16th May, 2012
This open letter is from the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) , a group of civil society, community-based and other non-governmental organizations with the objective of fighting corruption and corrupt persons by any means possible at all levels in Nigeria.
It has come to our notice that your commission, Police Service Commission (PSC), allegedly based some of your decisions and actions on conjectures rather than concrete and verifiable indices. It is against this backdrop that we would like to, for the umpteenth time, call on the PSC and other authorities concerned to, as a matter of urgency, investigate all allegations of examination malpractices against former DCP. Tunde Ogunsakin who was seconded to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as Director of Operations, and was promoted to the position of the Commissioner of Police in the recent promotion exercise carried out by the PSC.
The promotion exercise was greeted by grumblings within the top hierarchy of the Nigeria Police Force. Many of the officers who have been unjustly treated, and could muster enough strength to speak out have tried to ventilate their anger and frustration through different means in the media. Just about two weeks ago, precisely on Saturday, May 5, 2012, The Saturday Sun newspaper published an interview granted by a prominent lawyer, Barrister Debo Adeleke who actually demanded for the removal of the PSC Chairman for allegedly promoting officers with questionable character and low integrity far and above their peers, superiors and seniors with clean and excellent records.
We are compelled to write this petition after our initial investigation of the various allegations against the PSC Chairman revealed that one of the beneficiaries of latest promotion and posting exercise, Mr. Tunde Johnson Ogunsakin, a Commissioner of Police, had been indicted for an examination fraud and consequently expelled by the University of Abuja. We have also established that the officer was, amidst cries for justice by other officers, posted to head a very sensitive unit in the Police Force, the Special Fraud Unit, SFU.
Despite the fact that investigations revealed that Ogunsakin was found wanting by contravening the import of oath of office he swore to be truthful and trustworthy, he did the opposite by courting so many controversies, got entangled and enmeshed in several examination malpractices in his years at the University of Abuja where the authorities of the higher institution confirmed that he was culpable but was never really disciplined. Reports in our possession also indicate that Mr. Ogunsakin was already a 400-level law student of University of Abuja when it was discovered he was not granted leave of absence to undertake a full-time course at the institution by the former Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro, in 2005.
Firstly, Ogunsakin was caught for an examination fraud by a hard-to-compromise lecturer from the English Department, when he was sitting for a compulsory GST 101 course in his first year at the school. The school authorities confirmed this in a memo issued on 4th May 2009 when the police chief was caught in yet another examination fraud. The memo endorsed by the school’s registrar, M.B. Modibo with reference number UA/R/GEN/50 disclosed, “the above named student (Tunde Ogunsakin-matric no.05251064) was alleged to have been involved in some form of examination malpractice during the 2005/2006 academic session”. The police officer, who was the Director of
Operations in EFCC then, was again caught by another lecturer, Larry O.C. Chukwu on April 7, 2007 when he (Ogunsakin) sought the assistance of Yinka Afolayan, a 400-level law student of the university to write an examination on his behalf due to his absence from school. Afolayan in turn contracted the services of a 500 level student of the same institution, Bright Edobor who finally wrote the course assessment test on Law of Equity (LAW403) for the police officer.
The scandal became a public issue when an online publication reported the fraud on 22nd April with a full report of the scam on the cover page of a Nigerian national paper, Compass on 24th April 2009. That was said to have prompted the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to order for the sack of Ogunsakin from the EFCC with another directive that disciplinary action should be taken against him.
Unfortunately, years after that presidential order, both the PSC and the police authorities have only succeeded in ignoring that directive and compensated Mr Ogunsakin with promotion from the rank of a Deputy Commissioner of Police to the next rank of Commissioner of Police as well as a juicy posting to the most sensitive organ of the police force, SFU.
Meanwhile, with the array of detailed investigation conducted on the aforementioned crimes allegedly committed by “CP” Ogunsakin, ridding the Nigeria Police Force of the bad officers who smear and bring the name of the country into disrepute, which should be the ultimate objective of the Police Service Commission, could be in jeopardy. A situation where questionable characters and elements are elevated to higher position of authority in public offices thereby promoting mediocrity should always be discouraged. Conversely, a situation where people with proven credibility, impeccable character and unassailable integrity are ignored and forgotten must be outrightly condemned while those of questionable characters must be maximally punished to serve as deterrent to others.
•That the recent promotion exercise in the Nigeria Police Force should be reviewed, whereby records of performance and integrity would be used as cardinal criteria for promoting and posting in the force.
•That the House of Reps or its relevant committees should be allowed to set up public hearings where aggrieved officers can present their complaints in regard to the recent promotion and posting exercise in the police force.
•That officers with questionable records and/or indictments should be flushed out of the police to pave way for committed and dedicated officers with clean records.
•That those whose cases may not warrant outright sack should be removed from sensitive positions.
•That Mr. Tunde Johnson Ogunsakin’s case and others in his shoes should not be buried under the usual Nigerian carpet but should be made as good examples conducts not expected of a disciplined force
•That administration, promotion and posting process of men of the police force should be devoid of influence of godfatherism and nepotism.
We shall be grateful if this Petition is given speedy and adequate attention it requires. Even when we are hopeful that being a responsible and responsive body, the PSC will not ignore this call, however we shall henceforth closely monitor your commission’s consideration of our aforestated demands if they would be heeded or ignored. If heeded we shall openly acknowledge you for it but if ignored, we shall, in our characteristic way of pursuing the cause of justice, not hesitate to follow up the demands with street processions and other forms of protests.
•Debo Adeniran, on behalf of Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL)