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Mike Okiro: Yes, IGP Idris granted special promotions. But they were not illegal




Mike Okiro, Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC) and former Inspector General of Police, says the promotion granted some police officers by Ibrahim Idris, the current IGP, were “special promotions”, not illegal as alleged by Isah Misau.

Misau, the senator representing Bauchi Central in the National Assembly, had, among many allegations, claimed that Idris granted illegal, accelerated promotions to officers from his Kanuri ethnic group.

But Okiro said it was the prerogative of the IGP to grant special promotion to officers who have “done very well”.

“There was no illegal promotion. Rather, what the IG brought to us was special promotion, which we looked at and found out that some officers were skipped,” Okiro said during an interview with The Punch.

“When a list of policemen for promotion is sent to us, the police service commission will look at whether a policeman has a disciplinary matter. Is it according to seniority?

“You cannot leave number one and promote number 10. When the IG brought the list, we asked him to explain why they should be given special promotion.

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“Special promotion is an incentive if you have done very well. Sometimes when someone is given special promotion, you find his colleagues clapping and congratulating him that he had done well.

“But you must give sufficient reasons why someone should be given special promotion, it is not illegal. We asked him to explain why those he recommended should be given the privilege.”

Okiro, however, added that according to the Act establishing the PSC, the commission has no oversight or disciplinary powers over the office of the IGP.

“There is a lacuna in the Act establishing the commission and in the constitution where the commission is saddled with the responsibility of recruitment, discipline and promotion of police officers. It is put there in brackets, except IG,” Okiro said.

“They say power corrupts and absolutely power corrupts absolutely: it depends on the individual.

“An IG may feel he is not under the commission and decide to behave as he likes. Others may feel the job needs to be done, and relate well with the commission, but some may say, “I don’t need them (commission), there is nothing they can do to me.

“It depends on the IG, and that is why I said there is a lacuna in the Act because if the commission feels strongly about an issue in the police and the IG refuses to implement it, there is nothing the commission can do about it.”

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Okiro also said that the PSC was no longer looking into the allegations raised by Misau against Idris, because Misau refused to come to clarify his claims and besides, the matter had been taken to court.

“We asked him [Misau] to come and substantiate the allegations. We invited him, but he didn’t come.

“Who gave money, how much and to who? But he didn’t come. So, we just let the matter die because he couldn’t substantiate the allegations.

“The matter is in court; so, it is sub judice to comment on it.”

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