The authorities of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps have enlisted about 100 candidates into its service without the recruits undergoing paramilitary training, The PUNCH has gathered.
Investigations showed that the candidates were the relatives, wards and protégés of politicians, influential personalities and traditional rulers from the northern part of the country.
A highly placed source informed our correspondent on Sunday that the recruits were brought into the service through the back door in what the authorities of the corps described as replacement.
It was learnt that most of the recruits were engaged through the influence of the Commandant-General of the corps, Muhammadu Gana.
Findings indicated that the recruits, who were engaged a few months ago, had been placed on the payroll of the NSCDC to enable them to receive salaries and other allowances.
A source said, “Just like the illegal recruitment that took place at the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Federal Fire Service and other federal agencies, the NSCDC has taken a cue from them by engaging close to 100 recruits who are the wards of politicians and northern traditional rulers.
“The recruits did not even go for the usual paramilitary training. They were simply issued letters and asked to resume.”
But the NSCDC Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Okeh, denied the recruitment, saying the corps could not hire new recruits because there was no provision for their salaries in the budget of the corps.
Okeh said, “It is not true, we did not recruit new personnel. How can we recruit when we do not have provision for their salaries in the budget? Agencies like the CBN and FIRS, which carried out recruitment like you said, are revenue-generating agencies; we are not like them, we don’t generate revenues.”
Meanwhile, four NSCDC Deputy Commandants-General, who retired in July 2015, have yet to vacate their official residences, 17 months after leaving office.
It was gathered that the DCGs, who retired alongside the former Commandant-General, Dr. Ade Abolurin, were still maintaining the apartments.
Okeh said there was nothing wrong in the continued occupation of the quarters by the retired officers, stressing that the service was comfortable with the arrangement and did not complain.
He said the men could live in the quarters for as long as they wished since the Federal Government had not appointed new deputy commandants-general for the service.
Okeh said, “That one (occupation of the quarters by deputy commandants-general) is not the business of anybody. The corps can decide to leave the buildings for them, they are not being forced to leave and new officers have not been appointed to replace them, it is the decision of the corps.
“We are not like others that chased their officials out (of official quarters); anybody who retires, enjoy yourself, the corps is not complaining about you living in the official quarters, we are one big family.”