Public Relations Officer, PRO, Nigerian Prisons Service, NPS, Deputy Controller of Prisons, DCP Francis Enebore, has said that promotions in the service were based on merit and not federal character principle.
The NPS spokesman stressed that, “No organisation would sacrifice merit simply to honour geo-political spread, especially when it comes to elevation or promotions.’’
DCP Francis Enebore was reacting to allegations that recent posting of directorates’ heads at the prisons headquarters, Abuja did not favour south-west geo-political zone.
Nigerian Pilot reliably gathered that in the recent posting of the six deputy controllers general, DCGs covering duties, CD in the six directorates of the NPS headquarters, two DCGs from Kebbi state (North-West) Nigeria are holding key positions, while South-West has no representation at the top.
The two kebbi-born DCGs are DCG operations, Saraki Umaru Ahmed and DCG admin, Jafaru Ahmed.
Sources within the Prisons HQ told our correspondent that DCG finance and budget, Dagaci Y.A is from Niger (North-Central), DCG inmates, training & productivity is Salihu Ali Bala from Yobe state (North-East), DCG works and logistics is Afujue Raymond Chuks from Anambra (South-East), while DCG health & social welfare is Dr. Udom Ekpedeme from Akwa Ibom (South-South).
Our investigation revealed that the most senior assistant controller general, ACG from South-West who was due for promotion to the rank of DCG and moved to the headquarters Abuja is currently at the zonal headquarters in Ibadan, while his junior who was at the zonal headquarters Lagos for just 3 months was promoted and posted to Abuja to occupy his current position as DCG.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Nigerian Pilot, DCP Francis Enebore said the issue of federal character is another issue that must be addressed with high sense of responsibility and caution.
He said, “When you talk about elevation, it starts with recruitment. The service is one of the numerous services we have under the ministry of interior. It is the exclusive responsibility of the prisons, immigration; civil defence board to carry out recruitment and to the best of my knowledge, the board has maintained the federal character principle and geo-political spread of appointment.
“Coming to elevation, it is also done in that manner. It is spread across the board. But don’t forget that why not jettison the relevance of geo-political recognition in elevation, merit also plays a vital role. We should not ignore the issue of merit because that is where competence comes in. Do you elevate people who are not qualified or competent just because you want to observe federal character?” Enebore asked.
On the issue of age falsification by some top management officers of the NPS, the prisons spokesman admitted that there was a fundamental problem in the compilation of nominal roll of personnel of the service.
He said, “In 1991, some individuals, in the absence of nothing, in the absence of no record of service of everybody whether when we were with custom service, some staff came together to compile the names and records of service of officers under customs, immigration and prisons. They put this record together.
“In that document, you will discover that most officers that have their records, it’s either they have their service number; the date of birth is not there or vice versa. There are so many of them like that. No service number in some of the officers’ list. However, you cannot still take them to task for not having adequate information because they met nothing on ground and in the absence of nothing, they started something to show that Mr. A, B, C served in this organization.”
DCP Enebore revealed further that as the PRO of NPS and his rank as DCP, his name was not in that 1991 record. “One of the officers being accused of age falsification, his name is not in that document at all. So there are some officers that do not have their names or record of service in that document. That shows you how authentic such a document can be. You can also attest to the fact that looking at the character; it is the old typewriter that was used.”


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