Mustapha Abdallah

Buhari sacks NDLEA Chairman, Mustapha Abdallah

Mustapha Abdallah

President Muhamma­du Buhari has ap­proved the removal of the Chairman of the National Drug Law En­forcement Agency (NDLEA), Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (rtd).

He was appointed on Jan­uary 12, 2016 by the former Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Engr. Babachair Lawal, via a let­ter with reference number SGF.35/S.5/11/272.

In another letter dated January 7, 2021 and signed by the Secretary to the Federal Government, Boss Musta­pha, Abdallah was mandated to handover to the Secretary of the agency, Mr. Shadrach Haruna, on or before Janu­ary 10, 2021 (today).

It was gathered that Haruna, who was in the United Kingdom during the notice, had to cut short his trip as he hurried­ly returned to Nigeria at the weekend.

However, the sacked chairman had em­barked on a massive recruit­ment, barely 24 hours after he got a letter to handover.

Some concerned of­ficers of the NDLEA, who kicked against the recruit­ment exercise, equally com­mended President Buhari for his swift intervention in sacking Col. Abdallah follow­ing his dismal performance in the last five years.

In a letter addressed to the President at the weekend, the officers condemned the hasty recruitment and called for its cancellation.

“Sequel to the receipt of the handover letter, the em­battled outgoing Chairman, immediately ordered that let­ters be hurriedly dispatched to candidates to report to the NDLEA Academy in Jos for training on Monday January 11, 2021. This hasty move by Abdallah is mischievous and part of efforts to cover up the reckless misappropriation of the recruitment money released to him since 2019 as well as to thwart efforts at ex­posing the abnormalities that characterised the scandalous exercise.

“It was equally gathered that most of the candidates currently being shortlisted for the eleventh hour train­ing did not even apply for the job and sat for the entrance examination. This sad devel­opment did not only negate the principles of transparen­cy but geared towards deny­ing Nigerians equal opportu­nity in serving their country.

“We the concerned offi­cers hereby pass a vote of no confidence in the Abdal­lah-led recruitment exercise and passionately appeal to Mr. President to suspend the recruitment exercise to enable a forensic audit of the process in the interest of justice and fair play.

“Mr. President Sir, it stands to reason that the ur­gency with which Abdallah released the names of candi­dates only after he got a letter to handover for an exercise that he was fully mobilised financially since 2019 is be­deviled with sinister intent to advance his selfish interest to the detriment of national security.

“We hereby call for a com­prehensive probe into the recruitment process begin­ning with the payment of N60 million to Em-Plug ICT firm for creating an online portal that lasted for only two weeks. The Agency ICT department offered to create the online portal for a token, but was ignored by Abdallah.

“There was no publication in the newspapers for ICT firms to bid for the creation of the recruitment portal. As a result we want the entire awards of recruitment con­tracts that did not follow the due process properly inves­tigated. All successful candi­dates must be vetted and cer­tified to have applied online, sat for the examination and passed. Otherwise, a fresh exercise must be conducted under a new dispensation.”

The officers are also ac­cusing Abdallah of distort­ing the seniority list in the agency.

About Jacinta Okafor

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