Cold war in police over N8.6billion recruitment funds

A cold war appears on between the Inspector General of Police, Idris Ibrahim and his immediate predecessor, Solomon Arase, over sundry issues including the management of funds released by the presidency for the recruitment and training of 10,000 policemen.

Saturday Tribune authoritatively gathered that the Presidency released a sum of N8.6 billion as  intervention fund for the recruitment exercise.

A police source disclosed that out of the sum, N179 million was for the renovation of the five police colleges to train those to be recruited. Allowance and salaries of the recruits were to take N2.8 billion and feeding N3.4 billion.

Saturday Tribune also gathered that, among others, accoutrement and uniform for those to be recruited were to take N1.013 billion, teaching aids N118 million while arms and ammunition for shooting range got an allocation of N450 million.

However, Saturday Tribune gathered authoritatively that a discreet investigation is going on on the stewardship of Arase while in office with investigators said to have started gathering information and data as regards the tenure of the former IGP.

An area of interest for the  investigators, it was learnt, is the N8.6billion recruitment funds and, in particular, the renovation of the police colleges which are to house the 10,000 police recruits when they start their training. The high powered team of investigators set up by IGP Idris is said to be ascertaining the quality of work done on the colleges.

All attempts to get the former IGP Arase to get his own side proved abortive as he was said to be out of town. A source close to him however told Saturday Tribune that the funds for the recruitment exercise are intact in police bank accounts and that all documents relating to the funds are with the police authorities. The source added that “the facts are contained in the handover note of Arase to his successor” and wondered why there should be any controversy on the issues in the first place.

The source told Saturday Tribune that all jobs done on the colleges were duly documented and supervised and that the press should stop brewing a crisis in the police force as the former IGP and his successor are maintaining a very good relationship.

IGP Idris fired the first salvo on assumption of office when he announced that 24 vehicles were missing in the police pool while the former IGP replied that nothing of such happened.

Again, a few days ago, a report quoted the police as saying that 19 vehicles were recovered from the former IGP’s house, which again he has debunked challenging those behind the report to publish the registration numbers of the recovered vehicles if they were sure of their facts.

President Muhammadu Buhari had early this year during the police security summit in Abuja announced that the police would recruit 10, 000 policemen and women this year as they had not done any recruitment in the past five years, while the manpower continued to depreciate owing to retirements and deaths.

Investigations revealed that in the last five years of non-recruitment, the police had lost over 5,000 policemen and women due to retirements and deaths.Meanwhile, the recruitment exercise has been put on hold to iron out some allegations leveled against the police service commission by the House of Representative on the exercise.

Saturday Tribune gathered that following the approval of the president for the recruitment, the intervention fund was subsequently approved to cater for the training, allowances, salaries, feedings and accouterments and uniforms.