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Police Allege Irregularities, Corruption In Constables Recruitment

The Nigeria Police Force has raised an alarm over alleged irregularities and corruption regarding the recently released names of successful candidates by the Police Service Commission in the 2022/23 Police Constables Recruitment Exercise.

A statement signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said the list released on the Police Service Commission portal is full of several names of successful candidates who did not even apply and therefore did not take part in the recruitment exercise.

According to the statement, the published list contains several names of candidates who failed either the Computer Based Test (CBT), the physical screening exercise or both.

This includes those who made it to the last stage of the exercise but were disqualified having been found Medically unfit through the standardised medical test but who also made the list of successful candidates as published by the Police Service Commission.

The statement adds that most worrisome is the allegation of financial dealings and corrupt practices leading to the outcome where unqualified and untrainable individuals have been shortlisted.

“The Inspector General of Police had on 10th June 2024 written a letter of objection to the list addressed to the Chairman of the Commission, citing the discoveries listed above. The reaction of the IGP was without prejudice to the power of the Commission to recruit for the police as ruled by the Supreme court but this power does not include the power to recruit unqualified and untrained individuals for the police.

“Noting that it is the police that bears the brunt of recruitment of unqualified individuals and not the PSC. The same people who recruited anyhow for the police today will turn round to accuse the police tomorrow of inefficiency when their recruits start messing up.

“The Police therefore has since dissociated itself from the published list and called for a review that will be transparent and credible.

“It will be recalled that the leadership of the Police Service Commission, after the pronouncement of the Supreme Court ruling on the powers of the Commission to recruit for the Police, constituted a Joint Recruitment Board, to be headed by one of the Commissioners of the PSC, with the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Training and Development in the Police Force as its Secretary.

“But surprisingly, the Board was crippled and never allowed to carry out its mandate, insomuch that even the final list was not consented to by the Board.

“The Nigeria Police Force therefore takes exception to this unpleasant development and calls for a total review of the process with a view to recruiting qualified, competent, trainable and productive hands into the Nigeria Police Force, in line with the vision of His Excellency President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s led administration on police reform.

“The NPF hereby reiterates that we are not unconcerned about the plights and ordeals of prospective recruits, who have been subjected to all forms of rigorous screening exercise, assuring that it is our commitment to ensure that the process is thoroughly reviewed, stands fruitful and successful for the betterment of the Nigeria Police, and by extension the country,” the statement read in part.

The recruitment exercise was enmeshed in controversy, with the former Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Musiliu Smith, resigning in 2023 amid the controversy.

But the spokesperson for the board and South South Commissioner at the time, Austin Braimoh, explained that Mr Smith tendered his resignation to the President Muhammadu Buhari on health grounds.

The Commission and the Office of the Inspector-General of Police had been at loggerheads over which body has the right to conduct the recruitment into the Force.

PSC had advertised recruitment for constables and urged interested applicants to visit its website to apply.

But the police, in a statement, urged members of the public to discard the notice, insisting that the recruitment process was the sole responsibility of the Force.

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