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Police Promotion Scandal: NOPRIN mount pressures on President to investigate irregularities

… Reveals how officers perfect moves to get illegal promotion

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IGP, Ibrahim Idris
IGP, Ibrahim Idris

A coalition of 46 Civil Society Organisations under auspices of the Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN) has mounted pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari to order for an immediate investigation into irregularities in police promotion in Nigeria.

According to the coalition, an immediate investigation into irregularities in police promotion, should be part of government’s strategies to address police ineffectiveness and insecurity in the country.

Reacting to SATELLITE TIMES investigative report on police promotion, National Coordinator of NOPRIN, Okechukwu Nwanguma held that it was this type of irregularity, favoritism and corruption characterizing officers promotions in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) that is lowering morale, killing dedication, breeding disenchantment and indiscipline, and ultimately promoting insecurity in the country.

SATELLITE TIMES recently revealed how Jimoh Moshood, the Police Public Relation Officer (PPRO) was promoted twice in six months while Abdulkarim Abdullahi, the personal Assistant to the current Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, was promoted to the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) whereas his Course 35 mates are Superintendent of Police (SP), having been promoted to that rank only last year.

Jimoh Moshood [Photo Credit: Daily Post]

The Police spokesman, Moshood, joined the Force in the year 2000 as Cadet ASP on Course 20. Within 18 years he has risen to the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police. In 2015 Moshood was promoted to the rank of CSP, while in 2018 he was treated to double promotion at different times to the rank of ACP and DCP.

The Personal Assistant to the IG, Abdullahi, with AP No.57593 joined the Nigeria Police in year 2000 on Course 35. His coursemates of Course 35 were promoted to the rank of Superitendant of Police (SP) in 2017. Abdullahi is a beneficiary of the recent promotion to the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police.

Yet another beneficiary is Charles Onoh, who until 2015 was the Escort Commandant to the former Vice President Namadi Sambo. Documents obtained by Satellite Times show that Onoh with AP No. AP86577 of Course 21, joined the force on 15th August, 2002. His rise to the position of Chief superintendent of Police started when he was serving the nation’s No. 2 Man.

The documents available to SATELLITE TIMES further showed that of a total of 630 officers promoted from SP to CSP, 49 were discovered to belong to two ineligible groups of Course 22 who joined the force in 2005 with AP No. ranging from 94075-98225 and those of Course 35 who joined in 2000 with AP No. ranging from 50304-87826. These 49 officers whose mates are still SP may have unduly favoured given that they had not spent the minimum three years on their last rank to qualify for the Annual Performance Evaluation Report (APER).

NOPRIN in a statement made available to SATELLITE TIMES alleged that: ” Moshood , the Force PRO was promoted to ACP in March 2018 amidst allegations that his promotion followed an intercepted phone call between a security officer attached to the President and the outgoing Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Mr. Mike Okiro where the security official solicited illicit promotion favour from Okiro on behalf of the PRO . This allegation has not been investigated. It ought to.

“Less than three months later, the same Moshood has again been promoted to DCP. The reason offered for this controversial promotion is that his fellow PROs in other uniformed services are wearing ranks equivalent of a DCP and therefore, he had to be brought up to level with those other ones.

“This justification sounds, in my view, wooly and preposterous. Are there no DCPs in the NPF who can be appointed to replace Moshood? Considering his many gaffes as PRO, why should he be retained as PRO?

“It is this type of irregularity, favoritism and corruption characterizing police promotions in the NPF that is lowering morale, killing dedication, breeding disenchantment and indiscipline, and ultimately promoting insecurity in the country.

“Many of Moshood’s mates and superiors who have been left behind by this unmerited promotion will never be happy, and rightly so and will not be encouraged to put in their best. I’m told that this is Okiro’s parting ‘gift’ as he exits the PSC and that many other officers benefitted from the ‘gift’ with some who did not merit it paying some fees. Already, I’m receiving complaints from grudging and disgruntled officers and what they say will outrage anyone concerned about fairness and how corruption and injustice can breed insecurity in a country”.

Base on this NOPRIN is calling President Buhari to order for an immediate investigation into irregularities in police promotion in Nigeria as part of government’s strategies to address police ineffectiveness and insecurity in the country.

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

Besides, the group also expressed it stand on state police, held that Nigeria Police is over-centralised. “Nigeria is too big a country to be policed by a one-size-fits- all central police. This centralised structure of the Nigeria police is one of the key factors militating against police efficiency and effectiveness. Everywhere, policing is local”.

It called on the National Assembly to commence the process of amending the Constitution to allow for the establishment of State police and also produce a bill that will guarantee the establishment of independent and professional state police services.

“Now, the Senate has also comes up to lead the push for state police.

NOPRIN believes that State Police should only be established on a basis of strict adherence to the principles of operational autonomy, and must be based on sound professional practice in appointment, operations and control.

There should be defined parameters of cooperation which provide, for example, that where a state does not fully cooperate with its counterpart or the Federal Police on any matter, the Federal Police should take over and deal with the matter as is common in other jurisdiction”..

