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Civil society group makes case against tenure of NDLEA chairman

The National Coordinator of Rights Monitoring Group, RMG and Country Director, Centre on Convention for Democratic integrity, CCDI,, Mr. Olufemi Aduwo, has called on President Goodluck Jonathan for immediate removal of the Chairman of the Nigeria Drug and Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Alhaji Ahmadu Giade.

Aduwo in a statement made available to Sunday Pilot said that Giade should be directed to hand over to the appropriate official and take a bow, having served as NDLEA chairman for eight years.

The statement reads in part: “Giade was appointed Chairman in November 2005 for tenure of four years and he was reappointed again in 2009 for another four years which come to an end this month. Giade should be directed to hand over to the appropriate official and take a bowl.

“The law that establish NDLEA made the Chairman the Chief Executive and accounting officer of the agency, this must be amended as such law give so much power to an individual to run such organisation as one man show as witnessed over the years under the Chairmanship of Giade who run the affairs of agency like family affairs.

“The tenure of the outgoing Chairman should be investigated. The report of Justice Gilbert Obayan (rtd) National Committee for Reform of the NDLEA was poorly implemented and the authorities of the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency have shielded the members of a powerful jail-evasion cartel in the agency from punishment, contrary to the recommendations of the Justice Gilbert Obayan (rtd) National Committee for Reform of the NDLEA.

“Rather than retire the original 71 officials of the agency indicted by the committee, investigations showed that only nine had been retired while the NDLEA sacrificed the career of 62 other innocent officers to make up the number, thereby shielding members of the cartel.

“The cover-up was said to have been done to stop the powerful cartel from executing its alleged threat to expose some former and serving top-level management personnel who had aided its illegal activities.”

The statement stressed further that: “The former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Bayo Ojo, had set up the committee in October 2006 to examine the administrative and operational machinery of the agency and make recommendations for improvement. It submitted its report in February 2007, about four months to the expiration of the tenure of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
“Among the panel‘s five terms of reference were to ‘identify officials and other personnel of the NDLEA who have engaged in any inappropriate conduct and make recommendations for appropriate sanctions’ and to ‘examine the circumstances leading to the evasion of jail terms by offenders prosecuted by NDLEA, who were convicted but were never found in prison; and to identify officials of the agency and any of the public services found to have connived with the convicts. The Obayan committee had also indicted some members of the cartel for alleged corrupt practices, including contract inflation and diversion of funds running into several millions of Naira,” the group said.

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