The State Security Services, SSS, has been asked to tender explanation over the recent lopsided appointments into the organisation.
According to The Nation newspaper, the Federal Character Commission, FCC, has given the SSS a three-month ultimatum to explain the alleged lopsidedness in the appointment or face appropriate sanctions.
PREMIUM TIMES had on April 28 exclusively reported the shocking lopsidedness in the composition of the new officers recently absorbed into the agency.
The agency, also called DSS, had commissioned 479 cadet officers after their passing-out parade in Lagos on March 5, after a nine-month training programme under the agency’s Basic Course 29/2016/17, which encompassed academic activities, insurgency/counter insurgency, intelligence operations and gathering, firearms drills and physical training exercises.
But PREMIUM TIMES investigations revealed wide disparity in the numbers of slots allocated to the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, indicating that the federal character principle may have been ignored in the recruitment of the officers.
Our findings revealed that the SSS recruited 51 persons from Katsina State alone whereas all the six states in the south-south got a combined 42 candidates. Also, all the five states in the south-east got less than 50 states.
The action is believed to have unduly favoured northern states, contrary to section 14 (3) of the 1999 constitution as amended.
The report sparked outrage across the land, with many calling for thorough investigations into the alleged lopsidedness.
But reacting to the report, FCC chairman, Shettima Abba, pleaded for time before the commission would be able to make a categorical statement, adding that the SSS Director General, Lawal Daura, is out of the country on assignment.
Mr. Abba pledged that investigation would be carried out to determine if the agency had breached any extant law relating to appointments in line with the rules of the FCC.
“In the Federal Character Commission, we are looking at the total number of indigenes of each state in a particular organisation,” the FCC boss said.
“With the DSS, until we look at the total number on the nominal roll and compare it with the recruitment recently made, we cannot categorically say anything yet.
“The FCC has given the DSS three months to respond. If they don’t respond, whatever sanction that is being applied shall be taken. No answer has been given by the DSS because the DG is not in the country.
According to the FCC chairman, similar lopsided recruitment has been made in the past, between 2014 and 2016 which people complained about.
He, however, added that the commission has decided to look at the total number from each state and this will determine its action.
“Although I have not seen the nominal roll I believe this one might be a corrective measure,” he said.
“We have already written to the DSS to supply us with the details of the recruitment and the details of their nominal roll including those who applied and those shortlisted so that we can confirm if the recruitment is lopsided or not. If we discover that it is lopsided, we will advise them appropriately.
Commenting further, he said, “Certain states are seriously over employed, if you look at the recent ones, if they were under represented in the previous recruitment before this one, then it is a corrective measure.
“For now it is not yet time for us to conclude on anything. They have to provide us with details of their manpower across the states.
“The advertisement the DSS did was internal on their website. That was the reason we wrote to them to tell us the processes they used, we had earlier sent them our own processes of recruitment before and after they recruited. They are aware of FCC procedures and guidelines of advertisements, bringing out a long list and a short list on how these things are being done.”