Human Rights

Amnesty confirms 60 killed by Boko Haram in Rann

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The false-colour image above highlights the near-infrared band. Healthy vegetation appears red while unhealthy, or burned, areas appear black or brown. On 30 January 2019, hundreds of structures appear heavily burned. Environmental sensors remotely detected fires in the area on 28 and 29 January 2019.

At least 60 people were killed following the 28 January devastating Boko Haram attack on Rann, a border town in Borno state, northeast Nigeria, Amnesty International has confirmed.

The organization also analyzed satellite imagery which shows hundreds of burned structures in the town. Many of the destroyed structures only date back to 2017, suggesting they were shelters for internally displaced people who came to Rann seeking protection.

“We have now confirmed that this week’s attack on Rann was the deadliest yet by Boko Haram, killing at least 60 people. Using satellite imagery we have also been able to confirm the mass burning of structures as Boko Haram unleashed a massive assault on Rann, most of which is now destroyed,” said Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria.

Satellite imagery which shows hundreds of burned structures in the town

“This attack on civilians who have already been displaced by the bloody conflict may amount to possible war crime, and those responsible must be brought to justice. Disturbingly, witnesses told us that Nigerian soldiers abandoned their posts the day before the attack, demonstrating the authorities’ utter failure to protect civilians.”

Inadequate security

Alleged withdrawal of troops, triggered a massive exodus of civilians to Cameroon, as fear spread that Boko Haram would take advantage and attack the town. At around 9am on 28 January, a group of Boko Haram fighters arrived on motorcycles. They set houses ablaze and killed those left behind. They also chased after those who attempted to escape and killed some people outside the town.  Eleven bodies were found within Rann town, and 49 bodies were found outside.

The false-colour image above highlights the near-infrared band. Healthy vegetation appears red while unhealthy, or burned, areas appear black or brown. A closer look at one burned area on 30 January 2019 shows the severity of the damage. Many of the structures are new since 2017 suggesting they are shelters for IDPs living in the town.

The false-colour image above highlights the near-infrared band. Healthy vegetation appears red while unhealthy, or burned, areas appear black or brown. A closer look at one burned area on 30 January 2019 shows the severity of the damage. Many of the structures are new since 2017 suggesting they are shelters for IDPs living in the town.

Amnesty International was informed that about 50 people have not been accounted for. Those who took part in the burial explained what they saw.

According to an eyewitness: “Ten of us [Civilian Joint Task Force] came from Cameroon to Rann for the burial. When we arrived, we found and buried 11 corpses within the town, but the soldiers told us that they buried several others yesterday [30 January] who had decayed. Outside the town, we recovered and buried 49 dead bodies all with gunshot wounds.”

Aid agencies have reported that some 30,000 civilians have fled for the border with Cameroon in recent days, joining a further 9,000 who fled Boko Haram’s previous attack on Rann on 14 January.

Satellite evidence of mass burning

Amnesty International analyzed satellite images from 30 January 2019 showing hundreds of structures burned in the east, south and southeast of Rann. Environmental sensors detected fires in the area on 28 and 29 January.

The false-colour image above highlights the near-infrared band. Healthy vegetation appears red while unhealthy, or burned, areas appear black or brown. On 30 January 2019, hundreds of structures appear heavily burned. Environmental sensors remotely detected fires in the area on 28 and 29 January 2019.

In the 14 January attack, Boko Haram burned well over 100 structures in other areas of Rann. These two recent attacks have left most of the town heavily damaged or destroyed.

Amnesty International is calling on Nigerian authorities to investigate the alleged withdrawal of security forces of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) from Rann, which may have left tens of thousands of civilians exposed to this latest deadly attack.

“Boko Haram has consistently and deliberately targeted civilians in Rann, which makes the Nigerian authorities failure to protect people all the more unacceptable,” said Osai Ojigho.

“The authorities on both sides of the border must provide the supplies and safety that these people require. The Cameroonian authorities must also desist from forcing people to return until conditions are safe and they choose to do so voluntarily.”

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Media groups mourn slain Ghanaian Journalist in Nigeria

– March to Ghana High Commission, open a condolence register in Abuja

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The group holding a banner in solidarity with slain Ghanaian journalist, Ahmed Hussein-Suale

Journalists from SATELLITE TIMES newsroom, Safer Media Initiative (SMI) and colleagues from the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Thursday in solidarity mourned the death of Ghanaian Journalist, Ahmed Hussein-Suale who was assassinated in his country on Wednesday, January 16.

Hussein-Suale, an undercover journalist with Tiger Eye, an investigative reporting project founded by Anas Aremeyaw Anas was shot three times by gunmen on a motor bike who eventually drove off without carting away with any valuables from his vehicle.

In solidarity to the fallen hero, journalists from SATELLITE TIMES, Safer Media Initiative and colleagues from the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ) came out, dressed in black to mourn and also condemn the gruesome killing of Hussein-Suale. The ceremony is in continuation of a week-long activity in Abuja and Lagos by investigative reporters bent on seeking justice for their slain colleague in Ghana as well as upholding the ideals for which he gave his life.

