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PSC to IG: Provide evidence of corruption in recruitment exercise

THE Police Service Commission (PSC) has challenged the Nigeria Police Force to provide verifiable evidence to support the allegations regarding the recruitment of constables.

The police had, in a statement on Saturday by the force spokesperson, Muyiwa Adejobi, rejected the names of those recruited by the commission.

Adejobi added that the PSC portal was scrutinised, and it was discovered that “several names of persons purported to be names of successful candidates are those who did not even apply and therefore did not take part in the recruitment exercise.”

The Joint Union Congress of the Police Service Commission had several denied the allegations, demanding the removal of the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun.

Egbetokun denied having scores to settle with the PSC, adding that his action was to ensure qualified people were recruited into the force.

However, speaking on the matter for the first time, today, the PSC in a statement by its Head of Press and Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani, said the allegations by the police were to give the commission a bad name.

The statement partly read, “The Commission has studied the issues around this successfully concluded recruitment exercise and has come to the conclusion that even after the Supreme Court Judgment, the Police is reluctant to allow the Commission perform this constitutional assignment. The Commission demands that the Police should provide verifiable evidence to prove the allegations peddled against it as it is obvious that it is a case of giving a dog a bad name to hang it.”

Ani noted that due process was followed throughout the exercise, stating that a forensic audit be conducted on the list the PSC released.

He said, “It is important to state that due process was meticulously followed throughout the exercise, and the Commission wishes to assert its prerogative to exercise full control over recruitments into the Nigeria Police Force.

“The Commission is also insisting that its list of successful candidates and that of the Police should be subjected to a forensic audit using the result of the JAMB computer-based test.”

Ani stressed that in the Supreme Court Judgment delivered on July 11, 2023, which gave the power to recruit to the commission there was no role given to the police.

“The Commission, however, had, in its wisdom, invited relevant stakeholders into a Board for the recruitment exercise to ensure inclusiveness and transparency. This magnanimity has since been misconstrued. It is relevant to state that the judgment and even the Constitution did not give the Police any role in the recruitment of any cadre of Officers into the Police Force.”

Ani noted that while the police attributed their inability to perform to poor recruitment practices, he added that the previous recruitment carried out by the police was now hindering their ability to discharge their duties effectively.

He said, “It is unfortunate that the Police has attributed its obvious failure to protect lives and properties and safeguard our nation from banditry and terrorism to bad recruitment. This claim is self-indicting and provocative. Since 2019 when the Police forcefully snatched the exercise from the Commission, they have gone ahead against the provisions of the law to Superintendent over the 2020 and 2021 exercises. It is the fraudulent Recruits they brought into the system during these exercises that are currently haunting the Nigeria Police Force.

“The Commission is aware that this current brazen show of power by the Police with attendant spurious allegations is to perpetuate their stranglehold on the recruitment of Constables, even against the judgment of the Supreme Court. “

Ani called on President Bola Tinubu to caution Egbetokun to respect the constitutional mandate of the commission.

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