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Fears over injustice in police recruitment

By Karls Tsokar, Abuja
12 July 2016   |   3:15 am
The ongoing recruitment of 10,000 personnel into the Nigeria Police Force as ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari is raising eyebrows.
Ibrahim Idris

Ibrahim Idris

‘States, not number of LGAs should be used’

The ongoing recruitment of 10,000 personnel into the Nigeria Police Force as ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari is raising eyebrows.

To be recruited are 500 Cadet Assistant Superintendents of Police(ASPs) , 500 Cadet Inspectors, 1,500 Specialist Officers and 7, 500 Constables as selected by the Police Service Commission.

Therefore, each of the 36 states and FCT is supposed to have no fewer than 13 Cadet ASPs ,13 Cadet Inspectors, 40 Specialists and 202 constables .

But there are concerns in many quarters that the Federal Character principle may have been misapplied or even abandoned in the recruitment process.

Meanwhile, the Acting Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has charged the newly decorated Deputy Inspectors General(DIGs) who were decorated yesterday, to key into the present administration’s focus on fighting corruption, reviving the economy and tackling insecurity.

Those who feel aggrieved over the recruitment have insisted that the federating states should be the bases for allocation of the slots and not local governments.
WhenThe Guardian contacted the PSC’s spokesman, Ikechukwu Ani to explain, the perceived unfairness, he said: “The Federal Character Principle would be applied in the recruitment process. Whatever the principle says, the commission will adhere to it. We are for now taking all the successful candidates to the next level.”

According to the Federal Character Act, “the local governments shall be equitably represented. Thus, the formula for sharing and distribution of posts among the local council areas shall be as specified or on the basis of Senatorial districts as appropriate with a percentage range of between 30 and 35.”
But Ani told The Guardian: “ The reports of the screening in states are not yet out so we are yet to compile names or even know who comes from which part of the country, but we know that the right thing would be done.”

According to a lawyer, CosmasAkighir, the concept of Federal Character as stipulated is not equitable, because it favours states with the higher number of local councils.
“The delineation is not favourable to some states.
For instance Bayelsa with eight local governments has a percentage sharing range of 10 to 14, while Borno state with 27 local governments has a range of three to five.
“ In this wise, the lesser the better but where allocation of jobs is concerned, such as in the ongoing recruitment, such states will be disadvantaged,” he said.

Another Abuja-based lawyer, Henry Duke, noted that the issue was not “about whether the number of people coming from each state is sufficient, it is about how many each state should be given, it should not be about the number of local governments.”

Simply put, Abia, Enugu, Plateau and Yobe states with 17 local governments each would have 204 of their indigenes recruited, while AkwaIbom with 31 local governments gets 372; Adamawa and Anambra each with 21 would have 252 while Bauchi will have no fewer than 240 of her indigenes recruited.

Bayelsa with eight local governments will have 96 slots, while Benue, Kaduna, Sokoto and Rivers will each have 276;Borno, Imo and Jigawa with 27 each will take 324 slots each, while Cross River, Edo and Ondo with 18 will have 216 slots each.

Delta and Niger sts with 25 local governments each by this classification will have 300 slots .

Ebonyi and Nasarawa with 13 local councils each will have 156 while Ekiti, Kwara and Taraba states with 16 each get 192.

Gombe with 11 LGs, will have 132 slots, Kano with 44 will take the lion’s shareof 528 places and Katsina with 34 will get 408 slots, while Kebbi and Kogi states with 21 each get 252 positions. Lagos and Ogun states will get 240 slots from 20 local councils each;Osun takes 360 slots from 30 and Oyo with 33 gets 396 slots.

The FCT with six councils would get just 72 slots.

According to Idris, “the deployment of x-squads to dismantle corruption networks and arrest corrupt individuals” will bring back the memories.

The event was attended by the Chairman of the PSC Mike Okiro, who said the appointment and retirement of the DIGs and a large number of Assistant Inspectors (AIGs) was the prerogative of the Acting IGP.