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PSC Union Say Allegations of Corruption in Police Recruitment Process Diversionary

The PSC union has rejected allegations of corruption in the police recruitment process, insisting the exercise followed due process.

The Joint Union of the Staff of the Police Service Commission has faulted the claim by the police high command that alleged irregularities and corruption were carried out in the police personnel recruitment exercise, describing the allegation as diversionary.

The Inspector General of Police (IG), Kayode Egbetokun, had rejected the list of successful candidates in the ongoing 2022/23 police constables’ recruitment conducted by the PSC due to these allegations.

However, in a swift reaction to the allegations by the NPF, the PSC staff Joint Union insisted that the recruitment process followed due process, stressing that the exercise aligned with the result of the CBT of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).

The union insisted that the IG’s claim that the recruitment exercise was marred with irregularities and alleged corruption was diversionary.

In a statement jointly issued on Saturday by Ogundeji Remi and Adoyi Adoyi, on behalf of the Joint Union Congress of the PSC, it stated that despite the unambiguity in the powers of the PSC as spelt out by the Constitution and the subsequent interpretation of such powers by the Supreme Court, the Nigeria Police Force would still not allow the commission exercise its constitutional powers to recruit persons into the police.

 “The claim that the Recruitment Board was crippled and was not allowed to function, was no doubt a fallacy as the Board severally met before the release of the list of successful candidates. The same Board met and endorsed the list that was released on June 4, 2024, at their usual meeting point, PSC Corporate Headquarters, with the DIG, Training, Mr. Frank Mba, and other police representatives in attendance.

“Meanwhile, it is also worthy of note that the Police had shortlisted and concluded the exercise without the knowledge of the Board and PSC. They had the effrontery to submit the list to the Commission. They wanted a meeting of the Board where they had planned to force the list on the Board but unfortunately, their plans collapsed. For example, this takes us back to 2019 when the then IGP hijacked the list of candidates for the smooth ongoing recruitment exercise from the Commission in the guise of having the list to prepare the training colleges for training purposes and ended up smuggling hundreds of names of persons who neither applied nor participated in the screening process.

“A case in study is Nasarawa State with 13 Local Government Areas that are supposed to have had 253 successful candidates but ended up having 528 after the NPF had sneaked 275 candidates in excess. That culminated in the Commission instituting a legal action against the NPF over our mandate,” the statement explained.

According to the statement, the PSC demanded a forensic audit of the JAMB CBT’s results and compared it with the list released by the commission.

The union insisted that the list of successful candidates as released by the commission is open to anybody or organisation for forensic examination to establish its authenticity.

The union said the commission would not at any time involve itself in any untoward activities in the process of recruiting qualified Nigerians into the Nigeria Police Force.

 It said the police and any other interested bodies are very free to investigate any act of financial dealings and corrupt practices as alleged by the Force Public Relations Officer.

The union also stated that based on “the democratic nature, sense of responsibility, inclusiveness and transparency of the PSC, it has always involved other relevant bodies, including the NPF, in the recruitment process.”

“However, we would not succumb to any form of blackmail and threat as demonstrated by the Inspector-General of Police in the Press Release with reference number CZ.5300/FPRD/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.6/178, dated June 15, 2024, by the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), signed on behalf of the Inspector General of Police,” the statement added.

Chuks Okocha and Ikechukwu Aleke

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