Information supplied by the Police Service Commission (PSC) showed that the controversial recruitment of 10,000 constables last year by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, was flawed. Indeed, the details of the blemish called into question not only the process but also the integrity of those who supervised the recruitment.
A statement by the commission’s spokesman said: “In the cause of screening of the list of the 10,000 successful candidates, the commission discovered that 925 persons never applied for recruitment and did not go through the stages and processes of recruitment. These included screening, aptitude test and medical examinations.”
Only those involved in the absurdity can explain what happened. They have a lot of explaining to do. Of course, this applies to the said 925 persons as well as those who listed them.
The discovery of the anomaly followed the verdict by the Court of Appeal, in September, nullifying the recruitment of 10, 000 constables by the IGP. The appellate court unanimously held that the IGP lacked the power to recruit constables for the police force.
The court also held that the power to carry out the recruitment was exclusively that of the PSC. It declared the recruitment carried out by the IGP “null and void.” The judgement meant that the recruitment done by the IGP was just a waste of time and resources.
Importantly, the verdict helped the PSC to uncover the irregularities. What would have happened without the verdict? The IGP’s dubious list would have been unexposed. Unscreened persons would have become police personnel, which is unacceptable.
Based on the court ruling in its favour, the PSC was free to do a fresh recruitment, which would have taken time and caused a delay in increasing the number of policemen. Its decision to use the IGP’s list is, therefore, understandable.
There are other important considerations. The PSC said: “The commission however in the overall interest of the nation and considering that resources had been expended in the training of these candidates and that these candidates had been exposed to weapon and weaponry decided to rescreen them. These candidates already rescreened, except those found to be criminally minded (with mutilated certificates) are expected to be absorbed into the Force.”
What about the 925 odd recruits? They don’t deserve to benefit from the anomaly. What about those who listed them? They deserve to be exposed. The odd recruits, and the recruiters, demonstrated a lack of integrity that should have no place in the police.