Security File with Enani Benson
About 500 police officers disengaged from service in the 2007 nationwide rationalization of the force have cried out that they were left out of the government order for reinstatement.
The officers who were mostly constables, corporals serving in Ogun, Oyo and Edo state commands at the time of their sack, however, lauded the recall of 140 of their affected colleagues.
But they lamented that police authorities still left majority of them in the lurch.
About 12,500 policemen were affected in the retrenchment carried out under former Inspector-General of Police Sunday Ehindero seven years ago.
They were dismissed for various reasons ranging from overage, forgery of certificates andcriminal records among others.
But the Police Service Commission (PSC) had declared the exercise illegal and directed that the officers be absorbed.
The then chairman of the commission, Chief Parry Osayande, a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police, said the action was not to the knowledge of the police commission.
Following this, some of the officers were recalled after screening in 2008. But others shut out of the exercise again petitioned the National Assembly and the police commission, leading to another screening jointly carried out by the officials of the commission and the police between March and April last year.
Although they said they took part in the second screening, the ex-policemen and women expressed surprise at their failure to make the list of those absorbed.
In their petition to the new police commission chairman, Sir Mike Okiro, and copied the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed D. Abubakar, the ex-police officers lamented they were denied the same gesture on account of being above the recruitment age at the time of their recruitment. The prescribed age for recruitment into the police is 25 years.
WESTERN POST gathered that some of the officers passed the required age by between two and three years.
But the officers argued that even if this were so, the then police authorities had no objection to it, having not only recruited but also trained them.
The victims therefore urged Okiro to ask the police to review their case and pay them the benefits that were supposed to accrue to them for the years they had served.
In the petition, they said: “In 2008, when late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua ordered the reinstatement of all the retrenched federal staff, majority of them were reabsorbed while the remaining were paid off for one reason or the other in ministries, parastatals, SSS, prisons and military, no one was left out to be suffering.
“We are putting this across to you because we believe you are a Godly man and you will never act contrary to the will of God.”