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Aggrieved senior police officers have dragged the Police Service Commission (PSC) to the Presidency and the National Assembly, alleging corruption and procedural irregularities in the conduct of the recent promotion to the ranks of AIG and DIG, announced last week by the commission.

In separate letters of protest dated February 24, 2012, the officers, who are within the ranks of Superintendent and Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), described the promotions as strange, ridiculous and suspicious. They argued that the elevation of five junior Commissioners of Police (CPs) to the rank of Deputy Inspector-General (DIG) ahead of their superiors, has created disaffection in the police force.

The letters were addressed to President Goodluck Jonathan; Senate President David Mark and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal. The disenchanted officers also took their case to the Committees on Public Petition and Police Affairs in the two chambers of the National Assembly.

Recall that seven police officers including two AIGs and five CPs were elevated to the rank of DIG last Wednesday by the PSC. The beneficiaries included Suleiman Fakai, Atiku Kafur, both AIGs, as well as Emmanuel Udeoji, Haruna John, Peter Gana, Marvel Akpoyibo, and Abdurahaman Akano, all of whom were commissioners of police.

Similarly, the commission also lifted 13 CPs to the rank of AIG. Those elevated were: Solomon E. Olusegun, Michael E. Zuokumor, Orubebe Gandhi Ebikeme, Philemon I. Leha, Jonathan Johnson, and Dan'azumi Job Doma. Commissioners of Police, Joseph Ibi, Muktari Ibrahim, Suleiman Abba, Mamman Ibrahim Tsafe, Saliu Argungu Hashimu, Solomon E. Arase, and David O. Omojola, also made the AIG list.

But protests, which had trailed the exercise shortly after the beneficiaries were announced by the PSC, heightened at the weekend, as some angry senior officers coalesced under the aegis of Concerned Senior Police Officers [CSPO], to trade tackles with the commission chaired by Mr. Parry Osayande, a retired DIG.

The officers alleged in four petitions entitled: 'Fraudulent and Dishonest Promotion in the Nigeria Police', that the elevations were marred with corruption, nepotism, favouritism, bias and high-handedness which, according to them, had further created disharmony in an already disenchanted police force.

While accusing the PSC of making a mockery of the exercise, the aggrieved officers said basic criteria which included seniority, experience, educational qualification, pedigree, merit and geo-political expediencies, were jettisoned in the selection process.

Consequently, they urged President Jonathan to suspend the decoration of the newly-promoted officers and direct a review of the exercise so as to redress the perceived injustice and other anomalies. This, they said, would boost the morale of police officers and men especially at this time of daunting security challenges occasioned by the Boko Haram insurgency.

A copy of the petition was sent to the National Security Adviser (NSA), General Owoye Azazi.

reads in part: 'The Federal Government of Nigeria in its bid to reposition the police, appointed DIG Parry Osayande (retd), as the Chairman of the Police Service Commission with the responsibility of bringing a radical change in line with Mr. President's transformation agenda. Rather, he has complicated and created more problems by his activities in the PSC, especially in relation to the recent promotions.

'Seven officers were promoted to the position of DIG; out of these, only two, by all standards, are qualified to be so appointed based on seniority, experience and merit. These are Suleiman Fakai and Atiku Kafur, who were thus qualified. While the others by any standard and practice were not qualified to be promoted AIG, talk less of DIG. For Instance, Marvel Akpoyibo, who was No. 38 in the order of seniority among the 90 Commissioners of Police in the Federation, was elevated to the rank of DIG far and above some of his seniors who were promoted AIG, and others who were not promoted at all.

'The promotion of CP Abdulrahaman Akano, who is ranked 51st in the order of seniority of commissioners, was promoted above AIG Chris Ola, who is a sitting AIG. Also, CP John Haruna was promoted above AIG Bukar Maina, just as CP Emmanuel Udeoji was promoted above AIG Johnson Uzu-Egbunam, who is the most senior police officer from the South-East. In the case of the AIGs promoted recently, a very junior Commissioner of Police, who is ranked 87th, and by no means, not the most senior officer from the South-South zone, was promoted up and above so many senior and qualified officers based on favouritism,' the petition stated.