Nigeria Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), has said that many Nigerians don’t know that President Muhammadu Buhari doesn’t have the constitutional power to sack police officers. ayokinews.com reports
The Minister made this chilling discovery while speaking on the topic, ‘What can the president do for me?’ at the annual lecture of the Yoruba Tennis Club, which was held in Lagos, on Friday.
Fashola, who was addressing the concerns raised during the last #EndSARS protest, which led to the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), stated that the many Nigerians don’t fully understand how governance works.
He stated that some Nigerians wanted the President to issue a direct order for the dismissal of police officers but explained that there are limits to the powers of the President based on the provisions of the Nigerian constitution.
Fashola said, “At the onset of the protest against the special anti-robbery squad (SARS) when five demands were made in respect of the police and SARS, President Muhammadu Buhari weighed in on the side of the protesters.
“In my interaction with some of them, young and not so young, they wanted the president to sack some policemen, in some cases, even the inspector-general of police.
“During this interaction, I referred them to the provisions of the 1999 constitution as amended, that I pointed out to them that the president of Nigeria cannot sack a policeman because a policeman is not the employee of the president, but rather the employee of the police service commission.
“The president can only sack ministers and other appointees that he personally appoints to assist him and not any civil servant deployed to work for him such as a cook, driver, or administrative staff who are ordinary employees of the civil service commission.
“Not a few persons were surprised to hear this. Indeed, I have discovered that a sizeable number of our people express surprise when I explain the structure of government to them.”