Court orders IGP to provide details of alleged 80,115 ghost police officers 

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to provide details of alleged 80,115 ghost officers found in police formations and command.

The order of the court followed a suit filed by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) seeking the court to compel the IGP to release the list having failed to respond to its Freedom of Information request.

In the suit numbered FHC/ABJ/CS/493/2018, the plaintiff said it had written a Freedom of Information request to the Police boss which letter was received by his office on April 3rd, 2018.

The IGP was listed as the sole respondent in the suit.

According to the applicant, the letter requested information on the details of the list of 80,115 ghost officers discovered in Police Formations and Command through the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

It further submitted that the Minister of Finance disclosed during the presentation of the updated report on the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) to the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday, March 21, 2018, that 80,115 ghost Police officers were on the payroll of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The group through the said letter requested for the details of the “ghost officers”.

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It, however, noted that the office of the IGP did not make the said information available and did not give reasons for its inability to grant the request.

CSJ subsequently approached the court praying the court for a declaration that denying the Applicant access to the details of the list of 80,115 ghost officers recently discovered in the Police Formations and Command through the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) without explanation constitutes an infringement of the Applicant’s right guaranteed and protected by section 1 (1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011.

It further prays for a declaration that the continued refusal of the Respondent to grant to the Applicant access to the details of the list of 80,115 ghost officers recently discovered in the Police Formations and Command through the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) despite Applicant’s demand violates Section 4 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.

It also prayed for a declaration that the continued refusal of the Respondent to grant access to the Applicant of the details of the list of 80,115 ghost officers recently discovered in the Police Formations and Command through the implementation of IPPIS without explanation constitutes an infringement of the Applicant’s right guaranteed and protected by Section 48 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007.

It, however, urged the court to make an order of mandamus compelling the Respondent to grant to the Applicant access to the list of 80,115 ghost officers recently discovered in the Police Formations and Command through the IPPIS.

Delivering judgement in the suit, Justice Binta Nyako held that in the absence of any defence by the Respondent, Reliefs A-E are hereby granted as prayed and further held that denying the Applicant access to the details of the list of 80,115 ghost officers recently discovered in the Police Formations and Command through the implementation of the IPPIS without explanation constitutes an infringement of the Applicant’s right guaranteed and protected by Section 1 (1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011.t

The court equally held that the continued refusal of the Respondent to grant to the Applicant access to the details of the list of 80,115 ghost officers recently discovered in the Police Formations and Command through the implementation of IPPIS despite Applicant’s demand violates Section 4 of the Freedom of Information Act 2011.

In addition, Justice Nyako held that the continued refusal of the Respondent to grant access to the Applicant of the details of the list of 80,115 ghost officers recently discovered in the Police Formations and Command without explanation constitutes an infringement of the Applicant’s right guaranteed and protected by Section 48 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007.

“That an Order of Mandamus is hereby made compelling the Respondent to grant to the Applicant access to the list of 80,115 ghost officers recently discovered in the Police Formations and Command through the IPPIS.”

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