850 Police Officers Seconded To EFCC To Go Back To Police Force Duties, As Shake-Up Is Imminent In The Commission
With the nomination of Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa as the Chairman-designate of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), 850 police officers seconded to the anti-graft commission may go back to the police force, THISDAY has learnt.
THISDAY checks showed that the likelihood of redeploying the police personnel is giving them jitters as many of them are afraid of being taken out of the “lucrative” posting.
However, sources said whether or not the police personnel would be retained would be determined by Bawa after the Senate has confirmed his nomination.
Bawa, who was nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari on February 16, is one of the pioneers of the EFCC Academy and the first non-police officer picked to head the commission since its inception in 2003.
Bawa is said to have been put under pressure by EFCC operatives who are agitating that the police personnel should leave the commission for its trained officers.
“The Inspector-General of Police had complained loudly about the shortage of personnel for police duties. So, this is an opportunity to release his personnel who are not performing core security duties back to force to reinforce it to perform its core function of protecting the citizenry from violent criminals that have virtually taken over our country,” an EFCC operative told THISDAY at the weekend.
Investigations show that Bawa may cave in to the demand of his colleagues who had had a running battle with the police personnel while the commission was under the leadership of the police.
The commission had over the years relied on seconded staff from ministries, police and other agencies.
Presently, the staff strength of the EFCC is 2,220, spread across different departments out of which about 850 are police officers.
The former acting Chairman of EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, had in one of his budget defences lamented poor funding that prevented the commission from recruiting 750 additional staff.
It was gathered that the recruitment was carried out but did not meet the target number envisaged.
A police source told THISDAY that the Chairman-designate would determine whether or not to work with the police or reduce the number.
“It is not the responsibility of the police to determine that. The new chairman when cleared by the Senate and he resumes will make a decision on that.
“He may decide to rely on EFCC operatives or reduce the number of police officers,” the source said.
THISDAY checks at the EFCC also showed that the issue was also a concern.
An EFCC source said: “It is obvious that it is for the incoming chairman to speak on that. I cannot speak for him.”
The Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 10, Sokoto, Mr. Ali Janga, had hailed the nomination of Bawa as the chairman-designate, saying that the nomination of a core staff of the commission is proof that the police have creditably discharged their duties of nurturing the commission to maturity.