Leaked phone conversation on police promotion scandal

SaharaReporters have reportedly exposed an exclusive leaked phone conversation which reveals a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Abdulkarim Dauda, soliciting promotion from the Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Mr. Mike Okiro.

DCP Dauda, who is the Chief Personal Security to President Muhammadu Buhari, is overhead on the tape first soliciting promotion for the Police Force Public Relations Officer (PRO), Jimoh Moshood.

Mr. Okiro, who has been in the eye of many recruitment, financial and promotion scandals, tells the DCP he is working on the matter, and then promises to elevate DCP Dauda himself to Commissioner of Police.

“This boy came to me begging me to talk to you, to plead with you, about his promotion,” Dauda says as he introduces the matter, identifying the subject as “Jimoh, Force PRO”.

Mr. Okiro also has good news for Mr. Dauda, telling him: “Even your own, I am putting you for CP.”

The short exchange powerfully summarizes the practice of patronage in Buhari’s government, with the President himself now routinely mocked for clannishness and nepotism.

Mr. Okiro has been accused of various illegalities in conducting recruitment and promotion exercise for the Nigeria Police Force. In 2017, this website reported how the PSC under Mr. Okiro favors cronies and top shots in the police at the expense of well-educated young officers in the Inspectorate cadre, as well as the rank and file of the Nigeria Police Force.

A source had told Saharareporters at the time that the PSC boss disregards the regulation for promoting in-service officers to the position of Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASP), preferring to recruit through direct entry, which is regarded as a calculated attempt to favor cronies.

Section 39 of Part IV (Appointments) of the Police Act and Regulation provides: “When vacancies in the establishment of Assistant Superintendents of Police cannot, by reason of unavailability of suitable candidates, be filled by promotions from within the Force, the Inspector-General shall so inform the Nigeria Police Council and may request it to arrange for the posts to be filled by direct entry”.

A police source told Saharareporters that the PSC deliberately disregards the clause of “unavailability” and “suitability” as conditions for filling the ASP cadre by direct entry.

It would also be recalled that in 2016, the Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN), a coalition of 49 civil society organizations, called for the sack of Mr. Okiro for lack of integrity, citing various allegations of corruption brought against him by police officers.

In the petition, which was sent to President Buhari, the coalition said the PSC under Mr. Okiro had been riddled with widespread infidelities.

In specific terms, NOPRIN drew the attention of the President to the dodgy nature of the police promotion exercise, which has continued to attract increasingly loud dissent from officers, who allege that promotions are influenced by favoritism, corruption, and other extraneous considerations.

Concerning recruitment into the Force, NOPRIN said: “Many (applicants) did not have the basic qualifications and presented either fake certificates or the certificates of others. Most of them paid various sums of money in bribe to be recruited. This explains why there are many armed robbers, kidnappers and sundry criminals within the police force”.

Similarly, just one month ago, the Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) sent a petition to the federal government kicking against the illegality of Mr. Okiro’s role as chairman of the PSC, citing the dissolution of the PSC board on December 29, 2017.

Mr. Okiro was the Inspector General of Police from 2007 to 2009 and was appointed the PSC chairman by former president Goodluck Jonathan. He has remained in the position despite various allegations of misconduct against him.

Mr. Dauda, on the other hand, was appointed by President Buhari as his Chief Personal Security Officer in 2016.

Only last month, Mr. Okiro disclosed that Okiro disclosed that over 150,000—more than half of the Force’s total enrolment—are attached to VIPs and unauthorized persons in the country. This is contrary to a directive issued by the president when he assumed office.

Okiro’s PSC board has been dissolved by President Buhari but Okiro refused to quit as chairman of PSC, using his illegitimate stay to perpetrate scams.

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