and appearing in courts with the ranks of Corporals, Sergeants and Inspectors would be elevated soon.
He also said the cases of other policemen who acquired additional qualifications while in service will also receive attention.
According to the statement, Arase said, this would give the affected policemen the required self confidence to perform better.
“The Commission may decide to send these categories of Police lawyers and other junior policemen with additional qualifications on a short service training, after which they would be properly placed as officers.
“The Nigeria Police need the services of more lawyers. The Commission will come up with a win-win situation for all parties,” he assured.
Arase called on the Nigerian Bar Association to advise practicing lawyers to stop criminalising civil matters.
He said “It is wrong and should be discouraged, civil matters should be treated as civil matters and arbitration should serve the parties and the society better.
“We should avoid time wasting in criminalising civil matters and sending them to the police when it can be better handled outside of the force,” he said.
The Chairman added that the Commission was setting up a Compliance Monitoring Unit to ensure that the Police Complaints Response Unit promptly attends to public complaints.
He said that the new unit will be directly under his supervision for effectiveness and efficiency, stressing that the Commission will henceforth ensure that it prevents a system that does not attend to public complaints with dispatch.
The statement quoted Arase as stating the Commission’s desire to collaborate with the Nigeria Bar Association to organise some training programmes on human rights so as to expose its staff lawyers to a better appreciation of its duties.
The Chairman of Unity Bar of NBA, Abuja, Mr Afam Okeke, had earlier congratulated the PSC Chairman on his appointment and pledged the union’s support.
Okeke, however, complained that lawyers who came into the Force as Junior Officers but improved their qualifications, were currently appearing and defending cases in courts for the Nigeria Police Force, but still wearing junior ranks.