The Board of the Immigration Service, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence, Prisons and the Fire Service Board yesterday indicted the Minister of Interior, Abba Moro over last Saturday’s death of scores of jobseekers during the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) recruitment screening.
The board alleged it was sidelined in the whole exercise.
Addressing the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts, a Commissioner on the board, Mr. S. D. Tapgun, disclosed that there was no board approval for the failed recruitment screening.
Tapgun led other board members to the committee’s session, which lasted for about two hours.
He said: “Only the interior minister and the consultant he engaged for the exercise can tell Nigerians exactly what happened, even the comptroller general of NIS was not involved. He was not part of the recruitment at all; there was no board resolution to recruit any body.
“When we, the members of the board, learnt about the recruitment, we wrote the minister that we are not in support of engaging the services of a third party to conduct recruitment for the Immigration service but he ignored our letter and went ahead to engage the consultant named Rexel Technical Global Nigeria Limited. The consultant fixed every thing including a N1,000 fees which they claimed was administrative charges.”
Asked if the board would be ready to open up on all what transpired in the presence of the minister, the commissioner insisted that members of the board were ready to confront the minister any day and any time to prove to the entire nation that the board was never part of the botched exercise.
He explained that by the records at the disposal of the board, 693,000 applicants registered for the recruitment exercise and paid N1,000 each to designated banks.
Responding, the Chairman of the Committee, Solomon Adeola Olamilekan, who lamented that the tragedy cost young Nigerians their lives, summoned the interior minister and the consultant to appear before it and explain to the whole nation where they derived the power to conduct what he called illegal recruitment exercise without passing through the board. He said the minister wouild also explain how much was raked in from the applicants and where the money was being kept.
Olamilekan disclosed that they had summoned the board before the unfortunate incident when it was brought to its notice that applicants were being charged N1,000 each by the Nigeria Immigration Service for recruitment exercise so that the board would come and account for the money so far collected.
He said: “This is fraud. Nigerians, our children have been defrauded to the tune of a billion naira. The minister and the consultant must tell Nigerians how much was collected, the banks where the money is being kept and the account numbers, among others.”