Money-for-posting racket rocks police

Money-for-posting racket rocks police

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We pay N10m for juicy posts – Officers

 Let them produce proof – Force spokesman

From ADE ALADE, ABUJA

Sometime in November 2016, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris disclaimed reports that most of his postings were lopsided. A statement by the Force spokesman then asserted that transfers and postings in Nigeria Police are administrative routine aimed at enhancing utmost efficiency of the officers and men for better and effective service delivery.

Contrary to repeated denials, Saturday Sun investigation and insider information however indicate a thriving money-for-posting racket where officers allegedly paid millions of naira to a super-lobbyist identified as Barrister Emma, a man reputed to have unhindered access to the office of the IGP, and revered by policemen in and around the IGP office.

While Saturday Sun cannot confirm if his activities are based on instructions by the IGP, it, however, confirmed that the Mende, Maryland, Ikeja Lagos home of the fixer is a mecca for posting lobbyists who troop in, in the hope of landing some of the most lucrative posts in the police force.

The super fixer

A senior officer embittered by a lost opportunity was resentful against Barrister Emma for out-maneuvering him out of a posting to one of the squadrons in the country. He said: “He is a lawyer from a South-South state, which is one of the reasons I believe that the IGP is under his spell.  We know IGP Idris is not money-conscious, so we do not know if the man is remitting money to him. If the IGP is wise, he would put a stop to the activities of that man as he cannot convince Nigerians the man is not working on his instruction.”

He raved on: “I was asked to bring N10 million if I want to get that position. Where on earth would I raise such amount of money if I’m yet to be posted as a squadron commander?  How can a common policeman whose highest posting is a DPO in one village afford to raise millions of naira to secure a good posting?”

For would-be doubters, he said: “Go to the 7th Floor and ask them about Barrister Emma, you’d get more details. He is feared amongst senior officers, that is why he is known as ‘Point and Kill.’ If he targets your position, you will be posted to Maiduguri or one village in the north where herdsmen or Boko Haram members will kill you. He is so powerful that any state you want to be posted to will be guaranteed. He just walks into the IGP office and it’s a done deal.”

The simplest way to confirm his words, the source said, is to visit the lawyer’s abode. “Go there and see for yourself, you will conclude that it is a mobile police training ground. Policemen troop in there on a daily basis with bags of money.”

When Saturday Sun visited the Maryland home of the Barr Emma, the allegation that the house is indeed a meeting point for policemen is not farfetched. Mobile policemen also guard the compound, located in the same neighbourhood with a popular pentecostal church on Oki lane, Mende, Maryland.

Neighbours who spoke with Saturday Sun simply said the house belongs to “a lawyer who is highly connected.” They claim that he moves in a convoy of at least six mobile policemen.

The juicy pie of MOPOL

The most coveted position is the post of Squadron Commander in charge of the units in the Police Mobile Force (PMF), a source told Saturday Sun. PMF, popularly known as MOPOL, was established as a strike or anti-riot unit under the control of the Inspector-General of Police to counter incidents of civil disturbance. It takes over operations of major crisis where conventional police units cannot cope. The over 40, 000 strong PMF is deployed in 52 Police Mobile Squadrons, each of approximately 700 men, spread amongst the 36 State Commands and Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Mobile Policemen are deployed as anti-crime force to combat armed banditry, violent militant groups, religious insurrection, and many others. They also serve as guards at the residences of senior police officers (serving and retired), diplomats and senior government officials. The PMF is also charged with the protection of strategic economic sites such as oil installations, on and offshore flow stations, pipelines, and other oil-related servicing companies. All of these, put together, make the PMF a huge pie, and as Saturday Sun learnt, a source of wealth for the squadron commanders.

According to the police source, juicy postings include MOPOL 49, 2, 22 and 20 (Lagos), MOPOL 31 (Delta) and MOPOL 19, 48 and 56(Rivers).  He fingered MOPOL 19 as the most sought after, where officers are said to ‘mop up’ at least N30 million a month through administrative charges.

Giving further insights into these lucrative postings, another impeccable police source explained that every squadron commander, with at least 500 mobile men under his formation, is expected to provide security for big companies, and some VIPs if need be, while the companies in turn pay administrative fees to the commander for the supply of mobile policemen.

He simplified the ‘political economy’ of this profitable posting: “In Rivers State, there are a lot of companies and expatriates in need of protection and are ready to pay for the ‘Green Beret’ because they assume they are well trained. Administrative fees could be as high as N500, 000 per month. When multiplied by the number of companies and individuals that subscribe every month, the commander will smile home with nothing less than N30 million in a month. This is why anyone who manages to get such posting would not want to be transferred out. They keep paying to retain the position and some who are due for promotion will reject such because an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) cannot be a squadron commander. Most of them were finally removed by the current IGP to give way for some of his boys who have served him. If you manage to convince them to post you as a squadron commander, you are made for life, no matter the state.”

He added: “The worst place they can ever send anyone is the railway command. Take a look at officers in that area, you will find out that they are heavily indebted.”

Police react

Reacting to the development, Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Jimoh Moshood asked, “who do they pay the money? If anybody claims he has paid or is paying the money, he should know who he is paying the money to. So, if anybody is claiming that he paid N10 million, who did he pay the money to so that we can investigate it.

“Postings of Squadron Commanders are based on the capability of the officer and the competence to discharge that responsibility. It is no issue of paying money; anybody who is attempting to pay money is not fit to be a police officer. Squadron Commanders are operational commanders, and it is quite unfortunate if anybody is alleging that he is paying money to be made Squadron Commander. To who, and who is receiving the money?

“It is unfair for anybody to say that and nobody is being paid for the selection of Squadron Commander. It is unfounded and anybody making such allegation should let us know who he is paying the money to and who asked for such money from him or her because Squadron Commanders are posted based on their competence and their capability and ability to carry out the specific operations and other responsibilities expected of them.

“Anybody making such a claim should substantiate it. My office is open for such a person to write or can write to IGP directly stating that so and so person is asking for money from him to be posted as Squadron Commander.

But I know that Squadron Commanders are posted on competence and so anybody who is not competent can make any claim”.

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