Updated: February 26, 2021
Concerned officers of the Nigerian National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have called for the immediate arrest of the retired director of Administration and Finance, Yohanna-Silas Mshelia who refused to hand over and a forensic audit of the Agency’s account for the past four years under the Chairmanship of retired Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah.
This was contained in a statement signed by Musa Ahmed Yusuf on behalf of concerned officers. The marginalised officers alleged that Mshelia who worked till the last day of retirement on Friday October 11, 2019 has refused to hand over with the intention of elongating his service contrary to the Federal Civil Service regulations. He was called to bar in 1984 and was employed on with a bachelor degree on grade level 14 contrary to entry regulations.
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“Abdallah has no power to extend the service of a retired officer. We are demanding the immediate hand over of Mr Yohanna-Silas Mshelia to the most senior officer in the Administration department. We also want him to be investigated for the illegal payments to Abdallah for inconsequential monthly foreign travels since 2016” Musa stated.
The concerned officers also revealed the reasons why the retired director of Administration and Finance is reluctant to disengage from service. It was gathered that Mshelia working under the directive of Abdallah used Emplug, a mushroom ICT firm that established the recruitment portal to swindle the Agency of the sum of one hundred million naira. Already, Emplug has been paid the sum of sixty million naira just for creating the recruitment portal that lasted for only three weeks. Recruitment in the Agency is usually handled by a committee of officers drawn from the directorates of training and administration but the ongoing recruitment is being handled by Mshelia and Abdallah using Emplug which is their company.
The worst thing that will happen to drug control in Nigeria is for him to be allowed to conduct the ongoing recruitment. Abdallah has perfected plan to deceive Nigerian youths by corruptly selecting 5,000 persons through the backdoor who did not apply online leaving the over three hundred thousand applicants that took the pain to apply in utter frustration and neglect.
“Abdallah completely jettisoned due process in the selection of Emplug. The sum of one hundred million naira for opening the recruitment portal that lasted for only three weeks is to say the least absurd. This is the mother of all frauds and it is totally unacceptable to us. We demand for his immediate sack and investigation. When officers die there is no money, when they are transferred, there is no money but there is money for his monthly travels abroad. Out of the one hundred million naira fee, Abdallah has paid Emplug sixty million naira for creating a portal. This is unheard of. This administrative recklessness must be urgently addressed by the presidency. In fact, we have passed a vote of no confidence in him” Musa added.
Besides the monumental recruitment fraud, Mshelia also makes payment of the sum of twenty-five million to Abdallah every month from the Agency’s overhead for unexplainable foreign travels. It is to cover up his repugnant financial deals that the Chairman is unwilling to let go Mshelia whose services officially terminated on Friday October 11, 2019. Though his name has automatically been removed from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) salary payment schedule, corruption consideration has made him not to hand over as required by the law. It is on record that in order to corruptly allocate money for his monthly foreign travels, Abdallah as soon as he resumed office, stopped paying monthly running stipend to State commanders since 2016.
Concerned officers gathered that over three hundred thousand applicants applied online for this recruitment but unfortunately, Abdallah has shortlisted five thousand that did not apply online for the job vacancies. Why ask Nigerians to take the pain of applying online when you have already selected your candidates? This is unacceptable to us as Nigerians. Apart from corrupt practices of siphoning the Agency’s overhead for baseless foreign travels and the recruitment scandal; Abdallah has equally sat on officers’ promotion. He has refused to clear the backlog of promotion.
In 2018, Abdallah in a circular with reference number NDLEA/ALS/ADM/100/V/90 acknowledged that officers have overstayed in one rank for over a decade and promised to address promotion of staff. “In that circular titled ‘Issues Relating To Promotion,’ Abdallah stated that ‘I have carefully considered all the issues relating to irregular and delayed promotion in the agency and I am determined to put in place an enduring and sustainable promotion process and procedure. This is to enable the agency achieve the desired morale for optimal productivity by the personnel.”
Abdallah had promised to conclude the promotion of staff on grade level 03 to 06 by June 2018 and continue up the ladder, but the assurances never saw the light of the day. Even when he made officers to write promotion examination in August 2019, he still refused to release the promotion in October. These are clear signs of administrative ineptitude and nonchalance.
The promotion of officers has been neglected by Abdallah as the time table he released in 2018 after several agitations was not adhered to. He only promoted 11 very senior officers and 1,311 junior others in 2018 and went to sleep. After much agitation he fixed examination for Salah period in August 2019 still, we went to write only for him to refuse to release the results. If he had released the promotion, it would have been captured in the proposed 2020 budget but he deliberately declined to do the needful because he has no interest in staff welfare. This is why we are calling for his immediate removal so that somebody with passion for the job can be appointed.
Our prayer is that Yohanna-Silas Mshelia should be forced to hand over and must not stay a minute longer in office. Both Mohammad Mustapha Abdallah and Yohanna-Silas Mshelia be probed and prosecuted. Abdallah should not be allowed to conduct the current recruitment exercise so that Nigerians can be selected on merit to serve their country.
Emplug firm used by Abdallah and Mshelia to defraud the Agency should be investigated and the one hundred million deal be immediately revoked while the 60 million paid be refunded. The pending promotion of staff released and harmonisation be conducted to properly place officers where they belong. We also demand immediate release of monthly overhead to commanders to check corruption.