The Police Service Commission, PSC has said that it will remove the names of candidates who did not participate in the recruitment process for 10,000 constables, but whose names were added to the final list by the police high command, Punch reports.
The board explained that a genuine list would be released after the strange names on the list had been weeded out.
A PSC Commissioner, Mr Austin Braimoh, confirmed to Saturday PUNCH that the candidates’ list that was released by the force was “polluted.”
It was gathered that the names of genuine candidates were replaced with those who did not participate in the exercise.
A former workers’ union chairman at the police service commission, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he knew some candidates who performed very well in the examinations but whose names were allegedly removed during the medical screening by the police over their inability to pay huge bribes.
He said, “I know a candidate in Oyo State whose name was removed during the medical screening because he had no bribe to give to the police officers who handled the exercise. I also know some candidates in Kogi and Niger states who suffered a similar fate. These are the reports we received from different states.”
The union leader explained further, “What the police authorities did was to lobby members of the National Assembly and Presidency officials, collecting names of candidates to back their wrong action.
“Those who were invited for medicals were candidates who didn’t apply for recruitment. In Niger State where I participated in the process, what they did was to add names of candidates who didn’t participate in the exercise. Their intention was to screen out the original candidates and replace them with their own people.”
The police and the commission had been engaged in a turf war over the recruitment of 10,000 constables with the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, insisting that it was the right of the force to conduct the exercise.
He had, consequently, seized the list of candidates who participated in the recruitment from the commission and went ahead to invite them for medical screening.
Miffed by the development, the PSC Chairman, Musiliu Smith, complained to President Muhammadu Buhari, who during a meeting on Tuesday, made it clear to the IG that the commission had the constitutional mandate to handle the recruitment and promotion of personnel in the police.
Speaking to our correspondent in Abuja on Friday, Braimoh said the commission would meet with the Deputy Inspector-General in charge of Training and Development, Yakubu Jubrin, to scrutinise the list of candidates that was released last week by the police.
He said, “We are going to release a more genuine list because the list the police sent out is polluted. We would have loved to manage it, but we see what happens. We hope we can put heads together and delete people that came in without going through the normal process.”
Stressing that the commission would not allow external forces to corrupt the exercise which was the first recruitment to be carried out by the board, Braimoh explained that only genuine candidates would emerge as constables from the process.
“This is our first recruitment and we want to ensure we do what is right. We are not accusing them (police) of being corrupt or of doing what is wrong, but we would allow Nigerians to judge at the end of the day. This is all what we stand for.
“We just want to do what is right. Now that things are being put in the proper place, we are still going to have a meeting point, sit together with the DIG Training and all the staff and then look at the list again, the way we presented it at the initial time and then streamline and bring out the best for Nigeria,” the comissioner noted.
The PSC board member disclosed that the agency had received reports of candidates paying money to scale through the medical screening carried out by the police nationwide last week.
He encouraged candidates who were extorted to report to the commission, stressing that the board would address the complaints.
Braimoh said the commission would hold a meeting with the IG and the Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Maigari Dingyadi, where the grey issues surrounding the recruitment crisis would be addressed, adding that this would determine the next move by the PSC.
He also disclosed that President Buhari had approved another round of recruitment for next year as part of measures to address the insecurity in the country.
“The President has said that we are going to conduct another round of recruitment next year. The figure and the official approval has not been released to us, but it is above 10,000 and we are going to work together (with the police); we would do it jointly to avoid any rancour,” he stated.
The force spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, could not be reached for reaction to allegations that the police authorities padded the list of candidates as calls to his phone rang out. He had yet to respond to a text message on the issue.