More than a year after being enmeshed in age falsification scandal, Mr. Ahmed Ja'afaru, the Controller General (CG) of the Nigerian prisons service (NPS) has remained in office. The damning allegation has continued to rage a year after it was first reported by SaharaReporters, an online news medium, owing to the reluctance of the Federal government to investigate the scandal and Ja'afaru's blatant refusal to clear the air.
Ja'afaru, an indigene of Kebbi State and a graduate of history was appointed by President Buhari in May 2016 to succeed Mr. Peter Ekpendu, the immediate past CG of Prisons. Ja'afaru is being accused of falsifying his age in the service records in order to extend his retirement age. Ja'afaru was due to retire in July 2017, until sometimes in 2015, shortly before his appointment as CGP, he altered his date of birth from July 1957 to July 1959, in clear breach of the public service rules and regulations. The record in the NPS nominal roll showed that Ja'afaru altered his date of birth from July 21, 1957, to July 21, 1959, thereby extending his retirement age by two years. His profile published in the 2010 edition of Advanced Command Course II booklet also confirmed July 21, 1957, as his original date of birth before it secretly altered.
Public service rules and regulations make it compulsory for public officials to retire after 35 years in service or on attainment of 60 years of age or whichever one comes first.
More than a year after being enmeshed in this scandal, Ja'afaru has blatantly ignored questions being raised on the alleged falsification of his age. Sources within the service have revealed that Ja'afaru has been emboldened to ignore the weighty allegation against him because of his closeness to the Minister of Interior, General Abdulrahman Dambazzau, who facilitated his appointment in the first place. More curious and worrisome is the deafening silence by the Nigerian presidency on the allegation, more than one year after it broke out in the media.