A group of 24 Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC) Diploma Cadre cadets who allege they were wrongfully dismissed from training camp are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to address their case in the interest of justice and fairness, as all efforts to appeal to the EFCC have proven abortive.
One of the discharged cadets, Chinedu Chukwuemeka, explained to SaharaReporters that he, along with 23 others, applied for the EFCC’s Diploma Cadre recruitment scheme after seeing it advertised in several daily newspapers.
After applying for the program, Mr. Chukwuemeka was informed on December 11, 2016, via SMS message, that he had been shortlisted and was therefore invited to attend a medical screening, physical screening, and, finally, an interview, all of which he passed.
Mr. Chukwuemeka, along with 23 of his cohorts, were then invited to Cadet Training at the Nigerian Defence Academy in Kaduna State.
However, on December 31, 2016, the cadets were told in person that they were medically unfit to serve the EFCC and were therefore dismissed.
The affected cadets were taken aback by their dismissal, as they had passed earlier medical screenings and had no knowledge of the supposed medical ailments that led to their discharge. In light of this, Mr. Chukwuemeka and some of his fellow cadets went to government and military hospitals to undergo independent medical tests, where they were told they were in good health and fit to serve in the EFCC.
With proof of medical fitness, the cadets tried appealing to the EFCC to reinstate them, but to no avail. They had already been replaced by fresh cadets and many are now left jobless, as they had quit their previous jobs after being accepted into the program.
SaharaReporters reached out to the EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwajaren, who confirmed that the cadets were dismissed for failing the medical exam. However, he declined to explain why the cadets had earlier been told they passed both the medical and physical screenings.
Read the cadets’ open letter below:
AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI ON UNFAIR DISMISSAL FROM EFCC DIPLOMA CADET TRAINING.
His Excellency Sir, with utmost respect to your noble office as the leader of our beloved great nation of Nigeria, we greet you in the name of the Almighty God.
Mr. President, your Change policy has proven effective and has gone a long way to heal Nigeria from the syndromes of corruption, in which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), under the leadership of Mr. Ibrahim Magu, has played an instrumental role.
Mr. President, for the first time in Nigeria under your Change government, we witnessed an open and transparent recruitment exercise anchored by the EFCC to join the agency as Detective Inspectors under the Diploma Cadre Category, which was advertised on national dailies.
As Nigerians seeking opportunities to take part in the fight against corruption, we applied for the recruitment scheme and, shortly thereafter, received invitations for physical screenings, written examinations, medical screenings, and finally, oral interviews.
Upon completing the above, each of us soon learned we were successful candidates, as we received congratulatory SMS messages from the EFCC inviting us to attend Cadet Training in Kaduna State.
Mr. President, after one month of rigorous training at the Nigerian Defence Academy in Kaduna, we were tagged “medically unfit” with illnesses unknown to us and were told to leave the camp, despite earlier being informed we had passed our medical screenings conducted by the Nigerian Air Force Medical Team and the EFCC at the Nigerian Air Force Medical Centre in Kaduna.
After our sudden dismissal, some of us underwent independent medical screenings at military and government hospitals and passed; we were told we had no medical ailments and were fit to serve in the EFCC.
We were all assured by the training instructors that we would be called back to training since our medical reports came out successful confirming us fit.
However, we were promptly replaced by new cadets and were not invited to return to camp.
Efforts have been made to reach the Ag. Chairman of the EFCC, but all proved abortive as letters of appeal written to the commission and the Senate have remained unanswered.
Mr. President, we plead with your honorable and respected office to attend to our case, as we have been left jobless since we resigned from our previous jobs after being informed that we were selected as successful EFCC Cadets.
Mr. President, please apply the universal principle of merit, fairness and due process in redressing this gross injustice melted on us all.
Mr. President, we have no godfather but you in which God will use to prevail in our case of being wrongly tagged medically unfit as the basis of our dismissal has been cleared by the result of independent tests conducted at military and government hospitals.
Mr. President, we pray for good health and strength to steer the ship of the country to great heights.
Long live President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR
Long live the EFCC and the fight against corruption
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Prof Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON (Vice President of Nigeria)
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission