Following the 4th June and 19th and 20th August 2014 promotions of senior police officers including 36 officers comprising CPs, AIGs and DIGs as well as their decorations, we have it on good authority that another 28 DCs have been penciled down to be promoted to the rank of Commissioners of Police. By NPF convention, more promotions are also expected to be carried out soonest so as to fill vacancies left by anticipated promotions under reference. More Chief Superintendents of Police (CSPs), Assistant Commissioners of Police (ACPs) and Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCPs) are expected to be promoted to the next ranks to fill the vacancies under reference.
In the course of our investigation of the recent promotions under reference so as to ascertain the extent of their compliance with Section 14 (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 or geopolitical equity, we discovered still that the likes of Northwest and North-central geopolitical zones have continued to have undue advantage over other geopolitical counterparts. For instance, out of 31 confirmed serving AIGs as at August 22nd 2014 in the Nigeria Police Force, Northwest retains nine, while North-central has seven.
This is followed by South/south with five; Southeast four; and Southwest and Northeast three respectively. Before the said recent promotions, the Southeast zone has existed without a single AIG. Shockingly, out of the said four new AIGs retained by Southeast zone, two: Godfrey E. Okeke and Felix Osita Uyanna will bow out of the NPF on 16th September 2014 and 15th January 2015 respectively. Also, CP Sylvester A. Umeh will leave the Force on 10th November 2014, leaving the important geopolitical zone with only two serving CPs (Ikemefuna R. Okoye, who will retire by 15th June 2015) and Paul E. Okafor (who will retire by 1st April 2017). The two serving CPs for the zone is out of about 96 serving CPs in the NPF as at the date under reference. Till date, the Northwest zone still parades at least 23 serving CPs.
To be able to effectively address the gross imbalance in promotions and postings being complained of, the Police Service Commission must step down the policy of effecting such promotions on the basis of “order of listing of names of police officers” in the current Staff List of CSP-IGP and carry out such promotions by locating names based on the their geopolitical origins. This new method under recommendation is already applied in the recent promotion of AIGs and DIGs where names and certain entrenched procedures have to give way so as to ensure equitable geopolitical representation. The double promotions offered to the duo of CPs Hilary Opara and Sontonye Leroy Wakama, who got promoted to DIG from CP to fill their geopolitical zonal slots, is a clear case in point. It is our firm demand that this new equitable method should be applied in the scheduled promotion of 28 new CPs as well as other subsequent promotions with a view to ensure equitable geopolitical zonal representation. It is our impeccable information that the way and manner in which names of CSPs to AIGs are arranged in the said Staff List are done for ethno-religious domination of the key cop posts. The List is grossly lopsided and needs to be reworked urgently or discarded.
Further, there is need to introduce principle of geopolitical equality in the promotion and posting of all senior police officers ranging from CSPs to IGP. Particularly, 12-36-90 promotion distribution ratio should be introduced in the context of geopolitical representation in the areas of DIGs, AIGs and CPs. In other words, there should be 12 DIGs for Nigeria with each of the six geopolitical zones giving two. For AIGs, there should be 36 of them with each zone getting six and there should be 90 CPs with each zone getting 15. Each zone should be given two Zonal Commands manned by AIGs out of 12 Zonal Commands in the country and out of 36 State Police Commands and the FCT; each zone should have six State Commissioners of Police. The 37th State/FCT CP should be given to a CP from the FCT area. Women should also be fairly represented in the three top cop categories.
In the case of promotion of Igbo/Southeast senior police officers in the twilight of their statutory retirement, such obnoxious policy must cease forthwith and in a situation whereby an Igbo/Southeast DIG retires, another Igbo/Southeast senior officer should be promoted to take his or her position. Same thing should apply where an Igbo/Southeast AIG or CP retires. In the case of DIG Hilary Opara who retires by 17th July 2015, he should be replaced by another Igbo/Southeast senior officer. Replacements from the zone for CPs Ikechukwu Aduba who retired on 9th July 2014 and Sylvester A. Umeh who will retire on 10th November 2014 should be found. Also replacements for AIGs Godfrey E. Okeke who will retire on 16th September 2014 and Felix Osita Uyanna who will retire by 15th January 2015 should be found as a matter of utmost immediacy.
For the avoidance of doubt, there are a good number of serving Igbo/Southeast senior police officers in the ranks of DCPs and ACPs. A good number of them are also in CSP positions. Some of them in DCP positions as of date are: DCPs (deputy commissioners of police) Valentine U. Ntochukwu (Anambra State-retirement date: 14/7/2018), Nwodibo Ekechukwu (Imo State-retirement date: 19/2/2017), Peace Ibekwe-Abdallah (Anambra State-retirement: 01/2/2021), Ogbusua Aja Oleh (Abia State-retirement date: 26/5/2016), Emma C.S. Ojukwu (Anambra State-retirement date: 28/10/2016), Chris Okey Ezike (Anambra State-retirement date: 19/3/2019), Damian Agba Chukwu (Imo State-retirement: 30/4/2019), Alex E. Opara (Imo State-retirement: 31/12/2019), Ignatius Amechi (Imo State-retirement date: 01/8/2015), Eva-Maria Chukwu(Imo State-retirement date:01/8/2015), Boniface K. Onyeabor (Enugu State-retirement date:01/2/2021), Celestine Okoye (Anambra State-retirement date: 22/12/2020), Chidi Nwulu (Abia State-retirement date: 01/8/2016), Augustine Ezechukwu (Enugu State-retirement date: 01/9/2017), Anthony Otumbadi Okafor (Imo State-retirement date: 24/7/2016) and Charles Ugomouh(Imo State-retirement date: 28/9/2017). The trios of DCPs Uchenna Anthony Nwamaka, Innocent C. Ekweozor and Anthony Ogbuagu Njoku have since retired on 30th July 2014. There are also at least 30 serving ACPs from Igbo/Southeast extraction with retirement dates ranging from 2016 to 2024.
As it is presently found, the number of serving CSPs, ACPs, DCPs, CPs and AIGs allocated to the Southeast geopolitical zone is far below those of other geopolitical zones of Southwest, South/south, Northwest, North-central and Northeast. On average, the Northwest zone still dominates, followed by North-central and South/south zones; then followed by Southwest zone. The Southeast and Northeast zones remain the most cheated. Same thing applies to operational headships of Zonal Commands, State Commands, ATSs, SPUs, Federal Highways, Area Commands, Divisional Police Commands, SARS, Special Police Taskforces on Oil Bunkering, Police Marine, Police Airport, Police Border Patrols, etc. The imbalances and ethno-religious domination above complained should be frontally addressed by the Police Service Commission.
On the other hand, our commendation still goes to the PSC for a bold first attempt at righting this age-long wrong, which has deformed the NPF and destroyed its pluralistic value. We also congratulate the newly promoted and decorated senior police officers including associate IGP Suleiman A. Abba and task them to join hands in rebuilding the battered policies and operations of the Force. We charge those of them who are victims of born before computer revolution or those who are still computer illiterates to shun their pride/ego and get enrolled into available computer/ICT learning centers or schools so as to get themselves fully equipped for modern trends of policing including ICT and man-machine intelligence policing.
For: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Chairman of the Board
+2348100755939 (office only)
+2348100755939 (office only)
Uzochukwu Oguejiofor, Esq., Head, Campaign & Publicity Department
Obianuju Igboeli, Esq., Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program
Anita Onochie, Esq., Head, Security & Safety Program