Six thousand constables recruited in 2018 have accused the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) of illegally deducting from their meagre salaries.
Expressing their grievance in a petition emailed to FIJ, the police officers complained about a “salary deduction of at least N2,000 or more from our monthly salary every month”.
The policemen also sent the petition to the Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi.
They said the corruption was not exposed to any of them until the constables recruited in 2019 started receiving their salaries in January, and it was N2,000 more than theirs.
432 Million Deducted In Three Years
According to the petition, at least N12million is being deducted from the 6,000 constables every month, totalling N144million in one year and N432million in three years.
“This untold evil act is taking place maybe because the law that established the Nigeria Police Force does not give us the public option, such as press conferences or live televised broadcasts,” they said.
“The cowards among us are those who are not courageous enough to proclaim what belongs to them. We believe to fix this problem, we need to speak the truth to the powers that be by writing this petition to the appropriate quarters, because if we don’t kill corruption within IPPIS and State Command MSS now, it will affect all of us sooner or later.”
They noted that a case where 2018 police constables receive N46,530 but their 2019 counterparts receive N48,420 generates a lot of confusion within and outside their online platforms, yet there is no solution.
“This corrupt practice would have affected 2019 intake constables, but they are so fortunate that their IPPIS capturing exercise took place in Abuja; it doesn’t give room for fraud connection between Police Command MSS and IPPIS to manipulate their GRADE LEVEL & STEP,” they said.
“We can’t imagine a case where some set of people in this country are allegedly fraudulently deducting nothing less than N12million from our monthly sweat with impunity.
“We have almost lost our minds. Despite the challenges we were facing concerning the salary increase, the president of would always promise and fail.”
The aggrieved officers said they had sent two representatives to their authorities to ask what the problem was, but “they told them the mistake is from IPPIS during the capturing exercise, where 2018 intake were given GRADE LEVEL 03 STEP 2 and 2019 intake were given GRADE LEVEL 04 STEP 2″.
They noted that both the 2018 and 2019 constables were recruited with the same qualifications.“Is it possible for the staff of IPPIS not to know the actual grade and step they’re supposed to place police constables that are just being recruited into the Nigeria Police?” they wondered.
“Is it possible for the police officers working at each State Command MSS not to know the actual grade and step of police constables before preparing a salary chart?
“How much is the actual monthly salary they are sending from the office of Accountant General of the federation to IPPIS account before sending it into the accounts of the 2018 constables as from January 2019 before IPPIS payroll disburse it to each command? Who are those people behind these financial crimes?”
Some of the officers who spoke with FIJ said they were underpaid, hence living from hand to mouth.
“This is injustice,” one police constable said. “How can they be paying us N46,000 and they’ll be paying our juniors N48,000?”
The officers said they suspect that the millions of naira deducted from their salaries monthly “are being pocketed by some individuals”.
“I don’t believe it’s just an error. If it was an error, it would have been corrected. I am sure some people at the top are stealing the money and God will judge them,” one of them said.
FIJ tried to reach Frank Mba, spokesman of the Nigeria Police Force, on Friday but he did not respond to phone calls and text messages. to his line. Subsequent phone calls on Saturday and Sunday requesting his comments on the matter were also ignored.
(Source: Foundation For Investigative Journalism fij.ng)