It would be recalled that during the tenure of the former Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Mr. Mike Okiro, there are several allegations of compromises and instances of collecting huge gratification mostly for promotion from senior officers and even from the junior cadres.
Sen. Isa Hamma Misau was the one that first raised the alarm and directly accuses the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idriss of favouritism, abuse of the system and for compromising the PSC under Mr. Okiro by forwarding names of selected officers he favoured for promotion. Misau then alleged that several qualified officers were denied promotion while those that can afford to bribe their way through Lious Edet House and the PSC used to get accelerated promotion as a result of which many officers are ahead of their course mates and in many instances junior officers becoming superiors to their hitherto senior colleagues. The allegations by Sen. Misau against the IGP has resulted to a serious rift between them, a court case and impasse with the Senate as Mr. Ibrahim Idriss could not honour several invitations by the senate to clear the allegations and claims forwarded by Sen. Misau who was a retired Police DSP before he ventured into politics and eventually made it to the red chamber. The IGP has consistently maintained his innocence.
DESERT HERALD can confirm through supporting documents and a petition exclusively obtained by this paper by aggrieved officers of a monumental promotion scam using similar process as alleged by Sen. Misau then. This latest promotion scam as alleged by the petitioners reportedly happens under the new Chairman of the PSC, Mr. Musiliu Smith. Mr. Smith also a former IGP was nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari and was sworn in in July, 2018. Also sworn in were Clara Ogunbiyi (full-time commissioner) from the north-east, representing the judicial community; retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police Lawal Bawa (full-time commissioner) from north-west, representing the Police community; Mohammed Najatu (member) from the north-west, representing women on the commission, Braimoh Adogame Austin, (member) from the South-South, representing the media community, Rommy Mom (member) from North Central, representing human rights and Dr. Nkemka Jombo-Ofo (member) from South East. It is expected that the careful selection of persons largely respected in the society as Board Members of the PSC by President Buhari will bring some semblance of sanity in the Commission that has become notorious over the years for all forms of violations and corruption.
But the latest case has created so much concern within critical stakeholders interviewed by DESERT HERALD. In a petition dated 10th December, 2018 specifically writen by concerned officers of Course 23/2009 cadets and addressed to the Chairman of PSC, Mr. Smith, the officers supported their petition with supporting documents including documents analysing Police Wireless Message reference DTO: 051510/12/2018 and raised serious concerns of instances of placing their juniors precisely those of Course 24/2010 and Course 3/2010 Staff College Jos ahead of them on seniority roll. The petition stated that the date of promotion of those that were unduly favoured from ASP to DSP was inadvertently out as 12/12/2015 instead of April, 2016 where as the date of promotion of the petitioners (their seniors) from ASP to DSP was 16/12/2015. They told Mr. Smith that if he allows the injustice to stand as it is now, their juniors will automatically become their seniors.
The petitioners also revealed that all available records at the PSC and the Force Headquarters point to the fact that Course 3/2010 are their juniors. They said their appointment letters which bear Course 23/2009 as against that of their promoted juniors that carries Course 24/2010 all point to the fact that they are their seniors. The petitioners also lamented that it is on record that they were trained and confirmed as substantive ASPs before their promoted juniors and that their AP numbers start with figure 10 while that of their juniors in question starts with figure 11.
The aggrieved officers as published by DESERT HERALD below have also attached full and comprehensive lists of the controversial promotion as forwarded by wireless message and copied their petition to President Buhari, IGP Ibrahim Idriss, Chairmen of Senate and House Committees on Police Affairs as well as the Minister of Interior, Gen. Abdulrahman Danbazau.
The nagging question that might be uncovered soon or when the National Assembly commences investigation on the issue is that who approved and forwarded the list of the controversial promotion to PSC? What criteria did the police authorities followed in approving the lists? Is that the normal practice to deny deserving officers promotion and to consider their junior ones? Has money as is being alleged by some of the petitioners that spoke to DESERT HERALD on condition of anonymity exchanged hands? Is the IGP actually aware and is he ready to use his office and ensure justice to all? Is the new Chairman culpable and are the Board Members of the PSC aware? Perhaps event of the next few weeks as the explosive petition circulates will give clearer picture.