Posted by News Express | 4 December 2019 | 1,463 times
The Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law (Intersociety) has called for the promotion and appointment of 226 additional Senior Police Officers of Southeast origin even as it demanded special recruitment, commissioning and promotion of qualified Igbos to fill Southeast slots in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
“Specifically, there shall be promoted and appointed under ‘special circumstances’ the following number of Igbo senior police officers: six new AIGs and two Zonal AIGs; ten CPs and five State Commissioners of Police; 19 additional DCPs, 34 ACPs and 150 CSPs. This is to fill the ‘shortages’ in the Region’s lists of AIGs and their zonal headships, CPs and their State Command headships, DCPs, ACPs and CSPs. Similar vacancies belonging to the Region and existing in the ranks of Constable to Superintendent shall be identified and filled up to bring same at par with those of other four geopolitical regions or regions of the Northwest, the Northeast, the North-Central and the Southwest,” Intersociety said in the Executive Summary of its letters to the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Alhaji Musliu Smith, and the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.
Dated 2nd Dec 2019, the letters were signed by Intersociety Board Chair, Emeka Umeagbalasi; Head of Civil Liberties & Rule of Law, Barr Uju Joy Igboeli; Head of Int’l Justice & Human Rights,b Barr Ndidiamaka Bernard; Head of Democracy & Good Governance, Barr Chinwe Umeche; and Head of Field Data Collection & Documentation, Samuel Kamanyaoku (Comrade).
Bemoaning the outcome of its detailed investigation of the Police Senior Staff List, the frontline group lamented: “As a matter of fact and urgency, the Southeast Geopolitical already stands the high risk of not producing the country’s IGP in the next ten years, if not permanently; likewise having balanced number of ACPs, DCPs, CPs and AIGs and producing balanced number of State CPs and Zonal AIGs. Unless this ugly trend is holistically and urgently reversed, otherwise, Igbo-Southeast as a very important geopolitical region, with as much as 60m ‘sedentary’ and ‘pastoral’ population is in a verge of being wiped out of existence in the senior ranking cadre of the Nigeria Police Force.”
Coming down heavily on Alhaji Smith and IGP Adamu, Intersociety said: “The PSC Chair and the IGP are by their condemned discrimination in ‘the recruitment, promotion and posting of senior police officers in the Nigeria Police Force’, dangerously undermining the 1999 Constitution and the Acts of National Assembly establishing the PSC and the NPF’. The actions of the duo also threaten the country’s peaceful coexistence as a country with multiplicity of ethnicity and religion; with over 370 tribes dominated by three major tribes of Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa-Fulani and multiple religions dominated by Christianity, Islam and traditional worshippers. This is more so when no tribe in the country constitutes 50% of the total population as to make the country to have a semblance of “neo-homogenous setting”. The duo’s actions further fuel the ‘industrial scale’ and ‘grisly’ rights abuses and violations in the country.”
Justifying its call for special recruitment commissioning and promotion of Igbos in NPF, Intersociety noted: “Since ‘special recruitment and commissioning’ have become a precedent in the country’s security forces including the Nigeria Police Force (i.e. recruitment, commissioning and promotion of “gallant” members of the Civilian JTF and others in the Northeast into Nigerian security forces), there shall be ‘special recruitment, commissioning and promotion in the Nigeria Police Force for purpose of filling the vacancies and lopsidedness in the Force particularly those meant for Igbo-Southeast.
“This is more so when by the spirit and letters of Section 6 (1) of the PSC Act of 2001 and Paragraph 30 of Part 1 of the Constitutional Third Schedule under Section 153, the PSC can ‘promote any serving member of the senior police officers in Nigeria to the next two ranks or three in the Force’. Instances include recent promotion of former AIG Muhammed Adamu Abubakar, ‘from the rank of AIG to IGP’ (two steps) and former CP Celestine Okoye, from ‘CP to DIG’ (two steps).”
Below are Intersociety’s findings after a detailed study on the Police Senior Staff List:
IGP: Total No=One: Mohammed Abubakar Adamu (Muslim), Nasarawa State-North-Central (retires on 1st Feb 2021)
DIG: Total No=Seven: Regional Average: One: Northwest, Two, Northeast One, North-Central One, Southwest One, South-South One and Southeast One (Celestine Okoye; he retires on 22nd Dec 2020). In the DIG allocation, regional balancing principle for the country’s six geopolitical zones or regions was maintained or adhered to.
