…recent promotions marred by padding, nepotism & favoritism…promotions must be overhauled & regionally balanced
The Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law, INTERSOCIETY, is strongly condemning reasons and excuses given by the Police Service Commission concerning its Friday, 18th Dec 2020 promotion of senior police officers to their next ranks, to the effect that “the promotions were not based on ethnic or religious grounds but on availability of vacancies, seniority, free of any pending disciplinary matter and merit except in few cases of special promotion”. Intersociety views the PSC position as saddening, shocking, disappointing, provocative, illogical, inherently contradictory, inconsistent and unconstitutional.
PSC Rewards Killers Of Defenseless Citizens With Plum Promotions
On the issue of disciplinary measure as one of the criteria used for promotions in the Nigeria Police Force, as claimed by the PSC, this is utterly provocative, untrue and fallacious. The reality is that apart from being inherently selective in investigating and sanctioning erring or misbehaved senior police officers, available records have clearly shown that the PSC and the NPF authorities have been rewarding atrocious and criminal senior police officers with promotions and juicy postings. Those evidentially fingered in the massacre of defenseless citizens on accusation of “being agitators and protesters” have consistently been rewarded with juicy promotions and postings. These have steadily been the case since August 2015 under Musiliu Smith as Chair of the PSC.
In the 18th Dec 2020 promotions, for instance, the immediate past AIG in charge of Zone 13 (for Anambra and Enugu: Dan-Mallam Mohammed) who was among those elevated to Police DIG ranks and made ‘DIG in Charge of Training & Development”, was evidentially and vicariously fingered in the August 23rd, 2020 massacre of over 30 defenseless Christian and Jewish worshippers at Emene in Enugu State during which over 40 were shot and seriously injured and over 60 arrested. Despite the facts laden petition sent by Intersociety and received by the PSC authorities, investigation into same was refused, only for the accused to be rewarded with plum promotion in the 18th Dec 2020 promotions by PSC and post of DIG-Training & Dev in the 25th Dec 2020 postings by IGP Ababukar M. Adamu.
PSC & NPF Leaderships Are Executing Ethnic Agenda
As a matter of irrefutable fact, the present leaderships of the Police Service Commission and the Nigeria Police Force are glaringly executing an ethnic and religious agenda by consistently failing to ensure equity and fairness in the promotions and postings of senior police officers. In a densely populated country like Nigeria, heavily divided along ethnic and religious lines, equity and fairness to dominant ethno-religious nationalities are inexcusably a must in the distribution of the country’s elective and appointive public offices including promotions and postings in the Nigeria Police Force; likewise the Armed Forces, Intelligence and Paramilitary Agencies. These are clearly and unambiguously stressed and spelt out in the country’s existing Constitution of 1999 as amended.
The Constitution has in its Section 14 (3) forbidden and outlawed “the control or domination of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs by a few ethnic or other sectional groups”. The Nigeria Police Force and its oversight-the Police Service Commission, governed by the country’s Civil Service Rules, are strictly and inescapably bound by this Constitutional provision. The Constitution also repeated itself boldly and clearly in its Section 217 (3), to the effect that “the composition of the officer corps and other ranks of the Armed Forces of the Federation shall reflect the federal character of Nigeria or regional balancing”.
In Section 42 of the same Constitution, discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity or tribe, religion, sex, gender, etc is unambiguously forbidden and outlawed and by the same constitutional Section 10, “the State shall not adopt any religion as a state religion”. By the provision of Section 1 (3) of the Constitution, “if any other law (or rule or policy) is inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution, this Constitution shall prevail and that other law (or rule or policy) shall to the extent of the inconsistency be void”. This means that any policy or rule adopted by the PSC and the NPF in the promotion and posting of senior police officers which contravenes these constitutional provisions is instantly null and void. Therefore, the sum total of our findings highlighted above is that the PSC and the NPF authorities have not only been promoting and posting senior police officers outside equity and fairness going by the country’s multi pluralistic composition on ethno-religious grounds, but have also done same outside the law and in gross breach of the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended.
