ONE NIGERIA: SSS RECRUITMENT SCANDAL – KATSINA 51, AKWA IBOM 5; KANO 25, LAGOS 7

Nigeria’s internal secret service, the State Security
Service (SSS), is enmeshed in a recruitment scandal
following the exposure of a shocking lopsidedness
in the composition of the new officers recently
absorbed into the agency.
The agency commissioned 479 cadet officers after
their passing-out parade in Lagos on March 5, at a
ceremony attended by the Director-General of the
Agency, Lawal Daura, and the Chief of Air Staff,
Abubakar Sadique, air marshall.

image

The parade followed a nine-month training
programme under the agency’s Basic Course
29/2016/17, which encompassed academic
activities, insurgency/counter insurgency,
intelligence operations and gathering, firearms drills
and physical training exercises.
But the listing of the newly commissioned cadet
officers seen by PREMIUM TIMES reveal wide
disparity in the numbers of slots allocated to the 36
states and the Federal Capital Territory, indicating
that the federal character principle may have been
ignored in the recruitment of the officers.
Officially, recruitment for the Course was based on
a minimum of five slots per state. Ostensibly to
ensure compliance with the federal character
principle in the exercise, applicants were last year
made to sit for recruitment examinations in the
capitals of their states of origin. The five slots per
state were said to have been picked through the
examinations.

However, it has emerged that the authorities paid
scant regards to the federal character principle in
the final selection of the cadets.
Although the authorities ensured that at least five
cadets were recruited from each state and the FCT,
they grotesquely tipped the scale in favour of some
states in the balance of recruits that emerged from
other extraneous considerations.
For instance, while only the minimum of five cadets
stipulated per state finally entered the Service from
Akwa Ibom, Nigeria’s largest oil producing state, a
whopping 51 found their way in from Katsina State,
the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari
and the Director-General of the SSS, Mr. Daura.
It is not clear what criteria was used in the
composition of the final list of the new officers.

The anomaly in the exercise is further evident in the
disparity between intakes from the two most
populous states in Nigeria, Kano and Lagos, which
have 25 and seven, respectively, indicating that the
size of the pool of applicants from each state was
not a factor in the recruitment.
A breakdown of the newly commissioned cadet
officers on geo-political 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 other zones are North-east
100, North-central 66, South-west 57 and South-east
44.
This means that while 331 of the newly
commissioned officers are from the 19 northern
states and the FCT, less than half of the total
intakes were from states in the southern part of
Nigeria. See table and charts below for slots
allocated to each state.
Attempts to speak with the SSS on the criteria used
for the allocation of slots to states were not
rewarded as at the time of this publication.

The agency has had no spokesperson since the
removal of its last one, Marilyn Ogar, in 2015. The
Director-General of the agency, Mr. Daura, did not
pick calls or respond to a text message sent to his
known telephone numbers.
Also, the Acting Chairman of the Federal Character
Commission, Shettima Bukar-Abba, did not pick his
calls or respond to a message seeking
clarifications on the role played by the commission
in the recruitment exercise.
The Commission has the responsibility of ensuring
compliance with the federal character principle in
recruitment into the federal civil service and
agencies.

In demonstration of the importance attached to the
principle, it has been enshrined in every constitution
of Nigeria since the country’s independence.
Section 14, subsection 3 of the 1999 Constitution
of Nigeria states that: “The composition of the
Government of the Federation or any of its agencies
and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in
such manner to reflect the federal character of
Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and
also to command national loyalty thereby ensuring
that there shall be no predominance of persons
from a few states or from a few ethnic or sectional
groups in that government or any of its agencies”.
Nigeria’s internal secret service, the State Security
Service (SSS), is enmeshed in a recruitment scandal
following the exposure of a shocking lopsidedness
in the composition of the new officers recently
absorbed into the agency.
The agency commissioned 479 cadet officers after
their passing-out parade in Lagos on March 5, at a
ceremony attended by the Director-General of the
Agency, Lawal Daura, and the Chief of Air Staff,
Abubakar Sadique, air marshall.

