The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has withdrawn its personnel attached to Shina Peller (APC, Oyo), the federal lawmaker who sponsored a bill to scrap the Corps.
The notice of the withdrawal was contained in a letter to Mr Peller, a day after he introduced a bill seeking the scrapping of the agency.
Mr Peller had on Tuesday introduced a bill on the floor of the House of Representatives that seeks to repeal the law establishing the agency with the aim of the Nigeria Police Force taking over the assets of the agency.
The lawmaker, in his synopsis on the bill, described NSCDC as a waste of money and duplication of the functions of the police.
The NSCDC Act of 2003 led to the establishment of the Corps under former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Section 5(3) of the Act says the Corps shall “have the power to arrest with or without a warrant, detain, investigate and institute legal proceedings by or in the name of the Attorney-General of the Federation in accordance with the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria against any person who is reasonably suspected to have committed an offence under this Act.”
However, a day after the bill was introduced, the Head of Administration, Oyo State NSCDC Command, in a letter signed by Sotiyo Igbalawole, informed Mr Peller of the decision to withdraw its personnel.
“Following the directive of the Commandant General on the necessity of the deployment of the Command personnel for an ‘urgent National security assignment.
“On behalf of the State Commandant; I hereby withdraw all the personnel attached to you, this is to meet up with the urgent national need.
“Any inconvenience this might cause is highly regretted,” the letter, dated February 2, reads.
ICIR had reported that the Oyo State Command of NSCDC, where the letter purportedly emanated from denied the letter and described it as fake.
Oyo State NSCDC Commandant, Adaralewa Micheal, denied that the letter emanated from their office.
PREMIUM TIMES could not reach Mr Peller to comment on the withdrawal as he did not respond to calls and SMS to his mobile phone.
But an aide to the lawmaker, Oladimeji Agbana, told this newspaper Wednesday that the letter was delivered to the lawmaker via WhatsApp.
He said the attached NSCDC officers are at the residence of the lawmaker in Ibadan, Oyo State, while Mr Peller is here in Abuja.
“The letter was sent to the honourable via WhatsApp, they snapped the letter and sent it to the Honourable.
“They are in Ibadan. They are not here. The news that we are getting is that they have left unless they are coming back now with the denial,” Mr Agbana said.
NSCDC CG overrules withdrawal
The Commandant General of the NSCDC, Audi Ahmed, in a statement, overruled the purported withdrawal of officers of NSCDC attached to Mr Peller.
In the statement signed by the Director of Public Relations of NSCDC Headquarters, Odumosu Olusola, on his behalf, the CG said the officer lacks the power to issue the directive.
He noted that the directive was not authorised by the headquarters and therefore ordered the reinstatement of the personnel.
READ THE FULL STATEMENT
CG FROWNS AT WITHDRAWAL OF OFFICIALS ASSIGNED TO MEMBER HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE, ORDERS REINSTATEMENT.
The leadership of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps has dismissed as unauthorized and without recourse to the Corps constituted authority, a letter signed and sent to a Member of the House of Representatives, Hon Shina Peller, informing him of the withdrawal of officials of the NSCDC assigned to him.
Not only did the officer in question lack the power to do such, he was also found to have acted on his whims without clearance. The Commandant General, Dr. Ahmed Abubakar Audi, mni, has therefore directed a reinstatement of the withdrawn officers with a compliment of necessary courtesies to the Honourable Member.
DCC ODUMOSU OLUSOLA
DIRECTOR PUBLIC RELATIONS
NSCDC, NHQ, ABUJA.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: Call Willie - +2348098788999