Revelations have emerged as to how candidates from the South South and South East geopolitical zones of the country who sat for the computer-based test for the 9th regular course of the Nigeria Police Academy in Wudil local government area of Kano State , were schemed out of the admission list.
LEADERSHIP Sunday gathered that contrary to claims that the Nigerian Police College concealed their admission lists to deprive the South-south region of its quota, the candidates were schemed out by their state governments and lawmakers who substituted them with candidates of their choice.
A source at the Police Academy confirmed that the frustrated candidates actually got text messages and emails notifying them of their entrance exam into the Nigeria Police Academy in Kano.
The source, a senior official in the ICT unit of the academy who did not want him in print, told our correspondent that the dreams of the candidates were however cut short by their state governors and lawmakers who substituted their names with their preferred candidates.
This, he said, was more so, as “the candidates were forced to select the institution as their first choice while neglecting other institutions of higher learning, thereby missing out on other opportunities.”
In a swift response to the allegations, the governors of the states expressed shock at what they termed a very weighty allegation, even as they promised to take up the matter.
The governors who feigned ignorance about the development spoke through their commissioners and image makers.
The Akwa Ibom State commissioner for Information and Strategy, Comrade Iniobong Ememobong, frowned at what he described as the frequent dragging of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s name into every controversial issue in the state, explaining that “the state government is not part of the Police organogram to be able to know what is happening in the Police system”.
Also, former senior special assistant (SSA) to President Muhammadu Buhari, on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang, said he could not make any categorical statement on the matter, since “I am not aware of the case”, but insisted that the “such list should be forwarded to me for action.”
Also, the Rivers State commissioner for Information and Communications, Alabo-elect Chris Finebone, dismissed the allegation as one rumour flying everywhere.
Finebone said, “Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike is not involved at all. It must be one of the flying rumours you find everywhere.
“The governor is not involved or any government official for that matter. Nobody from Rivers State is involved whether federal or state lawmakers,” he added.
Similarly, Delta State commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu, said there is no complaint from parents in the state, assuring that despite being a formal process, “the state government encourages discipline in all areas and believes in merit rather than godfatherism.”
Also, chief press secretary to governor of Cross River State, Christian Ita, debunked the allegations, urging members of the public not to believe it.
Ita stated that the state governor, Ben Ayade, can never stoop so low to meddle into public affairs, stressing that as a responsible state government, the governor is only concerned with administrative matters of the state, while matters of policing is left completely in the hands of the police.
Effort by our correspondent to get reaction of the lawmakers in the state failed woefully as none of the lawmakers picked calls put to them, or replied to the text messages sent to them to get their views on the issue.
Speaking on behalf of lawmakers representing the South South zone, a member representing Sagbama/Ekeremor federal constituency of Bayelsa State in the House of Representatives, Hon Fred Agbedi, denied the allegation of manipulation and replacement of successful applicants with their candidates.
Agbedi who is the chairman of the NASS caucus from Bayelsa and member of the House of committee on Police Affairs, said the claims of alleged substitution, manipulation and replacement of successful applicants by relatives are not true.
He said though as a member of the committee he was given a slot, he has not used it.
“This cannot be true and it is not true. I am a member of the committee on Police Affairs and my own slot is in limbo or dispute. So, the allegation/claim against NASS members and state governments cannot be correct please.”
LEADERSHIP Sunday learnt that out of 759 applicants recorded for Bayelsa, 84 appeared for physical screening and their names sent to Police headquarters in Abuja.
Our sister publication, LEADERSHIP Friday had reported exclusively that some of the applicants for the 2022 9th regular course of the Nigeria Police Academy had alleged injustice in the force in the selection process of recruits.
The applicants from Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers, Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Edo States said they were shocked when the school authorities declared that their names were not in their database for the last lap of the test.
They lamented that before they left their states for the examinations, they were cleared by the police commands in their various states to proceed to Wudil for the final selection.
A single mother from Calabar, Cross River State, said she decided to accompany her 20-year-old son to the northern state.
She said even with the hardship in the country, she followed her son and spent all the money she made from her petty business.
She stated that considering that it meant a lot to her son, she decided to take a loan of N150,000.
“My son’s test was scheduled for Monday the 7th of November 2022. And just so that we can get there on time that Monday morning, we left Calabar on Friday the 4th. We travelled for more than 24 hours, sleeping at the motor park in Abuja, while we waited for a connecting vehicle to bring them to Kano.
“We arrived on Saturday evening and lodged in a hotel close to the venue of the exam. But my joy was soon cut short when we got the news that something was wrong with my son’s application.
“In the beginning, they said the systems were malfunctioning and some candidates couldn’t log in to write their test. But the story soon changed to some candidates not approved to write the test. In the end, they were asked to return to their states with no assurance whatsoever as to what would be done to correct the mistake that has been made.”
Some of the applicants also told this paper that they had been stranded in Wudil, as the physical and medical test commenced without them.
According to them, the selection began on November 7, 2022, with some of them arriving in the school ahead of time.
One of them said even the candidates who met the 60 per cent benchmark and were expected to proceed for medical and physical tests were left out as well.
Other parents who spoke with LEADERSHIP Sunday on condition of anonymity lamented that the names of their children were delisted and replaced with other persons after they were enlisted as successful applicants.
“My son wrote the examination conducted on line, and his name appeared when he checked the result from the portal. We were happy and we mobilized cash, bought all the required items, but we were surprised that when he got to the Police College at Wudil, in Kano State, he called back to complain that his name was missing, that he was asked to go back.”, one of the angry parents told our correspondent at Macgiraffe business centre, along Ekpanya street, Uyo.
Also, speaking with our correspondent yesterday, Akwa Ibom State commissioner of Police, CP Olatoye Durosinmi, said he was not aware of such complaints.
Denying knowledge of such discrepancies in the admission process, he said, “The examination was conducted online, and was successfully done without issues.
“We forwarded the list of successful candidates to Abuja, but I am surprised to hear this. It’s unfortunate,” he added.
He promised to make some findings with a view to ascertaining the truth of the matter.