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Published On: Wed, Nov 20th, 2019

Alleged 80,115 ghost officers: Court orders IGP to provide details

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By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja

The Federal High Court, Abuja, has ordered the Inspector General of Police to provide details of alleged 80, 115 ghost officers found in police Formations and Command.
This is following a suit filed by Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) seeking the court to compel the IGP to release the list having failed to respond to its Freedom of Information request.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/493/2018, the plaintiff said it had written a Freedom of Information request to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) which letter was received by the office of the IGP on April 3rd, 2018.
According to the applicant, the letter requested information on the details of the list of 80,115 ghost officers discovered in Police Formations and Command through the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
It further submitted that the Honourable Minister of Finance disclosed during the presentation of the updated report on the implementation of the IPPIS to the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday March 21, 2018 that 80,115 ghost Police officers were on the payroll of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The group through the said letter requested for the details of the “ghost officers”.
It however noted thya the office of the IGP did not make the said information available and did not give reasons for its inability to grant the request.
CSJ subsequently approached the court praying the court for a declaration that denying the Applicant access to the details of the list of 80,115 ghost officers recently discovered in the Police Formations and Command through the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) without explanation constitutes an infringement of the Applicant’s right guaranteed and protected by section 1 (1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011.
It further pray for a declaration that the continued refusal of the Respondent to grant to the Applicant access to the details of the list of 80,115 ghost officers recently discovered in the Police Formations and Command through the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) despite Applicant’s demand violates Section 4 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.
It also prayed for a declaration that the continued refusal of the Respondent to grant access to the Applicant of the details of the list of 80,115 ghost officers recently discovered in the Police Formations and Command through the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) without explanation constitutes an infringement of the Applicant’s right guaranteed and protected by Section 48 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007.
It however urged the court to make an order of mandamus compelling the Respondent to grant to the Applicant access to the list of 80,115 ghost officers recently discovered in the Police Formations and Command through the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) specifically for the following information:
The names and contact addresses of the “ghost officers” their ranks, their bank account numbers and their bank verification numbers.
As well as their monthly salaries and emoluments and the total money paid to each and every one of them.
Delivering judgement in the suit, Justice Binta Nyako held that in the absence of any defence by the Respondent, Reliefs A-E are hereby granted as prayed.
The court further held that denying the Applicant access to the details of the list of 80,115 ghost officers recently discovered in the Police Formations and Command through the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) without explanation constitutes an infringement of the Applicant’s right guaranteed and protected by Section 1 (1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011.t
The court equally held thya the continued refusal of the Respondent to grant to the Applicant access to the details of the list of 80,115 ghost officers recently discovered in the Police Formations and Command through the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) despite Applicant’s demand violates Section 4 of the Freedom of Information Act 2011.
In addition, Justice Nyako held that the continued refusal of the Respondent to grant access to the Applicant of the details of the list of 80,115 ghost officers recently discovered in the Police Formations and Command through the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) without explanation constitutes an infringement of the Applicant’s right guaranteed and protected by Section 48 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007.
“That an Order of Mandamus is hereby made compelling the Respondent to grant to the Applicant access to the list of 80,115 ghost officers recently discovered in the Police Formations and Command through the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

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