Not less that than 1,500 newly promoted police officers may lose their new ranks as the committee set up to reverse the promotion has discovered massive corruption and irregularities in the process.
The officers were promoted a few days before the exit of the Mike Okiro-led board of the Police Service Commission (PSC).
According to findings, the officers were promoted without recourse to due process and laid-down procedures as stipulated by the Police Act.
The Musiliu Smith-led Police Service Commission was set up following a series of complaints of abuse of due process and maladministration in the exercise.
A reliable source close to the committee told SaharaReporters that many beneficiaries of the promotion paid as much as N2 million; N1 million and N800,000 in exchange for the new ranks.
The source revealed that those who left the Police College two years ago were promoted above their senior colleagues who had finished the same programme 10 years ago, simply because the latter group could not afford to pay.
Findings revealed that the promotion letters of the officers were signed by the Permanent Secretary of the commission, Musa Istafanus, who was said to have kicked against the probe and vowed to frustrate the report of the committee.
It was gathered that the permanent secretary is due for retirement but refused to leave. Istafanus was also said to have been moved to the Police Service Commission following the series of complaints of his misdemeanour by Kayode Fayemi, the former Minister of Mines and Steel, to the Head of Service of the federation.
Several calls made by SaharaReporters to Istafanus’ mobile line to get his reaction were all diverted.
Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, who was promoted twice in three months was spotted on the list. His promotion was said to have been facilitated by the Chief Personal Security to President Muhammadu Buhari, (DCP) Abdulkarim Dauda, who solicited his promotion from Okiro in a telephone conversation obtained by SaharaReporters.
Moshood was promoted from the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) to Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP). Three months later in June 2018, he was elevated from ACP to Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP).
According to the General Promotion Guidelines spelt out for the Police Service Commission, it takes a minimum of three years for an officer between the ranks of ASP to ACP to be considered for another promotion, during which time he/she must have attended the relevant promotion course and passed the prescribed examination.
Another beneficiary of the ‘promotion largesse’ was Abdulkarim Abdullahi, Personal Assistant to the current IGP, who was promoted to the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), whereas his Course 35 mates are Superintendent of Police (SP), having been promoted to that rank only last year.
SaharaReporters learnt that Istafanus single-handedly awarded a gate security contract to his friend at the sum of over N100 million without the knowledge of the board. He also awarded a CCTV camera contract to one of his cronies at the sum of N23 million without recourse to due process.
It was also gathered that the former board of the commission approved a whooping sum of N500 million for the furnishing of the new building of the commission, while the sum of N750 million was approved for the completion of the main building. Also, the cabal that facilitated the contract were said to have demanded 25 per cent of the total funds released for the contractor, thereby stalling the project.
The new board is said not to be privy to this arrangement before their assumption of office and had no accommodation until the completion of the new building, which has been abandoned.
Ibrahim Idris, Inspector General of Police, was also accused of abusing the delegated power of his office as stipulated by the Part 11 Section 6,7 and 8 of the Police Service Commission (Establishment) Act 2001. The section allows the IGP to change and deploy state Commissioners of Police.
This section also confers power on the IGP for operational reason to recruit and grant special promotions to officers who may have performed gallantly in the course of his duty. He is expected to send such promotion or recruitment to the board for ratification. But it has been discovered that the IGP has not been complying with the provisions of the Act but acting unilaterally without recourse to the board for clearance and ratification as required by the law.
Some of the staff of PSC, who preferred not to be named, expressed their bitterness at the rate at which the commission has degenerated in the recruitment and promotion exercise.
The committee is expected to submit its report at the end of September 2018 for consideration by the board.