8 DIGs, 36 AIGs, 105 CPs, 275 DCPs & 538 ACPs Now In Nigeria
It is recalled that the PSC had on Friday, 18th Dec 2020 announced the promotion of four new DIGs involving three serving AIGs and one CP. “Thirteen serving CPs were also made AIGs, while 23 serving DCPs became new CPs and 29 (padded to 37) serving ACPs made new DCPs”. The list of the newly promoted senior police officers was transmitted to the Inspector General of Police for further action on 24th Dec 2020, leading to postings and assignment of duties to the newly promoted officers. With the new promotions, there are now eight Police DIGs in Nigeria manning Departments of Finance & Admin, Operations, Logistics & Supply, Force Criminal Investigation, Training & Dev, Research & Planning, Force Intelligence and Information & Communications Technology. The promotions also bring the number of serving AIGs to 36 including heads of the Force’s 17 Zonal Commands. There are now 105 serving CPs, 275 serving DCPs and 538 serving ACPs. These numbers include senior officers due for retirement between this late Dec 2020 and Feb 2021.
Many Sins Of PSC & NPF Against Igbo Nation & Southeast
Intersociety has repeatedly exposed the fact that senior police officers of Igbo and Southeast Region have been victimized over the decades by successive and present authorities of the PSC and the NPF particularly in the areas of promotions and postings. Their promotions are withheld for several years despite being among the best brains and educated and are only allowed to earn promotions in the twilight of their statutory retirements. We have cited a situation whereby the Southeast was made to produce four DIGs in one year (Nov 2019 to Dec 2020) so as to fill the Region’s slot in the NPF Management Team, following several years of stagnancies associated with their statutory promotions. CP Uche Anozia from Imo State (S/E) who retired on 19th Sept 2020 was also promoted to the rank of ‘Police AIG’ on 18th Dec 2020, 90 days after his statutory retirement.
As it stands now, the PSC and the NPF have eliminated the Igbo Nation and Southeast from the rank of Police AIGs, as out of 36 serving AIGs in Nigeria, none comes from Igbo Nation which is independently numbered about, if not over 60m worldwide with 54m in Nigeria. Also out of the 17 Police Zonal Commands in Nigeria, none is presently headed by the Southeast. Among the 105 serving CPs, only eight (instead of at least 17) come from the Southeast Region; namely: John Amadi (Ebonyi), Ngozi Onadeko (Imo State), Joe Nwachukwu Enwonwu (Anambra State), Edward Chuka Egbuka (Imo State), Josephine Ogechi Nna (Imo State) and Frank Mba (Enugu State).
The seventh and eighth Southeast CPs, Cyril Okoro (Imo State) and Michael Okoli (Imo State) are technically out of equation because of their retirements coming up by 1st Feb 2021 and 25th July 2021. They joined the NPF since 1st Feb 1986 and 15th March 1988 respectively and became victims of promotion stagnancy, a feature of structural violence. By this, Southeast is technically left with only six CPs out of 105 serving CPs in the country. Out of these six remaining Southeast CPs, CPs Josephine Nna (Imo) and Joe Enwonwu (Anambra) have just a year and six months to stay and will be retiring by 5th June 2022 and 6th June 2022 respectively. The elimination plots against Igbo and Southeast senior police officers are also being observed in the ranks of DCPs, ACPs and CSPs.
