Untold reasons Comptroller General of immigration, Rosemary Uzoma, was fired

Sacked Comptroller General Rosemary Uzoma
Sacked Comptroller General Rosemary Uzoma

The Comptroller General of Immigration, Rosemary Uzoma, was sacked on tuesday due to prolonged disagreement between her and interior minister, Abba Moro, over the day to day running of the Service, according to a report by the International Centre for Investigations Reporting.

Sources in the Immigration Service and internal affairs ministry told icirnigeria.org that the minister had been having a running battle for months with Mrs. Uzoma and the Comptroller General of Prisons, heads of two parastatals under his supervision, because of his interference in the running of the agencies. The sources requested anonymity for fear they might be victimised by the administration.

The minister is believed to have written a memo to President Goodluck Jonathan recommending the sack of the immigration boss alleging insubordination, particularly regarding recent posting and recruitment exercises conducted by the Immigration Service.

The minister, in the memo, accused Mrs. Uzoma of reversing the postings across the board approved by him for officers and men of the Service, three weeks after resumption of the affected officers in their new posts, thereby creating confusion.

PREMIUM TIMES could not reach Mr. Moro for comments on Wednesday morning. Calls to his mobile telephone did not go through.

However, sources in the Service accused the minister of high handedness, abuse of office, corruption, nepotism and ethnicity, and maintain that the immigration boss got the boot because she resisted attempts by the minister to usurp the functions of her office.

For example, the minister is said to have usurped the duties of the comptrollers general of immigration and prison services so much so that he was directly involved in the posting of very junior officers.

Before Mr. Moro became interior minister, the tradition in the services was for the comptrollers general to undertake all the postings in their agencies. The CG sent only the list of assistant comptrollers general and deputy comptrollers general to the minister for approval. Most times, since the minister does not know the men, he trusts the CG’s judgment and approves the posting.

However, it is alleged that the interior minister had personally taken interest in postings in the immigration and prison services and handled postings of men as low in rank as chief superintendents.

According to our sources, the minister and his aides actually pay attention to the minutest details of posting to the extent that they post people to specific offices, desks and schedules.

This high handedness on the part of the minister, it is said, has bred a lot of indiscipline in the services, particularly in the commands, because junior officers who got postings through the him no longer subjected themselves to the comptrollers in the commands.

The minister and Mrs. Uzoma are said to have quarreled over many issues bothering on usurpation of her functions, but the immediate problem that led to her ouster began in November when she undertook new postings in the service.

She is said to have sent the list of assistant comptrollers general and deputy comptrollers general to the minister as was the tradition. After receiving approval from the minister, the general posting was published and the exercise effected.

However, it is alleged that many junior officers who did not like their new postings ran to the minister and his aides who then reposted them.

This created many problems. In some places, officers were posted to positions being held by people who were not redeployed, thus creating the confusing state of two persons holding one post.

The other problem, according to sources, was that some offices who were under investigations or had been indicted or queried for offences ranging from theft, embezzlement and fraud were posted to sensitive security positions that would compromise the service.

In other cases, people from the same family were posted to the same unit, something that is usually avoided in the service to prevent all kinds of breaches. For example, in the ministers posting, a lady from Adamawa is said to have lobbied and gotten a posting to Delta State as Passport Control Officer.

The snag is that the comptroller of the Delta State command of the service happened to be not only from the same state but is actually her cousin.

It was gathered that the CG decided to rectify these anomalies after a month of receiving complaints from several commands and last week Wednesday came out with a list of about 46 names to be affected in a new posting exercise to put things in order.

This exercise affected only comptrollers and below and not assistant comptrollers general and deputy comptrollers general whose postings have to be vetted by the minister.

That was when all hell broke loose. Many of those who were favoured in the minister’s initial revised posting ran to him to complain. It is alleged that the minister told all those affected to ignore the CG’s new posting and last Friday wrote Mrs Uzoma to reverse her latest posting declaring it null and void.

The CG is said to have maintained that she had sole prerogative under the law to effect the posting of comptrollers and below, a position that greatly irked the minister.

The minister, it is alleged, is also executing an agenda meant to further his political ambition to become the governor of Benue State in 2015. He was accused of posting his kinsmen and people from his state in key, strategic positions that are regarded as “juicy and lucrative” with the belief that they will help sponsor his ambition to rule his state.

The minister, since assuming office, for example, has posted five persons from his home state,Benue, to take charge of commands as comptrollers in fragrant disregard of the federal character principle.

Of these, three are men from his Idoma tribe. These are CIS Ogbu Adadu, Seme Command; CISIdu Batholomew, Kwara State command and CIS Igoche Ogwuji Samuel in charge of Cross River State command.

The two other persons from Benue State, both Tivs, who head commands, are CIS Abin and CISGbuuga, heads of Ebonyi and Akwa Ibom commands respectively.

The inequality and nepotism that Moro has bred is such that while Benue State has five officers heading commands, a state like Katsina has five qualified comptrollers but none of them heads any command. There are many examples like that.

The minister’s memo to the president complaining of her insubordination, our sources said, was aimed at misinforming the President and covering up the fact that it is the minister who was trying to usurp her function.

Our sources point out that the CG only tinkered with the posting of comptrollers downwards over which she had absolute discretionary powers while leaving intact the postings of assistant comptrollers general and deputy comptrollers general, which the minister has to approve before it can be effected.

Mrs. Uzoma, who was appointed CG Immigrations in July 2010, was billed to retire from service in March, 2013, when she clocks 60.

  • Curious Carly

    If this is true, then the minister should also be fired. Why does the writer keep referring to the “men” as though there were no women working in the Immigration Service?

