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Police reject constables’ recruitment list after Arase’s sack

The Nigeria Police Force under the leadership of Inspector-General Kayode Egbetokun has rejected the the list of successful applicants for constable and specialist cadre roles…

The Nigeria Police Force under the leadership of Inspector-General Kayode Egbetokun has rejected the the list of successful applicants for constable and specialist cadre roles released by the Police Service Commission (PSC).

In a statement on Saturday, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, Force Public Relations Officer, said the list was fraught with irregularities.

While releasing the list on June 4, Solomon Arase, former PSC Chairman, had said the selection process was rigorous in a bid to enhance the capacity and effectiveness of the force.

However, six days after the list became public, he was sacked by President Bola Tinubu, who announced Hashimu Argungu, a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, as his replacement.

In his statement, Adejobi said many persons who did not apply to join the force had their names on the recruitment list.

“The Nigeria Police Force has raised alarm on the irregularities and alleged corruption of the recently released names of successful candidates in the ongoing 2022/23 Police Constables Recruitment Exercise. This became necessary upon being inundated with a series of complaints and allegations of corruption raised by unsuspecting candidates and stakeholders on the irregularities that marred the exercise most especially the disappearance of the names of screened candidates who were successful to the last stage.”

“Upon careful scrutiny of the list released on the PSC portal, it was discovered that
i) 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.
ii) The published list contains several names of candidates who failed either the Computer Based Test (CBT) or the physical screening exercise or both.
iii) There are 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 PSC.
vi) Most worrisome is the allegation of financial dealings and corrupt practices leading to the outcome where unqualified and untrainable individuals have been shortlisted.”

Adejobi said Egbetokun expressed his disapproval of the list in a letter to Arase on June 10, 2024, coincidentally the day the former chairman was sacked.

It is unclear if the controversial list contributed to the removal of the former PSC chairman.

“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.”

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