Inconsistencies Have Trailed Promotions In The NPF
Inconsistencies have inherently trailed police promotions in Nigeria particularly since mid 2015 and are deeply fueled by nepotism, favoritism and other immoral conducts including execution of ethnic and religious agenda. For instance, it is a height of inconsistency for the PSC and the NPF to attempt to observe regional balancing in the promotion and appointment of Police DIGs and discard same in the promotions and postings of AIGs, CPs, DCPs, ACPs and CSPs. The PSC’s claims of sticking to ‘seniority’ are a hoax, otherwise how can it be validly explained that the same PSC had in its 18th Dec 2020 promotions elevated CP Joseph Egbunike to Police DIG. Going by PSC’s ‘seniority’ claims, if real, CP Egbunike who was ‘junior’ to a number of serving CPs and all the serving AIGs, should not have been jumped from the rank of ‘CP’ to the rank of DIG. It was also discovered that the PSC’s recent promotions were not entirely based on ‘seniority’ as some were promoted outside the ‘seniority’ lists and at the whims and caprices of the PSC and NPF leaderships.
The 18th Dec 2020 Promotions Were Padded
Apart from strong accusation of padding the list of those made AIGs and CPs, the padding was glaringly the case in the promotion list of the 47 serving ACPs who were supposed to have been promoted to the rank of DCP, having successfully undergone the mandatory Promotion Exams and Annual Performance Evaluation Reports (APERs). A total of 47 serving ACPs who successfully completed the promotion processes were penciled down for promotions by the PSC, only for the Commission to turn around and shortlist 30 (1-30) but announced 29 of them as new DCPs on 18th Dec 2020, leaving out 17 others. To their greatest shock and surprise, when the list came out via the IGP, seven ‘foreign’ names have been added or padded. ACP (now DCP) Uche-Anya Adaku from the original was later found to have been added to the list, making them 30 promoted from the original list. It must be made clear that the seven padded names were not in the list of original 47 slated for promotion.
The shutout 17 ACPs who completed their DCP promotion exams and penciled down for promotion but dropped are: Eyitayo Omosayin Olusegun, Abdul Odege Yusuf, Ogbodo Ugbobueze, Nwokolo James Iloegbunam, Ogbeun Jonathan Ibiyinka, Ndukwe Ohagwu Felix, Olarenwaju Taylor Lennox, Ismaila Sa’adatu, Asmiya Irmya, Olabode Adeyeye, Udoette Regina Cosmas, Gbiwen Francis, Afolabi Wilfred, Ehiede Ohiozoba Oyakkhire, Eze Oliver Nnanna and Sani Abdul. Among the seven padded ‘junior’ ACPs who were made new DCPs are: ACPs Mamman Giwa, Tahir Usman, Hassan K. Umar, Bangs K. Gombit, Echo E. Okpoziakpo, Cyriacus Enechukwu and Rosemary Collins. While Hassan K. Umar, was promoted to ACP as recently as on 30th May 2018 before his strange elevation to DCP on 18th Dec 2020, the rest were promoted to ACPs in various dates in 2017 above the shutout 17 who had their last promotions to ACP dated variously in 2016. We demand, therefore, that the 17 officers in question (Eyitayo Omosayin & 16 others) should be captured for promotion in the next promotions in 2021.
Police Promotions Henceforth Must Be Based On Regional Balancing, Merit & Seniority
The authorities of the Police Service Commission and the Nigeria Police Force are strongly called upon to discontinue henceforth any promotion and posting that is outside the law and runs contrary to the referenced provisions of the 1999 Constitution. The principles of regional balancing, merit and seniority shall henceforth be applied in the promotions and postings in the Force and all forms of ethno-religious cards, nepotism and favoritism must be jettisoned and abolished. Where, for instance, promotion exercise into any senior ranking is found capable of shutting out a particularly Geopolitical Zone or Region such as Southeast, ‘seniority’ principle or policy or rule must be lowered to give room for regional balancing and public explanations to that effect must be given. It is our further demand that AIG cadre and its 17 Zonal Commands in the country should be overhauled to capture the Southeast as well as to fill the depleting slots of the Region in the current CP, DCP, ACP and CSP rankings and postings. Source of declassification: NPF Senior Staff List: ACP-IGP: Wednesday, 12th Nov 2020
Signed: Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chair for Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law.