Reporters have emerged in an ongoing investigation disclosing that the Nigerian Prisons Service (NPS) has hired around 538 recruits without due process.
The report alleges that under the leadership of the Controller-General Ahmed Ja’afaru of the Nigerian Prisons Service and the Minister of the Interior Abdulrahman Dambazau, the NPS has hired around 538 recruits without following established laws for public recruitment exercises.
This latest finding follows similar illegal employment schemes by the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Executive Chairman Tunde Fowler.
It will be recalled that earlier in the year, the Central Bank of Nigeria had conducted an alleged illegal recruitment exercise which saw the recruitment of children and relatives of powerfully connected Nigerians.
CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele denied any complicity in the monumental recruitment fraud.
Also, FIRS Executive Chairman, Mr. Fowler, similarly, conducted an alleged illegal recruitment which saw that the friends and relatives of prominent personalities in Nigeria were hired into the service.
According to a SaharaReporters published report, the list of illegal FIRS hires include persons many of whom were chosen by Mr. Fowler, Senator Owan Enoh who sits on the Senate Finance Committee, and various persons close to President Muhammadu Buhari.
This new report reveals two leaked separate lists of names of new recruits who were to undergo new hire training in Lagos or Kaduna.
The first list is titled “List of Newly Recruited ASP in Training” whose training is to take place at the Prisons Training College in Kiri-Kiri, Lagos State.
The second list is titled “List of Newly Recruited Trainees June 2016” whose training is to take place at Prisons Training School in Kaduna State.
The report also revealed that the majority of these illegal hires are from northern states.
Of the total of 538 names found on the list, around 370 were from 14 northern states based on the state of origin, or about 68% of the hires.
Spokesman for the Nigerian Prisons Service, Mr Francis Enobore, responding to enquiries on the alleged recruitment said he “cannot recollect any recruitment announcement” in the recent months.
He added that he cannot speak to the authenticity of the list saying that no hire can undergo training with the NPS unless they have been formally hired and possesses a letter of appointment.
NPS Recruits 538 Without Due Process
Sources at the NPS revealed to reporters that, in an effort to cover their tracks and conceal their illegal activity, officials backdated letters of appointment for the illegal hires to attempt to have plausible deniability if their crimes ever surface.
These same sources also explained that a massive training exercise, with the number of NPS staff listed on these training sheets, only takes place when there is an influx of new hires.
Speaking again on the matter Mr. Enobore confirmed that there is a legal process to hire employees at the NPS. He explained that the NPS “would need to make their case before the Federal Government, request to declare new vacancies, and have that request approved.”
Mr. Enobore also informed that the Federal Character Commission would need to be involved to ensure no single ethnic group or State receives preferential hires.
He however declined commenting on the list having many more new hires from northern States.
Reports of this alleged illegal employment scheme comes days after a jailbreak of several prisoners from Kuje Prison in Abuja.
Media reports allege that the escapees had assistance from NPS staff, and a certain prison officer, Musa Tanko was dismissed under suspicion that he may have been involved.