The Police Service Commission says 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.

The board explained that a genuine list would be released after the
strange names on the list had been weeded out.

A PSC Commissioner, Austin Braimoh, told 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 the 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 Punch in Abuja on Friday, Braimoh said the commission
would meet with the Deputy Inspector-General in charge of Training and
Development, Yakubu Jubrin, to scrutinize 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 that 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 commissioner
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, Punch reports.

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