Officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency in Nigeria have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately sack the Chairman/Chief Executive Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah retired over what they described as monumental decadence that characterised Abdallah’s misrule.
According to a statement by Concerned Officers signed by Deputy Superintendent of Narcotics, Musa Ahmed Yusuf, they are calling for a Judicial Panel of Inquiry to probe the degenerating state of affairs in the past five years that have taken life out of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) due to ineptitude, incompetence and sinister malfeasance.
The petition titled ABDALLAH HAS KILLED NDLEA SACK HIM NOW addressed to Mr. President through the Secretary to the Federal Government and copied to the National Security Adviser, the officers are worried that the comatose state of the Agency demands an urgent intervention stressing that this is the best time to sack Abdallah whose dispiriting and abysmal tenure will terminate on January 11, 2021.
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In their words, “the Agency has been choking under the yoke of unprecedented criminal neglect of staff welfare and biased administrative policy. We are calling for a Judicial Panel of Inquiry to ascertain the many sins of Abdallah and prosecute him”.
It will be recalled that on Monday November 16, 2020, at the budget hearing in Abuja, the poor and disappointing performance of Abdallah came under scrutiny when the Honourable Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Narcotic Drugs, Dr. Francis Ottah Agbo, lambasted Abdallah for his inability to get the agency on the right footing.
According to Dr. Francis, Abdallah should learn from the experience of former Director General of NAFDAC, late Prof. Dora Akunyili on how to effectively run the NDLEA.
The aggrieved Officers also passed a vote of no confidence on Abdallah for failure to take the Agency forward from where he took over from his predecessors.
Abdallah is currently proposing N12.688,496, 733 billion as budget estimate for 2021 out of which he is proposing to spend N9.195, 395, 368, 466 as recurrent expenditure and over N3 billion as capital with N398, 073 million for overhead.
The officers utterly rejected the above budget presented by Abdallah because it did not reflect the reality on ground. All the State Command offices are in dilapidated condition yet, this is the budget he has to offer. This explains how he has mismanaged the agency in the past five years and we are saying enough is enough.
The officers stated that Abdallah is unjustifiably withholding officers two promotions, a situation that has deliberately distorted the seniority list in the Agency and stagnated them on one rank for many years. In their words, ” we have overstayed in one rank. Abdallah’s refusal to harmonise and conduct proper placement of staff have engendered indiscipline and poor service delivery. As a result of this administrative witch-hunt, many officers in the past few years have retired with lower ranks than their actual ranks and this had affected their pension benefits”.
They also accused the chairman of not coming to the office on regular basis. “This habit of perpetual absenteeism from duty had made him to loose touch with the current state of affairs in the Agency. A good example is the fact that most Commands are having vacancies in Commanders position that Aballah is not aware of. Every Command aught to have a Commander and two Assistants but this is not the position across the country” the officers observed.
“In October 2020, two agents, Samuel Abba Birma also known as Mbakwe and Tope Omopu were attacked in Abdallah’s home town of Hung while on official assignment from Michika in Adamawa State. Samuel Abba was burnt to death by Abdallah’s kinsmen while the other one is at the hospital. It is distressing to note that the Officer who survived the attack is yet to receive any financial support from the agency. What an open display of callousness and insensitivity to officers wellbeing by Abdallah?”
Similarly, the Edo State Command was burnt and destroyed during the recent End-SARS protest in October, 2020. Abdallah is yet to visit to see the extent of the damage and boost the moral of officers by providing an alternative accommodation. However, Abdallah is quick to travel to Europe and America on trivial issues.
Aballah was also blamed for having the worst corruption index in the Agency. Accordong to them, Abdallah refused to pay Commanders running cost since 2016. This is the pathetic state of affairs in the Agency. Now, the question is how are the Commanders coping without monthly subvention to run the Commands? Abdallah must give answer to this question before a Judicial Panel of Inquiry.
SELLING OF CHAIRMAN’S GUESTHOUSE/PART OF SHAW ROAD
The Concerned officers are pained that Abdallah’s insatiable greed had driven him to selloff the Agency’s official guesthouse for the chairman in Ikoyi and a section of the former Headquarters located at No 4 Shaw Road Ikoyi Lagos had also been sold. A mast had also been erected there thus jeopardizing the health of officers. They are therefore of the opinion that if left unchecked, Abdallah will selloff the entire agency due to his unexplainable avarice.
ABDALLAH’S FAULTY RECRUITMENT
The Concerned Officers have lost faith in the unending recruitment process under Abdallah that commenced since last year. They accused the chairman of double standard in the recruitment. “The names of candidates that did not write the selection test have been smuggled in at the detriment of those that applied and took the test. Mr. President, if you set up a Panel of Inquiry to investigate the ongoing recruitment process, you are sure to confirm our allegations of injustice and non compliance with due process. We demand a level playing field for every Nigerian to serve their country”.
Abdallah hired Emplug ICT firm to create a recruitment portal that lasted only two weeks for several millions of naira when the Agency’s ICT department has written to provide same Services for a token. There is no proof to show that the contract was advertised in the national newspapers or due process followed by Abdallah. We call for a forensic probe of this highly skewed recruitment exercise.
PROMOTIONS AND TRANSFER
Under Aballah the Agency’s policies on promotion and transfer had been abandoned and jettisoned. According to the transfer policy in the Agency, officers are expected to have a feel of all the beats from investigation to seaports, airports and land borders interdiction. However, there are Commanders and Officers who have spent over ten years in one beat.
They described the promotion of Commanders released on Friday November 13, 2020 as an attempt to buy cheap popularity and a sinister intent that was dead on arrival. They added that when last was the Commanders promoted? Are they not entitled to more than one promotion given the number of years they have spent in Service? Abdallah has stagnated both junior and senior Officers.
They blamed Abdallah for the lack of huge seizures of drugs at the seaports and airports. “Abdallah has rendered all the Special Investigative Squads redundant. As a result, drug barons are smiling to the banks at the detriment of peace and security of our country. This is making International collaborators to loose confidence in the country.
According to the Officers, actions to save the agency from total imminent collapse include immediate dismissal of Abdallah. Immediate revocation of the sales of the Agency’s guest house and Constitution of a panel of inquiry to probe his five year misrule and prosecute him.
Appointment of a competent chairman capable of taking the agency to greater heights like Col. Hamid Ali of the Nigerian Customs Services.
Harmonisation and proper placement of staff to compensate officers for their years of service and to correct the seniority list
The proper placement should include retired officers that were cheated under Abdallah’s draconic tenure of office.
Construction of a standard State Command headquarters in all the States and provision of operational logistics
Investigation of the unending and skewed recruitment process under Abdallah and a fresh recruitment exercise conducted by a Special Committee to be headed by the Director of Training.
We demand a national transfer that will take into consideration Officers previous postings in line with the rules of engagement. See full text of the officers write up.