The Nigerian Police on Monday claimed that there was no protest by its unpaid officials and only ”a few policemen went to the command to complain.”
PREMIUM TIMES early Monday reported how police officers in Kaduna State carried out a peaceful protest against the non-payment of their salaries.
Eight Police commands namely: Kaduna, Kebbi, Gombe, Nasarawa, Ekiti, Bayelsa, Imo and Ogun are reportedly owing August and September salaries to a large number of their personnel, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.
The protest, which cut across the rank and file of the command, had hundreds of protesters who gathered in front of the Salaries Office inside the Kaduna Police Command headquarters.
Cyril Abeh, the state commissioner of police, who had said the delay in payment was from the finance ministry’s IPPS office and not the fault of the police, appealed for restraint. He, however, also subtly threatened the irate protesters with sanctions.
“They are police officers operating under the law, if they misbehave, we will deal with them according to the law. This is mutiny. I am in the field attending to a very important security matter, but will be on my way back to headquarters to address them now,” he said.
Some of the protesting officers accused the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, of refusing to allow President Muhammadu Buhari to know the ”exact situation regarding the non-payment of the police salaries.”
“She already lied to Mr President that all is well. How can you fight corruption and you don’t pay police their two months salaries,” a protesting officer said.
However, a statement issued by Jimoh Moshood, Force Public Relations Officers, Force Headquarters in Abuja on Monday denied that the protest took place.
Mr. Moshood said, “The force wishes to categorically state that salaries of Police Personnel across ranks throughout the Thirty Six (36) States and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and all other Police Formations are being paid as at when due and on time.”
He described the story as incorrect, saying it was “misleading (to say) that Police Personnel protested anywhere in the country because of non-payment of salary as reported in some media today 9th October, 2017 or at any other time.”
The statement, however, added that ”a few policemen went to the command to complain.”
“Few policemen who went on inquiry to the Mechanized Salary Section (MSS) in Kaduna State Police Command over complaint of Under-payment, Omission of their names on the Salary Payroll as a result of the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) handled by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, were immediately attended to and addressed by the Officer in Charge of the Mechanized Salary Section (MSS), Kaduna State Command in the early hours of today that their problems have been taken up by the Force Headquarters with the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation. And they left for their duty posts. No Policeman protested and none went on a rampage as reported in the media in Kaduna State or anywhere else in the Country,” the statement noted.
He however, admitted that, “some challenges such as Under-payment, Omission of names on payroll, Non-payment and Over-payment of some Police Personnel experienced in the Eight (8) State Commands that have been enrolled on the platform of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) in the payment of August and September 2017 Salary have been taken up with the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation and it’s being promptly addressed.
“Members of the Public are hereby enjoined not to panic but go about their lawful duties and other responsibilities without fear or apprehension.”