AIG: Total No=36: Regional Average: 6: Northwest 9, Northeast 14, North-Central 4, Southwest 5, South-South 4 and Southeast Nil. Here the Igbo-Southeast is constitutionally deprived of six Assistant Inspectors General of Police.
12 Police Zonal AIGs: Regional Average: 2: Northwest 3 (AIGs for Zone 1-Sokoto, Zone 2-Lagos and Zone 6-Calabar), Northeast 7 (AIGs for Zone 8-Lokoja, Zone 7-Abuja, Zone 4-Makurdi, Zone 3-Yola, Zone 5-Benin, Zone 10-Sokoto and Zone 9-Umuahia), North-Central 1 (Zone 12-Bauchi), Southwest 1 (Zone 11-Oshogbo), South-South-Nil and Southeast-Nil. Here the Igbo-Southeast and the South-South are constitutionally deprived of two Zonal Assistant Inspectors General of Police apiece.
37 Serving State CPs: Regional Average: 6: Northwest 12 (Katsina-four, Kebbi-three, Sokoto-two, Zamfara-one, Kano-one and Kaduna-one), Northeast 8 (Adamawa-two, Taraba-two, Borno-one, Gombe-one, Bauchi-one and Yobe-one), Southwest 7 (Osun-three, Lagos-two, Ogun-two, Ekiti-one, Oyo-one and Ondo-one), South-South 3 (Cross River-one, Akwa Ibom-one and Edo-one) and Southeast 1 (Imo State-one). The only Igbo-Southeast State Commissioner of Police is CP Uche J. Anozia (CP, Bayelsa State), who retires on 19th Sept 2020. Here the Igbo-Southeast is constitutionally deprived of five additional State Commissioners of Police.
85 Serving CPs: Regional Average: 14
Northwest 21, Northeast 20, North-Central 14, Southwest 16, South-South 11 and Southeast 4 plus One Acting CP=5. The four serving Igbo-Southeast CPs and their exit dates are: Uche Anozia, exit date-19th Sept 2020, Joseph Egbunike, exit date-4th June 2022, John Ogbonnaya Amadi, exit date-10th June 2023, Cyril Okoro, exit date-1st Feb 2021 and Acting CP, Josephine Nneka Anyasinti, exit date-27th Dec 2022. Here the Igbo-Southeast is constitutionally deprived of ten substantive Commissioners of Police. Also CP Cyril Okoro, who will retire on 1st Feb 2021, is the same course and enlistment mate with the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Muhammed Adamu Abubakar, who retires on same 1st Feb 2021.
248 Serving DCPs: Regional Average: 41: Northwest 34, Northeast 21, North-Central 46, Southwest 66, South-South 44 and Southeast 22. The 22 serving Igbo-Southeast DCPs and their exit dates are: Michael Okoli, exit date-27th August 2021, Ngozi Vivian Onadeko, exit date-15th March 2023, Joe Nwachukwu Enweonwu, exit date-6th June 2022, Edward Chuka Egbuka, exit date-15th March 2023, Josephine Ogechi Nna, exit date-15th June 2022, Benjamin Nebo Okolo, exit date-24th Dec 2025, Arungwa Udo, exit date-3rd March 2025, Nnamdi Onyeka, exit date-10th Nov 2023, Stanley Ude, exit date-6th May 2024, Charles Ifeatu Mozie, exit date-2nd July 2023, Ambrose Onah, exit date-20th June 2024.
Others are Ndu Innocent Anene, exit date-3rd Jan 2024, Benneth Igweh, exit date-1st May 2023, Augustina Ogbodo, exit date-3rd March 2025, Ploycarp Chilaka, exit date-23rd Dec 2023, Emeka Frank Mba, exit date-18th June 2027, Joe Ndubuisi Ibezim, exit date-25th July 2022, Remi Okwor, exit date-15th March 2023, Kenechi Onwuemelie, exit date-18th May 2027, Uzuegbu Kanayo, exit date-26th Nov 2026, Chukwudi Ariekpere, exit date-30th Oct 2026 and Godwin Iguh Eze, exit date-27th July 2026. Here the Igbo-Southeast is constitutionally deprived of 19 Deputy Commissioners of Police.
