Igbo Officers Not Marginalised in Police, PSC Replies Ohanaeze

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Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

The Police Service Commision (PSC) at the weekend faulted the allegation of the pan-Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, that officers of Igbo origin were marginalised in terms of promotions, senior officers from the South-east geo-political zone occupying top management and state command positions.

The organisation had flayed the recently-released list of 37 newly-promoted commissioners of police with only one of them from the South-east.

A statement by the Special Adviser on Media to the President General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Emeka Attamah, had criticised the list which showed that the

North-west zone has 12 new commissioners of police, North-east, eight; South-west, seven; South-south, five; North-central, four, while “predictably South-east brought up the rear with just one new commissioner.”

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo observes that the already existing imbalance in the force exemplified in the fact that all police commissioners in the South-east come from the North and not many Igbo officers are in the high echelon of the force should have made it imperative that more slots be given to the South-east,” it said.

But a statement at the weekend by the spokesman of the commission, Mr Ikechukwu Ani, said contrary to the position of the group, senior officers of Igbo origin occupy management and command positions.

“It is also important to state that it is not true that command commissioners of police in the South-east are all from the North. The CPs for Imo, Abia and Anambra state commands are not Northerners. Only the CPs for Enugu and Ebonyi are from the North just as there are Igbo CPs in other zones.

“The CP for Bayelsa and Oyo States are Igbos. There are also many other Igbo sons who are commissioners of police of different police formations in the country,” he said.

The commision also dismissed the allegation that not many Igbo officers are in the high echelon of the force.

“Just recently, an Igbo son, former Commissioner of Police in charge of Police Budget, who was promoted Deputy Inspector General of Police, was deployed as DIG A, that is overseeing Administration and Finance, a very sensitive department in the police management team,” the commission said.

The PSC explained that promotion of senior officers is determined by vacancies, seniority, absence of pending disciplinary matter and merit.

“The commission wishes to state that promotions of senior police officers, including promotion into the office of commissioner of police, are based on availability of vacancies, seniority, free of any pending disciplinary matter and merit except in few cases of special promotion.

“Even for special promotion, there are laid-down rules, regulations and conditions, which an officer must satisfy such as must have stayed two years on a rank; must not have had any special promotion in the immediate past five years and must not have a pending disciplinary matter”, it stated.

The statement said the commission also allowed the Inspector-General of Police, who is the operational head of the police, to recommend qualified and deserving officers to the commission for promotion.

“This is a synergy the commission has forged with the police to ensure complementarity in the management of it’s officers.

“The commission does not and has never approved promotion of any police officer based on ethnic or any other consideration except the ones stated above,” the PSC said.