The Police Service Commission (PSC) was established in 2001 to oversee the appointment and promotion of police officers and to formulate and administer disciplinary processes in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
After an initial period of euphoria, many Nigerians have complained about the lack of effectiveness of the PSC. A particular concern was their failure to attend to public complaints, provide feedback and ensure that follow on issues were properly handled.
In November 2015, in response to criticisms, the PSC set up the Public Complaints Committee headed by Justice Olufunlola Adekeye – a retired Justice of the Supreme Court. The 14-member Committee investigates public complaints made against the NPF completely independent of the police and makes recommendations for action to the PSC Chairman. The findings of the Public Complaints Committee are considered and approved at the plenary sessions of the PSC after which they are forwarded to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) for action.
Since November 2015, the committee has considered 93 public complaints, more than 30 of which have been investigated.
With the support of J4A and the appropriate level of political will, the Public Complaints Committee can help put the PSC back on track to deliver against a key part of its mandate.
This PSC initiative is an example of the increasing extent to which the police are being held accountable and operates in parallel to the Police managed Complaints Response Unit (CRU)