By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
Some eminent Nigerians have called for the removal of the Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro as well as the Comptroller General, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), David Shikfu Parradang, over the poor handling of the NIS recruitment test on Saturday which resulted in the death of almost 20 job applicants.
In a petition they signed and widely circulated on Sunday, the distinguished citizens also called for the criminal prosecution of the duo for involuntary homicide.
The petition was signed by Chidi Odinkalu of the Chairman of the Nigerian Human Rights Commission (NHCR); Nasir el-Rufai, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory; Ayo Obe, lawyer and human rights activist; Bashir Tofa, former Presidential candidate of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC); Aliyu Modibbo, a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and 57 others.
Among the others are: Ayesha Imam, Jibrin Ibrahim, Ishyaku Mohammed, Olusegun Adeniyi, Hussaini Abdu, Femi Edun, Abubakar Siddique Mohammed, Abba Kyari, Kole Shettima, Maryam Uwais, Ebere Onwudiwe, Yusuf Tuggar, Tajudeen Fola Adeola, Waziri Adio, Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim, Iniruo Wills, Yunusa Yau, Nasir Ladan, and Jeremy Weate.
“The Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and the Inspector-General of Police together with the Director-General of State Security, should launch a joint criminal investigation into the deaths of these job seekers,” the petitioners said.
“An independent audit should immediately be instituted into the monies made by the Ministry and the NIS from the job seekers and criminal investigations should be commenced as appropriate,” it added.
In similar vein, a group known as Champions for Nigeria has started an online petition on a UK-based online petition platform Change.com asking President Jonathan to immediately sack Moro and Parradang.
They alleged corruption in the recruitment process. “I was reliably informed that some candidates paid huge sums, as high as N300,000.00 to secure employment as Immigration Officers,” the petitioner said.
“So if you paid a bribe to get a job and you get the job, (1) you will have to demand bribes to recover the money you paid as bribe in the first place, or (2) as some kind of warped revenge for paying a bribe or (3) forced by your employers, superiors and/or the prevailing rotten corrupt environment to demand bribes from the public”, the group said.
It said that the process which happened in civil service, police force, military, customs service, and other private sectors in the country.