Nigeria’s integrated online media platform, ALEDEH has uncovered massive irregularities, corruption and illegalities in the promotion of the officers of the Nigeria Police Force which was conducted by the Mike Okiro-led board of the Police Service Commission.
The Mike Mbama Okiro-led Police Service Commission board was dogged with “internal corruption”, ALEDEH can report.
ALEDEH recalls that Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, appointed Mr Musiliu Smith as the Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC) in May 2018 to succeed Mike Okiro, a former Inspector-General of Police as the PSC Chairman.
The Mike Okiro PSC Board whose tenure came to an end on Monday, June 11, 2018, reeled out what was termed a “farewell promotion list” which was covered with many infractions. This list came at the Commission’s 28 Plenary Meeting which ended in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital on Friday, June 8, 2018.
Though Musiliu Smith is now the new chairman of the PSC, findings by ALEDEH, however, reveals he knew nothing about the promotion list, neither did he influence the recent promotion of the senior police officers.
ALEDEH understands that for any promotion to take place you must consider three (3) things which include annual assessment; some organizations call it, evaluation report. Like in the NPF, to move to the rank of a CSP you must not have grading below B for three (3) consecutive years. That’s the norm.
In its promotion, you must not skip anyone and promote someone ahead of his mate. According to the guiding principles of the Nigeria Police, if an officer is given special promotion, it’s done when the officer must have done something exceptional but the reverse was the case under Mike Okiro as ALEDEH has uncovered “corruption unlimited” and “massive illegalities” at the Commission under his watch.
Investigations carried out by ALEDEH, reveals that a lot of illegalities went down at the Police Service Commission especially in terms of promotion, this ALEDEH gathered has led to the low morale of most of the officers of the force.
“Those who are doing this thing are people who don’t mean well for the organization, they want to destroy the very essence of the organization, they want to destroy discipline and organizational structure, the reason is simple, I can’t be SP today and somebody who was ASP who was a patrol and guide officer under you suddenly becomes an Assistant Commissioner supervising you as a DPO, how can you receive instructions from that officer? an obviously furious police officer who spoke to ALEDEH queried.
Another added: “The sad thing about this development is that we are not looking at other organizations, even the Civil Defence is better off than us today”, the officer lamented, noting that “if this was the practice in the military then the ADC to President Buhari maybe by now he would have been a Major-General”.
ALEDEH however, gathered that the promotion scandal started under President Goodluck Jonathan’s tenure as no orderlies of Olusegun Obasanjo enjoyed any preferential treatment in terms of promotion as there was no Police Service Commission at the time.
Findings by ALEDEH also revealed that the orderlies of the late Umaru MusaYar-Adua never received any special promotion during his time as President.
The ADC to Yar-Adua’s wife, ALEDEH gathered is running normal promotion with his mates in the force till date but as soon as Goodluck Jonathan took over, Moses Jitoboh, who entered the Presidential Villa with Jonathan as a Chief Superintendent of Police, left the Villa after five years as a Commissioner of Police but his course mates are just getting Asst. Commissioner of Police.
ALEDEH gathered that most of the officers that were at the Villa during Jonathan’s tenure all got accelerated promotion while their mates are just been promoted now.
Investigations carried out by ALEDEH reveals that promotion is “for sale” in the Police Service Commission. ALEDEH’s findings reveal that an officer must pay at least N2 million to be promoted. This money ALEDEH gathered is always paid to Commissioners who have contacts in the PSC.
ALEDEH can report that there’s also a conspiracy of silence in this promotion process. This online medium gathered that the ADC to Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo was an ASP when the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration came on board, but with this last promotion, he is a confirmed CSP. That is, he has always been given promotion every year.
In a similar vein, the Chief Personal Security officer to President Buhari was a CSP in 2015 but he is today an Acting Commissioner of Police, findings by ALEDEH revealed.
Apart from President Buhari and Osinbajo’s orderlies, the Force Spokesman, Jimoh Moshood also benefited from this illegality as he got promoted to Asst. Commissioner of Police in February 2018 and was among the officers promoted to Deputy Commissioner of Police in June 2018.
Findings by ALEDEH reveals that the PSC initially declined Moshood’s promotion to ACP in February for attacking them in the media but pressure from the IGP ensured he was eventually promoted.
