The recent recruitment exercise into the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) in Delta State has been marred with bribery and forgery scandals, SaharaReporters has learnt.
According to sources in the Delta State Police Command, some non-indigenous senior police officers serving in the command bribed and conspired with some corrupt local government council staff to forge letters of identification and local government certificates of origin with which they used to smuggle in their brothers, sisters and other relatives into the slots for Delta state indigenes.
"Some non-Delta senior police officers bribed and connived with local government officials to forge documents that their relatives used in the police recruitment exercise for indigenes of Delta State, thereby denying the state indigenes their lawful rights and slots in the force," the source said.
"We believe so much in fair share, equity and justice, but what happened is pure corruption. Corruption can never be tamed in the police force because police is the corruption you talked about, and such corruption cannot fight corruption."
SaharaReporters gathered that the fraudulent practices allegedly involved one DSP Diala, Officer in Charge of the Works Department of the Police in Delta, Sgt Bisong at the A division Asaba and the state Police Public Relations Office, among others.
Out of the 177 candidates short-listed from Delta State by the Police Service Commission, 16 were non-indigenes who were smuggled into the state list by the non-Delta senior police officers.
The smuggled non-indigenes names, as obtained by our correspondent include, Afekhai Hope Olohirenuwa, with serial/No. 5, from Edo State; Akinyele Oluwatobi, S/No. 13, from Osun State; Aya Abigail Manawa, S/No. 21; Babaferi Collins, S/No. 22; David Glory, S/No. 31; Idam Janet, S/No. 61; Johnson Jonathan, S/No. 74 and Mazi Hope, S/No. 83, Imo state,
Others are Ugwumba Hyacinth, S/No 166, Enugu State; Bitrus Useni, S/No 173, Plateau State; Agbor Sally, S/No 6, Cross River State; Diala Uzoma Mike S/No 34, Imo State; Oboh Precious, S/No. 98; Ojo Obinna Anya, S/NO.109, Abia State; Fayomi Oluwatobi, S/No 56, Ekiti State and Oparaji Ifeanyi, S/No.136, Imo State.
Meanwhile, a pressure group, 'Delta Watch', has described the recruitment exercise that saw the short-listing of non-Deltans as fraudulent, saying it must be condemned by all right-thinking sons and daughters of the state.
In a petition addressed to the State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa; Inspector General of Police; Chairman, Police Service Commission; Delta State House of Assembly; Commissioner of Police; X-Squad and Chairman, Delta State Traditional Rulers Council, the group called for a probe into the exercise the prosecution of anyone found culpable.
"We condemn, in strong terms, the fraudulent and corrupt smuggling of non-Deltans into the recruitment exercise," the petition, signed by the state coordinator of the group, Mr. Tega Oghenemine, read.
"We are using this opportunity to call on the persons, authorities and bodies mentioned to, as a matter of urgent importance, direct full investigation into the fraudulent conduct of some police officers serving in the state for their fraudulent involvement in the whole exercise.
"In view of the above discoveries, we call on the relevant authorities to substitute the names of the fraudulent non-indigenes with those of real Delta indigenes who qualify for enlistment into the Nigeria Police, and to prosecute the candidates with forged letters/certificates of local governments origin, their police collaborators and all those found culpable in this crime."
Candidates of Delta State origin in the alleged fraudulent recruitment exercise into the Nigeria Police Force left the Police Command Headquarters, Asaba, on Monday, June 11, 2018, to their various designated police training schools at Eleyele Ibadan, Oyo State and Iperu, Ogun State.
When contacted on the alleged bribery and forgery, Public Relations Officer of the Police in the state, DSP Andrew Aniamaka, debunked the allegation, saying the recruitment exercise was carried by the Nigeria Police Service Commission. He warned that the name of the command should not be dragged into any sharp practice that may have occurred during the exercise.