FCC may sue DSS over lopsided recruitment

– There are strong indications that the Federal Character Commission (FCC) would soon sue the Department of State Services (DSS)

– The DSS has been involved in a major controversy over its recent lopsided recruitment which favoured the north

– The FCC has directed the DSS to submit its nominal roll for scrutiny

A report by The Punch indicates that the FCC would soon sue the DSS over the secret police recent lopsided recruitment which favoured the north. According to the report, the FCC has directed the DSS to submit its nominal roll for scrutiny and also insisted that the DSS should respond to its query.

The chairman of the FCC, Dr Abba Shettima said the FCC had written to the DSS to demand its nominal roll to verify allegations of lopsidedness in the last recruitment by the agency, which was alleged to have contravened the federal character protocol. The commission had given the DSS a three-month ultimatum to clear the air on the controversy over the recruitment.

“We have written to the DSS to get their nominal roll and they have not complied. “Unless, we look at their nominal roll and ascertain, state-by-state, to see that certain states, that are grossly underrepresented or not represented or overrepresented, we will not come out clearly to say what they have done is lopsided.

“So, in the event we discover that it is not a correct measure, we will now take the appropriate sanctions,” Shettima said.

When asked what the commission would do if the DSS failed to respond to the FCC after three months, Shettima said the commission had the power to commence legal action against any agency involved in deliberate violations of the Federal Character Act. He added that the commission had the option to refer such defaulting agencies to the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation.

His words: “They (DSS) cannot deliberately ignore us. If they deliberately ignore us, they are violating the law. You know that it is a function of the law.

It is the law that establishes it and then the constitution is very clear. “If you deliberately refuse to comply with the provisions of the Federal Character Act, of the constitution, the commission has every right to take that organisation to court. One of the options is litigation. The other option is you complain to the Attorney General of the Federation that this is what is happening.”

He added that the DG of the DSS, Daura, sent his Special Assistant to him on Tuesday to notify him that he was out of town, adding that they would meet to resolve the issue. Shettima stressed that it was compulsory for all recruiting Ministries, Departments and Agencies to adhere to the federal character protocol in compliance with the provisions of Section 14 of the Constitution.

The newly commissioned cadet officers recruited into the DSS on geopolitical basis revealed that 165 are from the North-west, about four times as many as those who were picked from the South-south (42). The figures for the other zones are North-east 100, North-central 66, South-west 57 and South-east 44.

The presidency however claimed the recruitment details were analysed out of context.The presidency’s reaction was contained in a statement which curiously had no name attached to it.

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