By Chimaobi Nwaiwu
NNEWI—INTERNATIONAL Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, Intersociety, has described as watery, Federal Government’s claims that 80,115 ghost Police officers are on the pay roll of the Nigeria Police and that the Independent National Electoral Commission has suspended and replaced with competent hands, 205 staff for their unwholesome activities in the 2015 general election.
Intersociety alleged that the two claims by the Federal Government through the Minister of Finance and INEC chairman are meant for sectional victimisation and shortchanging of some sections of the country by the Federal Government.
According to Intersociety, “not giving answers to how, where and when such number of ghost workers and suspended INEC staff were replaced, as claimed by the Minister of Finance and INEC chairman fuels concerns and suspicions of sectional victimisation that is about to be carried by the present government in the country.”
Intersociety in a statement said the announcement by the Federal Government was lacking in disclosure of investigative and procedural details.
The statement was signed by the organisation’s Board Chairman, Emeka Umeagbalasi; Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Programme, Obianuju Joy Igboeli; Head, Democracy & Good Governance Programme, Chinwe Umeche and Head, Public Security & Safety Programme Jacinta Ezinwanne.
It read in part: “The Federal Government of Nigeria is at it again. The government just announced without disclosure of investigative and procedural details that “there are 80,115 ghost police officers in the staff strength and payroll of the Nigeria Police Force.
“By the Police Act of 2004, a serving police officer in Nigeria is any member of the Nigeria Police Force from the rank of Police Constable to Police Inspector General. As if this was not enough, the chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu yesterday announced that 205 INEC staff have been suspended over “their various unwholesome roles in the 2015 general elections and replaced with more competent hands.
“The announcement just like that of the “existence of 80,115 ghost police officers” was not attached with details showing the names of the staff; electoral offences allegedly committed; states or electoral districts where they allegedly committed the offences; the committees that investigated them and their findings; when they were investigated and existing laws under which they were investigated and being punished, as well as the fate of other partners in the alleged offences. This leaves a lot of questions to answer by Federal Government on fairness.”