Buhari orders probe of bribe-for-promotion allegation against Police Service Commission

By The Rainbow
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President Muhammadu Buhari is a great angry following allegations of corruption in the Police Service Commission.

An online news platform, Newsdiaryonline, reports that senior police officers via petitions are alleging that the PSC may have fundamentally circumvented both Police and Civil Service rules in the recent consideration and promotions of some Police Officers across the country to the ranks Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner.

Buhari, according to the report, is particularly angry over the barrage of allegations of monetary influence and nepotism in the promotion exercise by the PSC.

From the online report, the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu is in full support of the probe and possible reversal of the recent controversial promotion exercise.

The IGP thinks that outright revdesal might be necessary given that this latest rumbling among senior officers of the Police is coming at a time the Police management team is still working on ways to boost the morale of Police Officers after the #Endsars protests in the country.

In the same regard, the percieved lopsided nature of the recent promotions to Commissioner cadres in the police has attracted the sharp rebuke of a number of socio-cultural organisations in the country, including Afenifere and Ohanaeze Ndigbo. Both organisations have decried the recent promotions by the Police Service Commission as the highly provocative.

The PSC announced the promotion of 37 police officers to their next ranks about two weeks ago. Out of this figure, the North West got 12, North East 8, South West got seven, while the South South got five; North Central got four while the South East got only one.

However, in series of petitions to the President and the Minister of Police Affairs, some senior Police officers who were said to be very qualified for promotion but were curiously over looked by the PSC in favour of far junior and less qualified officers, blamed their plight on corruption rather than ethnic or religious considerations. “While we are not ruling out crass nepotism in the consideration of less qualified officers for promotion, we are however very convinced that bribery and corruption played much more defining role at the PSC during the consideration of Officers for promotion,” a group of Senior Police Officers alleged in a petition to the President and copied to the Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi.

For example, according to the aggrieved Senior Police Officers, on the 19th of December, 2020, the Police Service Commission announced the promotion of 29 Assistant Commissioners of Police (ACP) to the rank of Deputy Commissioners of Police from a pool of 46 ACP's due for promotion, who were last promoted (to ACP) on the 5th of September, 2016. They were selected according to their serial numbers to fill up the vacancies.

“After that announcement, several ACPs were approached to give bribe to be added to the promotion list which they dismissed, as it was believed that the PSC had already completed the process. The list was released to the Police Force on the 24th of December, 2020 and it was noticed that 37 ACPS (an additional 8) had been promoted.” The Police Officers said, adding that after a careful examination of the list, the following were observed:

  1. The additional officers were far junior to those due for promotion, that is, those promoted on the 5th of September, 2016. The 8 additional officers had not attended the promotional courses required for promotion. The Chairman of the PSC, Musliu Smith had stated on the 14th of September, 2018, that anyone who had not attended promotional courses will not be promoted.
  2. They did not have three Annual Performance Evaluation Report (APER) forms as required by civil service laws for promotion in the Police.
  3. There was also no special justification for their promotion (Special Promotion) and consequentially, they will now be senior to their seniors and colleagues.

“This raises question on the integrity of Musliu Smith, the Chairman of the PSC who without his approval and connivance, this would not have been possible.

It was learnt that affected police officers are worried that Musiliu Smith led PSC is encouraging the monetization of promotion, corruption and injustice in the Police Force.

Very credible sources in the presidency have confided that President Muhammadu Buhari is not taking the allegation of money-for-promotion against the Police Service Commission lightly since it would not be the first time the allegation would be made. “The PSC is clearly compromised and the President strongly wants this allegation that the names of undeserving but apparently rich officers were smuggled into the list of Officers for promotion, duly investigated,” the source confided

Attempts by NEWSDIARYONLINE to get official reactions to the scandal failed as the officer contacted in the presidency said he had no information on the issue.

Further attempt to seek reaction from the PSC failed as officials contacted said they were hearing of the allegation for the first time. The spokesman of PSC was said to be on leave and he could therefore not speak on official matter.

However, a member of the Commission's board who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed to NEWSDIARYONLINE that the lingering allegations of bribery were true. “I have personally written a petition to the president drawing attention to the matter,” NEWSDIARYONLINE was told. “I however cannot confirm if there has been any specific order by the president to do anything about the scandal,” the PSC member said.