The parade followed a nine-month training
programme under the agency’s Basic Course
29/2016/17, which encompassed academic
activities, insurgency/counter insurgency,
intelligence operations and gathering, firearms drills
and physical training exercises.
But the listing of the newly commissioned cadet
officers seen by PREMIUM TIMES reveal wide
disparity in the numbers of slots allocated to the 36
states and the Federal Capital Territory, indicating
that the federal character principle may have been
ignored in the recruitment of the officers.
Officially, recruitment for the Course was based on
a minimum of five slots per state. Ostensibly to
ensure compliance with the federal character
principle in the exercise, applicants were last year
made to sit for recruitment examinations in the
capitals of their states of origin. The five slots per
state were said to have been picked through the
examinations.

However, it has emerged that the authorities paid
scant regards to the federal character principle in
the final selection of the cadets.
Although the authorities ensured that at least five
cadets were recruited from each state and the FCT,
they grotesquely tipped the scale in favour of some
states in the balance of recruits that emerged from
other extraneous considerations.

For instance, while only the minimum of five cadets
stipulated per state finally entered the Service from
Akwa Ibom, Nigeria’s largest oil producing state, a
whopping 51 found their way in from Katsina State,
the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari
and the Director-General of the SSS, Mr. Daura.
It is not clear what criteria was used in the
composition of the final list of the new officers.
The anomaly in the exercise is further evident in the
disparity between intakes from the two most
populous states in Nigeria, Kano and Lagos, which
have 25 and seven, respectively, indicating that the
size of the pool of applicants from each state was
not a factor in the recruitment.

A breakdown of the newly commissioned cadet
officers on geo-political 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 other zones are North-east
100, North-central 66, South-west 57 and South-east
44.

This means that while 331 of the newly
commissioned officers are from the 19 northern
states and the FCT, less than half of the total
intakes were from states in the southern part of
Nigeria. See table and charts below for slots
allocated to each state.
Attempts to speak with the SSS on the criteria used
for the allocation of slots to states were not
rewarded as at the time of this publication.

The agency has had no spokesperson since the
removal of its last one, Marilyn Ogar, in 2015. The
Director-General of the agency, Mr. Daura, did not
pick calls or respond to a text message sent to his
known telephone numbers.
Also, the Acting Chairman of the Federal Character
Commission, Shettima Bukar-Abba, did not pick his
calls or respond to a message seeking
clarifications on the role played by the commission
in the recruitment exercise.
The Commission has the responsibility of ensuring
compliance with the federal character principle in
recruitment into the federal civil service and
agencies.

In demonstration of the importance attached to the
principle, it has been enshrined in every constitution
of Nigeria since the country’s independence.

Section 14, subsection 3 of the 1999 Constitution
of Nigeria states that: “The composition of the
Government of the Federation or any of its agencies
and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in
such manner to reflect the federal character of
Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and
also to command national loyalty thereby ensuring
that there shall be no predominance of persons
from a few states or from a few ethnic or sectional
groups in that government or any of its agencies”.
—-
STATES Number Employed

Abia 7
Adamawa 19
Akwa Ibom 5
Anambra 10
Bauchi 23
Bayelsa 7
Benue 9
Borno 16
Cross River 9
Delta 8
Ebonyi 7
Edo 6
Ekiti 12
Enugu 9
FCT 7
Gombe 14
Imo 11
Jigawa 14
Kaduna 24
Kano 25
Katsina 51
Kebbi 16
Kogi 11
Kwara 13
Lagos 7
Nassarawa 11
Niger 11
Ogun 8
Ondo 9
Osun 10
Oyo 11
Plateau 9
Rivers 7
Sokoto 15
Taraba 16
Yobe 12
Zamfara 20

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