By Victoria OJEME
THERE were strong indications weekend that former Inspector General of Police Tafa Balogun may lose his National Honours Award onÂ account of his conviction in 2005, over allegation of criminal breach of trust.
The disclosure comes on the heels of federal Government approval for the award of National Honours to the 186 Nigerian and friends of Nigeria in various categories.
Sources close to Saturday Vanguard revealed that the former IGPâ€™s criminal conviction for which he is yet to earn a Presidential pardon has left the Committee with no choice than to activate the process of stripping of the National Honours of the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) in line with relevant sections of the Act dealing with conditions for the revocation of the award.
The Act passed into law in 1964, but which fully kicked off in 1979 makes provision for 400 nominees, but since inception, no fewer thanÂ 200 names had always scaled the nomination processes.
Since inception till date over 3000 awardees, including Balogun have been invested with the National Honours award.
The source confided that, â€œthe Committee has waited long enough to see whether the former Inspector General of Police will get Presidential pardon, on account of which he may have escaped being stripped of the award.
â€œI can confirm that the Committee is set to consider the processes that will lead to the revocation of the award, as envisaged by the relevant section dealing with issues of abuse of the privileges bestowed on the recipientâ€ he added.
The source noted further that,Â â€œIn most cases not all the names on the list usually meet the criteria for final selection, this is so as to ensure the credibility of the process, which is also why provision is made for revocation of the award once a recipient acts contrary to the dignity and prestige of the investiture.”
It wasÂ also learnt that the bulk of theÂ current list of nominees were to have been invested in 2009, but for the absence of late former President Umar Yar’duâ€™a, on account of ill health, expected to have presided over the investiture ceremony.
Meanwhile, the National Honour Award Committee will soon launch a web site, to be known as e-library to enable Nigerians access more information on its activities.