Part of the primary responsibilities of the Police Service Commission, PSC, under a former IGP, Mr. Musliu Smith, is the power to appoint, promote, discipline and dismiss all officers of the force with the exemption of the Inspector-General of Police, Desert Herald is reporting.
The less than three years tenure of Mr. Smith as the Chairman of the PSC is characterized by many allegations of abuse of office, abuse of due process, recruitment scandal and encouraging corruption in the Nigeria Police Force. Mr. Smith was appointed as the Chairman of the PSC on 25th July, 2018 on the influence of the APC National leader, Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Since his appointment there has been one controversy or the other against the PSC and the Police as an institution.
There has been a court case between the IGP, Mohammed Adamu and the PSC under Smith all in an attempt to get maximum power over one another. Though relationship between Mr. Smith and incumbent IGP Adamu can be said to be relatively cordial when it comes to issues of mutual interest, instances abound where the PSC under him and due to pressure from other members of the Commission or staffs disagree with the office of the IGP.
While there has been similar allegations against the PSC even under the predecessor of Mr. Smith, cases and instance of promotion racketeering, recruitment scandal, bribery and corruption under the current leadership of the PSC has become more pronounced and embarrassing for both the PSC and the government.
An active member of the PSC, Hajia Naja’atu Muhammad, has been very vocal in exposing the rot, the corruption under her chairman even though the government did not take such public indictment from a member of the Commission serious to deserve an investigation and action. As such, Mr. Smith and key officers of the Commission have continued to ridicule, bastardise and abuse a system that supposed to be guided by competence and hard work before approving promotions.
DESERT HERALD can authoritatively report that under the watch of Mr. Smith the PSC is culpable in compromising especially promotions and selling it to the highest bidder. The beneficiaries of such undeserved promotions are usually the rich Police officers that can pay as much as N2 million, N3 million and up to N5 million depending on the rank and category of such promotions.
As a result particularly among senior officers, morale has been very low. Instances of a particular police officer getting as many as two promotions or more against his course mates that didn’t even get one are many. The sad story is known by virtually all police officers. As long as an officer has the resources, contact, and is willing to pay, promotion especially under the watch of Mr. Smith’s PSC is certain and can be guaranteed.
The usual practice, as gathered by DESERT HERALD through credible inside sources, is that when for example there is provision for 20 slots of promotion, the PSC used to insert an additional 20 as so-called Special Promotion. The Special Promotion is usually being shared among some members of the Commission and its top Directors. It is mostly from the fraudulent Special Promotion that members and Directors do sell to officers that can afford to pay.
One of our sources lamented that “payment is usually being done in advance mostly half of the total sum they will charge you. The remaining half is usually paid when the promotion is out. Another round of promotion is being compiled currently. It is usually extremely difficult for them to manipulate or sell promotions from Deputy Commissioners of Police (DPC) to Commissioner of Police (CP) or from CP to Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG)”.
The promotion racketeering at the PSC is usually from the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) to Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) and from Superintendent of Police (SP) to CSP.
DESERT HERALD can confirm that using the fraud called Special Promotion there are some less privileged officers, officers that cannot afford to bribe their way for promotion, that is for example still in the position of SP or CSP, while their privileged course mates, those that have presumably bribed their ways up since there is no record that they have done something exceptional to be ahead of their colleagues that are now Assistant Commissioners of Police.
There are, for example, officers that are within the rank of CSPs since 2014, 2016 while others since 2018 with a good record of service but were not promoted to the next rank of ACP. Despite the fact that such deserving officers could not get their promotions since 2014, 2016, etc., DESERT HERALD can reveal that rich officers that were for example promoted to CSP in 2018 have gotten their promotion to the next rank of ACPs ahead of their former seniors.
In one particular instance using the fraudulent Special Promotion this paper can reveal that about 10 officers that got promoted to CSPs in 2018 manipulated their way and are now ACPs, while some of their senior colleagues of 2014 and 2016 are still holding the rank of CSPs.
The Directors of the PSC and other members usually shared such slots for sale to willing officers as even the IGP must negotiate with the Commission to be able to get his own slots. The IGP too is being accused of sharing such promotion slots to the indigenes of his home state, Nasarawa