The list of the serving DCPs clearly shows further that eleven of the 22 (half) have between two and three years and half (2021-2023) to stay in the NPF, thereby making them potentially unfit to rise before their statutory retirements above the rank of CP. Three, out of the 22 with 2024 as their terminal date are likely not to rise above AIG, except the ugly trend is reversed very urgently. Technically speaking, the Igbo-Southeast presently is left with only eight Police DCs with considerable long service age (2025-2027).
581 Serving ACPs: Regional Average: 98: Northwest 100, Northeast 90, North-Central 96, Southwest 106, South-south 89 and Southeast 64. Of the number of Police ACs allocated to the Igbo-Southeast, three have retired in the outgoing year (2019), four will be out by Jan 2020, one by June 2020 and three by Jan 2021. Out of the remaining 64 Igbo-Southeast ACPs, 12 will leave the Force by May 2023 and one by May 2022.
Technically, they may likely end up as “DCPs” or at most “CPs”, unless the ugly trend is totally and urgently reversed. Only 51 of the 64 Igbo-Southeast ACPs have between five years and ten years to stay in the NPF. Totality of these is as a result of systematic and coordinated policy of ‘promotion stagnancy’ sustained against police officers of Igbo-Southeast over the years particularly since mid-2015. In all, the Igbo-Southeast is constitutionally deprived of 34 additional Assistant Commissioners of Police.
1,738 Serving CSPs: Regional Average: 290. Out of the 1,738 Police CSPs serving in the NPF including the recently promoted 230 CSPs, Igbo-Southeast is allocated with 150, instead of 290.
Summarising, Intersociety said: “Our investigation found that Northwest, Northeast, North-Central and Southwest got far more than their supposed regional average of 290 each. Some of the named States got as much as 350 each. Here, again, the Igbo-Southeast is constitutionally shortchanged and deprived of additional 140 serving Police CSPs.”
Listing its demands, the frontline rights group said: “The Chair of PSC was strongly called upon to not only ensure that the above highlighted constitutional aberrations and illegalities are totally discontinued, but there must also be ‘special recruitment and promotions’ to correct the imbalances under complaint. The seeming age-long ‘promotion stagnancy’ policy against Igbo-Southeast serving junior and senior police officers in the Nigeria Police Force must further be abolished. As a matter of fact, all forms of discriminatory policies in the Force remotely or directly targeted at the Igbo-Southeast Region or any other Geopolitical Region must be totally done away with. These firm demands of ours are beyond conditions and excuses. They also require extreme urgency and must be treated as ‘National Emergency’.”
Intersociety advised the Chairman of PSC and the IGP “to know that the spirit and letters of the sectional or regional balancing (federal character) are that: where there are 36 State CPs, there must be six for each of the six geopolitical regions; with Northwest or FCT giving additional one. Where there are 85 serving CPs, each region must be given 14 and where there are 36 AIGs and 12 Zonal AIGs, each region must be given six and two respectively. Where there are 37 State Commissioners of Police, every State must have one CP of its origin promoted or appointed and posted as ‘a State CP’ in Nigeria. These must be replicated from Police Superintendent down to Constable. Other than the acutely marginalized Igbo-Southeast, any other geopolitical region that is shortchanged in any of the police junior and senior ranking or promotion and posting; such as the Northeast in the area of DCPs, such region must be given special promotion. To ensure this, the so called “seniority principle”, which has never been judiciously kept, must be waivered.”
Intersociety similarly wrote to the Chief of Air Staff (Sadique Abubakar) and the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (Hameed Ibrahim Ali), alleging the marginalisation of Igbos.
In the protest letters dated 2nd December, 2019 and copied to 25 major stake holders within and outside Nigeria, Intersociety called on Abubakar and Alli to address the gross lopsidedness complained of. They were also urged to at all times adhere strictly to the constitutional sectional balancing principle in the recruitments and promotions of members of the Nigerian Air Force and the Nigeria Customs Service and that 1999 Constitution further forbids lopsided postings or postings done along ethno-religious lines or targeted at total domination of key and strategic posts in the Air Force and NCS by officers of particular ethnic or religious grouping.
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