The Police Service Commission (PSC) has said junior police lawyers would be placed in appropriate positions in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
The chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Dr Solomon Arase, a former inspector-general of police, stated this in Abuja over the weekend, when he received in audience the leadership of the Unity Bar, (Nigerian Bar Association Abuja branch).
He promised to look into the status of qualified lawyers serving in the Nigeria Police Force and appearing in courts with the ranks of corporals, sergeants and inspectors.
He also said the cases of other junior police officers who acquired additional certificates in other disciplines while in service will also receive the attention of the commission.
Arase said it would give the officers the required self-confidence to perform better.
Chairman of the association, Barr. Afam Okeke, who led the delegation to the PSC chairman had complained that lawyers who came into the police as junior officers but improved their qualifications are currently appearing and defending cases in courts for the Nigeria Police Force but still wearing junior ranks.
The PSC chairman told the delegation that the commission may decide to send these categories of police lawyers and other junior police officers with additional qualifications on a short service training after which they would be properly placed as officers.
He said the Nigeria Police needs the services of more lawyers, stressing that the commission will come out with a decision that will leave all parties in a win-win situation.
Arase used the opportunity of the courtesy visit to call 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 wasting time in criminalising civil matters and sending them to the police when it can be better handled outside of the police.”
Arase called for a robust legal system in Nigeria that inspires the citizens to seek redress and justice.
He said offenders must be arrested and prosecuted to restore confidence in the system and informed his visitors that the commission is setting up a Compliance Monitoring Unit to ensure the Police Complaints Response Unit promptly attends to public complaints. This new unit, he said, will be directly under his supervision for effectiveness and efficiency.