Rights groups seek probe of Senate, others over alleged job racketeering

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) have urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) to investigate the Senate, police and ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) for alleged job racketeering in their institutions.

They want the anti-graft agencies to carry out a prompt, thorough, transparent and effective probe into into the allegations.

In a petition signed by its deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP implored the two bodies to “probe allegations that some ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) are selling the employment slots at their disposal, with a single slot being allegedly sold for as much as N1.5 million. We urge you to prosecute anyone suspected to be involved should you consider there is relevant and sufficient admissible evidence, and to make public the outcome of any investigation.”

It went on: “This alleged preferential treatment in Nigerians’ access to government jobs is a textbook case of cronyism, patronage and corruption. The public interests are best served when public employees are recruited on the basis of their skills, competence and expertise rather than as a reward for political, social and other similar connections.”

In the letter sent to ICPC chairman, Bolaji Owasanoye and EFCC’s Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, the group stated: “Unless the allegations are urgently investigated and suspected perpetrators brought to justice, the effective and efficient performance from the public workforce, competence in government services and functioning of ministries, department and agencies will continue to be negatively impacted.”

On its part, HURIWA, in a statement yesterday by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, regretted “that the EFCC, which has extended its dragnet in pursuit of, and targeting students and

It further said: It was pure act of discriminatory applications of the relevant laws against fraud and graft that the anti-graft agencies, including EFCC and ICPC, have shut their eyes to the widely circulated allegations made by the Police Service Commission (PSC), accusing the IGP of involvement in alleged fraud in the recently compiled 10,000 prospective constables into the force.”

“Indeed, these crimes should occupy the attention of not just the anti-corruption institutions, but the Department of State Services (DSS) should arrest the key figures because employment racketeering is both an economic crime and a major threat to national security.”