By Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
Following the rampage caused by the non-payment of allowances to the 26,000 Police officers who took part in the just concluded Ondo governorship election, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, yesterday set up a seven-member Special Investigative Panel to resolve the discrepancies.
THISDAY had reported during the week that the inability of government to pay the Police officers after the election caused rampage in Akure, the state capital.
Admitting the delay and omission for the payment on the part of the authority, the IG in a statement signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP, Don Awunah, in Abuja, said he felt deeply concerned about the non-remittance of allowances and entitlements to the officers.
The statement reads: “The IGP is deeply concerned about the delay, omission and discrepancies in payment of allowances to officers of the Nigeria Police Force who participated in the just concluded gubernatorial election in Ondo state.
“Also arising from complaints of irregularities from certain quarters and discoveries of possible anomalies and plausible foul play has set up a special panel to investigate, streamline and enhance payment of entitlements of the force personnel who engage in the ad hoc duties.”
The investigation panel, according to the statement, will be chaired by a former Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Mr. Ali Ahmadu (rtd), has six members drawn from different departments within the Force.
The statement read: “The special panel is empowered to launch an investigation into the entire payment with a view to: ‘Investigating thoroughly the recent payment of allowances to personnel of the force to determine if the money released for the payment of the allowances was utilised accordingly, providing bank records as evidence.
“Liaise with the Ministry of Finance on the perennial problematic nature of paying allowances.
“Setting up standard modalities that will be adopted by the force to address payment of allowances given for the conduct of subsequent elections in the country.”
However, the IG, said the panel should recommend appropriate disciplinary actions against erring officers both within and outside the force.
He said: “The SIP at the end of the investigation is to recommend professional modalities for payment of allowances in line with government due process for subsequent payment of allowances to personnel of the force engaged in adhoc duties.
“This development is pursuant to the policy of the Inspector General of Police for transparency and accountability in all aspects of the Nigeria Police Force and in readiness for the establishment of a standard template that would be used in the conduct of subsequent elections.”
The IG appealed to officers who are yet to be paid their allowances to exercise patience as the issue is being resolved.