Against the back drop of President Muhammadu Buhari Anti – Corruption mantras, the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, appears once again to be enmeshed in a cloudy and messy controversies over an unethical appointment process of a personnel to its plum position.
Infact, the unfortunate negative reports of alleged scramble for the leadership position Of Nigerian Immigration Service, has emerged on the public space lately.
However, further unfolding events reveals that the matter seems to have taken a messy and scandalous dimension,with accusing fingers allegedly pointed at the Minister Of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the Acting CGI, Idris Jere and members Of the NIS management board,as the Unseen hands behind the controversial double standard in the selection process.
Indeed, the alleged scandalous maneuvering is said to be responsible for the continued denial of a substantive Controller General of NIS since the exit of the former CGI, Muhammed Babandede in September 2021, hence the appointment of Idris Jere in acting capacity.
It was learnt that this development, according to some aggrieved members of the service, is causing discomfort and suspicion amongst the rank and file of the service ,because of “the alarming delay tactics, rigorous practices and unethical due diligence since the retirement of the former immigration boss and appointment of an acting officer.”
Further checks revealed that immediately after the appointment of Idris Jere in acting capacity, eleven qualified senior officers were mandated to submit their Curriculum Vitae with a follow-up screening exercise and most of them passed through DSS clearance as the prerequisite for holding such a high esteemed public office but were allegedly silenced and ignored by the minister for over 4 months till date.
Investigation also indicated that Aregbesola, Acting CGI, Idris Jere and the Management board may have decided to tow the line of corrupt practices by inviting only five senior officers out of eleven screened senior officers for interview/examination basically to manipulate the selection processes without following due diligence as mandated by office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria before the official announcement by President Buhari.
A source at NIS revealed that the Past Comptroller-General of the NIS planned to impose his PSO on NIS , as the new Boss, being the only male candidate the retired Boss was strongly projecting to the panel in order to cover his bad tracks.
Further facts revealed that some concerned officials of the service who are alleging impunity on the part of the Interior Minister, the Acting Immigration boss and the management board are lamenting over the prevailing situation and are calling for the attention of the Presidency to call them to order on their alleged gross misconduct and mismanagement of the CGI selection process and lack of due process.
According to them: ”For the mere fact that our attention has been drawn to this position by officers who are apparently aggrieved by the development, especially as it is being alleged that the process is seemingly not only laden with irregularities, impunity and corruption but had encroached into the 2022 vacancies for recruitments, promotions, and retirements, the essence of this call to positive action, is to urge the Presidency to convene a special urgent meeting/committee with a view to critically looking into the issues of CGI selection and appointment at stake and to take necessary positive steps to redeem the good image of the NIS and the hard-earned integrity of its esteemed qualified / dedicated officers inline,” they stated.
Reacting, the public relations officer of Immigration, Amos Okpu, an Assistant Comptroller of Immigration said, “I think the process in ongoing because I am aware that four very senior officers have been interviewed. It is ongoing. You know it is not for the service to appoint. I think they are just doing due diligence. ”