By KINGSLEY OMONOBI
THE pent up anger and disaffection caused by the recent promotion of seven Deputy Inspectors General of Police and 13 Assistant Inspectors General of Police, took a new twist Monday as senior Police officers who felt shortchanged have dragged the Police Service Commission, PSC, to the Presidency and the National Assembly for due proceed to be followed.
Aside the application of due process, the senior officers are alleging acts of corruption and procedural irregularities in the conduct of the recent promotion exercise to the ranks of AIG’s and DIG’s.
Consequently, they are calling on President Jonathan to suspend the decoration of the newly promoted officers and direct a review of the exercise with a view to redressing the perceived injustice and other anomalies to boost the morale of police officers and men especially at this time of daunting security challenges occasioned by the Boko Haram insurgency.
Vanguard had reported exclusively at the weekend, that the announcement of the promotions by the PSC created animosity, disaffection and threatened to tear the Nigeria Police apart as officers vowed to retire from the force en-mass rather than be treated with insult and disrespect with the appointment of their juniors to supercede them without recourse to due process.
In separate letters of protest to the Presidency and National Assembly dated February 24, 2012, the officers said to be within the ranks of Superintendent up to the rank of AIG’s described the promotions as strange, ridiculous and suspicious, contending that the elevation of five junior commissioners of police to the rank of DIG ahead of their superiors has created disaffection in the police force.
The letters were addressed to President Goodluck Jonathan; Senate President, David Mark, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal. The disenchanted officers also took their case to the Committees on Public Petition and Police Affairs in the two chambers of the National Assembly.
The PSC had, last Wednesday, promoted two AIGs, Suleiman Fakai and Yesufu Atiku Kafur to DIGs while Commissioners of Police, Emmanuel Udeoji, Haruna John, Peter Gana, Marvel Akpoyibo, and Abdurahaman Akano were elevated several steps to DIG’s.
Similarly, 13 Commissioners of Police were elevated to AIG and they are Olusegun Solomon, Michael E. Zuokumor, Joseph Ibi, Muktari Ibrahim, Suleiman Abba, Mamman Ibrahim Tsafe, Saliu Argungu Hashimu, Solomon Arase, and David O. Omojola. Others are Orubebe Ebikeme, Philemon I. Leha, Jonathan Johnson, and Dan’azumi Job Doma.
But protests which trailed the promotions blew up at the weekend, as some angry senior officers came together under the aegis of Concerned Senior Police Officers, CSPO, to trade tackles with the Commission chaired by Mr. Parry Osayande, a retired DIG.
In four separate petitions, titled “Fraudulent and Dishonest Promotion in the Nigeria Police” the officers pointed out that that the promotions were marred with corruption, nepotism, favouritism, bias and high-handedness which, according to them, had further created disharmony in a Police force that is already disenchanted.
They accused the PSC of making a mockery of the recent promotion exercise insisting that the basic criteria of seniority, experience, educational qualification, pedigree, merit and geo-political expediencies, were jettisoned in the selection process.
The petition, a copy of which was sent to the office of the National Security Adviser, NSA, reads in part: “The Federal Government of Nigeria in its bid to reposition the police, appointed Parry Osayande DIG (rtd), as the Chairman of the Police Service Commission with the responsibility of bringing a radical change in line with Mr. President’s transformation agenda. Rather, he has complicated and created more problems by his activities in the PSC, especially in relation to the recent promotions.
“Seven officers were promoted to the position of DIG; out of these, only two by all standards, are qualified to be so appointed based on seniority, experience and merit. These are Suleiman Fakai and Atiku Kafur, who were thus qualified while the others by any standard and practice were not qualified to be promoted AIG, talk less of DIG.
“For Instance, Marvel Akpoyibo who was No. 38 in the order of seniority among the 90 Commissioners of police in the Federation, was elevated to the rank of DIG far and above some of his seniors who were promoted AIG, and others who were not promoted at all”.
“The promotion of CP Abdulrahaman Akano who is ranked 51st in the order of seniority of commissioners, was promoted above AIG Chris Ola who is a sitting AIG. Also, CP John Haruna was promoted above AIG Bukar Maina, just as CP Emmanuel Udeoji was promoted above AIG Johnson Uzu-Egbunam who is the most senior police officer from the South-East”.
“In the case of the AIG’s promoted recently, a very junior Commissioner of police who is ranked 87, and by no means, not the most senior officer from the South-South zone, was promoted up and above so many senior and qualified officers based on favouritism. These promotions are strange, ridiculous and suspicious, as they are not the most senior officers from their respective geo-political zones”.
“The apparent reason for their promotions lies in the fact of corruption, favouritism, as well as bias, and we are surprised that the PSC and the Acting IGP could endorse such promotions, which has brought a sour taste in the mouths of Nigeria police officers and the generality of Nigerians”.
“It is now obvious that the PSC under the leadership of Parry Osayande has no regard for the transformation agenda of Mr. President, and clearly, has lost its bearing in handling the affairs of the Nigeria police”.