Two days earlier, members of Safer Media Initiative took their solidarity march to the Ghana High Commission in Abuja where they called on the Ghanaian government to take action and further justice for the slain journalist.

Reacting to the murder, publisher of SATELLITE TIMES newspaper and multiple award-winning investigative journalist, Emmanuel Mayah, in strong terms condemned the act, adding that it is one too many on African journalists.

 Publisher of SATELLITE TIMES newspaper and multiple award-winning investigative journalist, Emmanuel Mayah

Publisher of SATELLITE TIMES newspaper and multiple award-winning investigative journalist, Emmanuel Mayah

Mayah used the medium to also encourage journalists not to fret or be discouraged by the attack on their colleague. Though he recognized the fact that the work of journalists in Africa is becoming increasingly difficult, he charged them to keep shinning light on the truth as they remain the defenders of the social contract, ridding the continent of corruption, bad governance and inequality.

In an earlier statement condemning the murder, Mayah said “We at SATELLITE TIMES newsroom join our colleagues in the global investigative journalism community in condemning the cowardly killing of this young journalist in Ghana. To Anas: we stand by you and share in your grief in this dark moment. To Ahmed’s family: the pain never goes away. To the government of Ghana we say: Journalists are not public enemy, rather they are protectors of the public interest; the defenders of the social contract between the citizens and the state.”

Journalists from SATELLITE TIMES newsroom took turns to sign a condolence register in memory and honour of Hussein-Suale.

Journalists from SATELLITE TIMES newsroom signing condolence register

Journalists from SATELLITE TIMES newsroom signing condolence register

Tony Icheku, a member of the NUJ in his condolence message said, “A threat to one is a threat to all. Ahmed Hussein-Suale’s death must not be in vain. RIP brother man!”

In his remark, the Executive Director of Safer Media Initiative, Peter Iorter said “it is unfortunate and worrisome that this has happened in Ghana, a country regarded as one of the most democratic countries in Africa and also ranking better than any other African country on the World Press Freedom index.”

Hussein-Suale was a member of the undercover team that exposed football corruption in Ghana and his last work, an investigation into ritual killings in Malawi published by the BBC.

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Satellite Times condemn the assassination of investigative journalist

-calls on journalists in Nigeria to wear black

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Ahmed Hussein-Suale, the Tiger Eye the investigative journalist who was killed by gunmen [Photo credit: Quartz Africa]
Ahmed Hussein-Suale, the Tiger Eye investigative journalist who was killed by gunmen [Photo credit: Quartz Africa]

Nigeria’s frontline investigative newspaper, Satellite Times, has condemned in strong terms the assassination in Ghana of investigative journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale.

Ahmed was killed in a hail of bullets from gunmen on motorbike who aimed at his chest and neck, eventually speeding off without taking any valuables from his car which they had trailed till the attack. The slain journalist was one of the reporters at Tiger Eye, an investigative reporting project founded by ace Ghanaian journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas.

Reacting to the murder, Satellite Times’ publisher and multiple award-winning investigative journalist, Emmanuel Mayah, said in a statement that the shooting dead of Ahmed Hussein-Suale is one gruesome attack too many on African journalists doing the difficult work of ridding the continent of corruption, bad governance and political capture.

In the press statement Mayah said:

“I am reeling in shock as I write this. What happened in Ghana is too close to home that it is producing a petrifying aftershock here in Nigeria. Over the years I have received with angst news of killings of journalists across the world but none was as jolting as the slaying of Ahmed Hussein-Suale; maybe because I knew him in person.

“We at Satellite Times newsroom, join our colleagues in the global investigative journalism community in condemning the cowardly killing of this young journalist in Ghana. To Anas: we stand by you and share in your grief in this dark moment. To Ahmed’s family: the pain never goes away. To the government of Ghana we say: Journalists are not public enemy, rather they are protectors of the public interest; the defenders of the social contract between the citizens and the state.

We ask the government of Ghana and indeed those of the other member states of the African Union to recall Article 13 of the United Nations Convention against corruption, which provides that each state party shall take measures to protect “the freedom to seek, receive, publish and disseminate information concerning corruption”. In the spirit of this statute, we call on the government of Ghana to fish out and bring to justice the killers of Ahmed; be they in government or friends of the government.

“Death is everyone’s destiny but death for the investigative journalist is a choice. Journalists fought for the independence of nations of Africa. They fought against colonialism, apartheid, military dictatorship and now even in a democracy, they are fighting against bad governance, human rights violations and official brigandage, the last obstacles to the total emancipation of the African continent.

“We ask the African community that we serve to see investigative journalists as freedom fighters in the mould of Steve Biko, Martin Luther King, Patrice Mulumba, Thomas Sankara, Che Guevera, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Ken Saro-Wiwa; and of course, Dele Giwa, Norbert Zongo and Anna Politkovskaya.

“Journalists in Satellite Times newsroom will begin today (Friday) to wear black for seven days as we mourn our departed colleague in Ghana.”

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