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.