    • ucheonukogu

      Very soon God will revenge accordingly.

  • omaye

    That’s not true. I am an officer in the system , there was virtually celebrations yday on hearing the good new. That woman only served her pocket and her fellow igbo. She is the one that did all the crimes u accuse the minister of, she took the welfare of her officers back wards. Good buy ma, u definately won’t be missed!

    • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

      Reminds one of the Jews in Europe. They were blamed for virtually everything under the sun. I hope you sleep well tonight.

    • Naijaa

      Which means you are from the ministers state and an officer in the system, that alone confirms all the writer said

      • Mr kabara

        Wonders never end.tis country is infected with a dreaded disease that is uncurable.people are are just looking for a chance to take revenge due to ethnicity or what ever.what a bad country.any way I give mr president credit for sacking the most selfish and tribalistic officer in d history of nigeria

    • asba

      Omaye, no no no… Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Muslim, Christian my brother this is what is retarding the progress of this country. Please think Nigeria first, we have a lot for her and our children and children children.

  • evarest1

    I am a staff here too and I can confirm to you that The Minister as a junior politician is so desperate that he too will meet his Waterloo more dangerous and sinister than the havoc he has already done. In the cancelled recruitment exercise, it was the same: Minister wanted to flood the list with Benue people. The former Madam first complained. In postings, the Minister took the job of the Human resource/admin, working to make the CGI domant and ceremonial….things got to a level where the Minister now preempted in forwarding petition to the President….a dubious one that would elicit his own doom sooner….there are people who will take up facts to the President, not that the former CGI will be back, but that the Minister suffers his own fate…..

    • Mr kabara

      Hi geezer!u really got it wrong by calling minister a junior politician .do u know what it takes for some one to become a minister not just in Nigeria but across the globe.i can say it without equivocation that u r on ur own.think deeply of u have just said .

  • lozzy

    are u pple surprised? Moro is gun runner… thank God he won’t return in the next cabinet reshuffle and being an Idoma, he won’t be governor of Benue state

  • Innocent

    Moro, a ‘no shoe minister’ got his job because he started his life from the motor park in Gboko – as a tout – and that he later had a political affiliation with the senate president, David Mark. He has simply followed the tradition of uncut politicians serving in this government. When Humphrey Aba was in his place, he ensured he filled the Civil Defence with political loyalists from his village, Akpanya. For the politicians in this government, due process is secondary. All they want is score dubious cheap political points by favouring loyalists. For them, the higher the rule flouted, the deeper the satisfaction derived from ‘favours’.

  • OCCUPY NASS

    I can only say that PremiumTimes did a bit of investigative journalism here.
    The minister I guess thought that the masses/GEj won’t find out? Hahahahaha.
    I am sure ChannelsTV would discuss this in one of their programs for everybody to know what happened.

    “The inequality and nepotism that Moro (The minister) has bred is such that
    while Benue State has five officers heading commands, a state
    like Katsina has five qualified comptrollers but none of them heads any
    command. There are many examples like that”.

    I guess that GEJ is not aware of this, thank God for Premiumtimes

  • Someone

    Why can’t the President investigate this?

  • The Patriot

    What else do you expect in GEJ’s cabinet of inept and extremely corrupt Ministers whose only ambition is to steal and suppress or sack rightly qualified and highly experienced public servants that do not belong to their ethnic enclave? What’s manifested under the Nigerian Immigration Service is just the tip-of-the-iceberg. Similar or worse scenarios are daily being enacted across various Agencies under the guise of “Transformation” by these malicious morons called Ministers. Examples abound, but it suffice here to refer the reader to please find out what is happening in ALL the agencies under Ministries of Aviation & Communication in the name of Transformation. I pity GEJ greatly for being surrounded by such sycophants. May the Good Lord save Nigeria from the clutches of these blood sucking cabal. Amen.

  • Asba

    Please politicians leave the military and para-military alone. You have no such knowledge.
    Even civil service is suppose to be politically neutral. Why that is not respected in my dear country Nigeria? CP please you have done your best for your country and am sure you are fulfilled rest a little and get some business to do.

  • Afam

    This story just made my day,contrary to the news that mrs uzoma is recruiting her kismen,Moro the gun runner is still in the FEC with myopic president who has refused to see the incompetency in his cabinet…

  • Saanii

    Thins is complete rubbish, how can PT publish this type of cook and boom story. No amount of bias investigation can change the fact.

  • KENETH

    Most of those commenting on this issue have lost sight of the fact that Mrs Uzoma is guilty of insubordination.For whatever good reason she may have had, changing the list approved by the minister without recourse to him amounted to challenging his authority. There are ways the retired CG could have addressed the situation instead of plunging headlong into a fight with her boss. She did not have routine access to the President to have complained to. But she was not barred access to the Secretary to the Govt of the Federation whose office serves as the clearing house for the administration. The report does not say that she took any step in that direction to intimate the SGF of her predicament. If she had, it is possible that it may have been brought to the attention of the President and the outcome may have been different. The system has its checks and balances . Anyone who feels aggrieved has to explore all possible avenues of redress instead of trusting in his/her might. Challenging one’s boss is insubordination.

    • Judge Right

      Kenneth I think your judgement is 100% wrong base on the simply fact that the CGI only submit posting to minister for approval… By only nominating 5 CIS from Benue disqualifies him from any atom of respect even from a 6month baby that can’t talk… Pls judge right and stop these criminals ripping off this great Nation for their selfish reason. Is people like you Kenneth that act as Balt box carriers in the name of respect…. To hell with you and so called Moro,!

      • Idris Musa

        I support you mr judge…