By Braxton Ilobah
Eyebrows are being raised in immigration circles following the continued delay in appointing a substantive Comptroller General of Immigration (CGI) for the nation after the retirement of the former boss, Muhammed Babandede and subsequent appointment of Idris Jere in acting capacity in September 2021.
This development, according to sources in 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.”
Investigations revealed that immediately after the appointment of Idris Jere in acting capacity, eleven qualified senior officers were mandated to submit their Curriculum Vitae and 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 silenced and ignored by the minister for over 4 months till date.
Secondly, that the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, Acting CGI Idris Jere and The Management board may have decided to tow the lane 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 Muhammadu Buhari.
A reliable source has revealed that a past Comptroller general of the NIS plans to impose his PSO on the Nigerian immigration Service as the new Boss. Hence, he is the only male candidate the retired Boss is strongly projecting to the panel in order to cover his bad tracks.
It was also learned that some concerned officials of the service who 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 with impunity and lack of due process.
They further noted that;”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.
Contacted over the development, the Assistant Comptroller of Immigration Public Relations Officer, Amos Okpu told our reporter: “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. “