The PSC ALEDEH gathered only succumbed to the pressure from the IG because the Commission also added unmerited names to the promotion list at the time that they could not justify, a situation which has become a norm at the Commission.
“There are policemen dying in the streets every day from bullet wounds from robbers, fighting to contend with criminals but those people are not even given posthumous recognition”, another top officer who spoke to ALEDEH lamented.
According to one of the officers ALEDEH spoke to, “catching an armed robber doesn’t qualify you for special promotion as that’s your primary assignment”. But another officer disagreed on this citing the case of the capture of the most wanted kidnapper, Evans. “Kyari deserves that promotion because Evans has eluded us for years. But what I don’t agree is the selective process in that special promotion. There are many others who were part of that arrest of Evans who were not promoted”, the officer added.
ALEDEH gathered that the promotion scandal in the Commission is worst to the extent that a girlfriend of someone in the Commission now ensures some of the officers are promoted even when they are not due for the promotion.
A senior police officer told ALEDEH: “I was one year as a Superintendent before a boy became a DSP, now he was promoted as CSP ahead of me and he used to be my subordinate, the next time he saw me he said: ‘O boy how naw’?. “So if I am posted to work under that officer I will now begin to take instructions from him? And you expect the best out of me”? The police officer questioned.
Another told ALEDEH that: “People’s morale is low and it is breeding corruption because everybody comes to realize that if you don’t have anybody to speak for you to get either a promotion or to get a choice posting then any opportunity you have, do what you can”, the officer said.
Also speaking on the promotion scandal, a furious officer told this reporter that the force is now about the survival of the fittest, adding that if you die in the cause of doing your job as a police officer nobody cares.
“It is about survival now. Police officers are now pushed to the wall. If you die in the cause of doing your job as a police officer nobody cares. Nobody asks the question of what will become of your family since you’re gone”, the officer lamented.
Another told ALEDEH that the Police are “doing recruitment for sale, promotion for sale and posting is for sale”, he went on to ask what can be done on merit in the force?
“There is nobody that loves this country and has the interest of this force at heart that will see this rubbish going on and will keep quiet”, the officer added.
One of the officers ALEDEH spoke to, said: “In the police, somebody you see today as your boy working under you can guarantee you that tomorrow he will be your boss and it will happen and there is nothing you can do about it”, the officer lamented.
ALEDEH also gathered that ASP’s that went on departmental selection board have not been cleared despite being told to go on departmental selection board.
Apart from the promotion scandal, ALEDEH also gathered that Nigeria police officers now reject postings to states believed to have high crime rates. Similarly, officers, who kick against the illegalities in the force, are posted to these states as a punishment, findings by ALEDEH revealed.
“The force has been killed and destroyed. We now have a situation where some officers choose where they’d want to be posted to. Normal rotation is 2 years before you’re posted out. This hasn’t been the case”, an officer told ALEDEH.
Another said: “No police officer wants to work in the rural area anymore because they know you will be there and nobody will remember you, so everybody clamours to be in the centre. That you work in the Headquarters is a guarantee that within a short time you will rise”, the officer told ALEDEH.
Findings by ALEDEH reveals that Police officers now pay to leave Benue, Nasarawa and other states that are suffering insecurity, a situation most of the officers who spoke with this online medium said will continue except a drastic action is taken as soon as possible.
The low morale of officers and men of the Nigerian Police force is real and in the spirit of good governance, equity and justice, we call on the presidency to pause and revisit the complaints. ALEDEH’s findings are more shocking than stated here. It is believed that since the police officers in the presidency, specifically the orderlies to President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo are beneficiaries of these illegalities, many think it has their imprimatur.
ALEDEH calls for a total restructuring of the police. It is high time the government set up a Committee of Ex-IGPs who should advise the president on who should be an IGP.
Lastly, we call for justice. Justice here will mean a careful look into complaints and possible investigation. Mr Okiro and IGP Idris should speak on these allegations and where necessary, redress the imbalance.
As our contribution to a better and professional police force, Nigeria’s online integrated media platform ALEDEH is calling on serving and retired members of the Nigeria police to send complaints (please state if you’d want your identity mentioned in our report or choose to remain anonymous) to our email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are making a compilation for necessary action.